The availability of faster broadband connections is revolutionising the way Britons consume movies and could spell the end of video stores, it has been predicted.
According to figures from Uswitch.com, seen by the Independent, over the last twelve months nearly a quarter of Britons downloaded a film via the internet, with faster broadband speeds making this less complicated and time consuming than ever before.
The report said: "For many people, the notion of calling a video store to rent a film is but a distant memory. More and more of us are opting to order our rentals by post, use on-demand services on satellite or cable TV - or, more recently, rent or download films over the internet."
The growing demand for the movie downloads has seen a profusion of film-downloading sites, enabling with those with broadband connections able to choose from Lovefilm, 4 On Demand (4OD), Empire Movies, Wippit, Vizumi and Sky Anytime.
Moreover, with prices ranging from 79p to £2.99 to download a feature film, according to Steve Weller of Uswitch.com, the affordability and convenience of downloaded movies compared with video shops is also a contributory factor to the growing demand.
He told the Independent: "Many of the sites offer customers the option of either renting the film for a set period of up to seven days, say, or buying the film outright. The Hollywood blockbuster King Kong was available online at the same time as the DVD release; the high-quality version was 5GB in size."