Proving that the time is ripe for movie-download services, Universal Pictures has announced a new film-download service in the UK.

The service lets users download two digital copies of a movie – one for their computer and another for a portable device. They also get sent the movie on a DVD. The services uses Windows Media Technology, so it doesn't work with Macs.

Universal is working with movie-download service Lovefilm on the scheme, which launches on April 10.

Discussing the service, Universal Pictures UK chairman Eddie Cunningham said: "It gives instant access, it gives portability and it gives much greater flexibility for the consumer to consume the product any way they want."

Analysts estimate that 36 per cent of online traffic is file-sharing of video and movies assets.