Sky promise better AV quality for Sky Cinema service

Sky Movies is being rebranded Sky Cinema and will be relaunched on July 8. The move will see all titles available on-demand (around 1,200 films will be available to download.), with the promise of better HD picture and sound. The broadcaster says there will be a new premiere every single day of the week – a 75 per cent increase on the four per week offered by Sky Movies.

Upcoming launches include Spectre (8 July), Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (9 July), Steve Jobs (18 September), Bridge of Spies (30 September) and The Danish Girl (23 October) will all premiere in the first few months. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (pictured above) will debut in August. The Jungle Book, Zootopia and Captain America: Civil War are set to headline Sky’s Christmas movie collection.

A list will be made available just 8 months after cinema release, and can be watched exclusively on Sky Cinema for over a year before you can watch them on any other subscription service. 45 of the top 50 films at the UK Box Office in 2015 are exclusive to Sky Movies.

There will also be dedicated new ‘World Cinema’ slot every Wednesday from 10pm. Scheduled are El Ardor (Argentina); Theeb (UAE) and Tangerines (Estonia).

Want to plan ahead? Sky says it will screen Rogue One in August 2017 and Episode VIII in August 2018. All films will be available on 11 dedicated live channels, via on demand, or on the go through Sky Go and the dedicated Sky Cinema app.

On the subject of picture quality, Sky says: “To improve the HD, Sky is using a new internal master format that provides a third more pixels and four times the number of colour shades of the current HD offered. This means sharper and more vibrant pictures for a better viewing experience. As well as improved picture, selected movies on demand will also have sound closer to cinema. The sound range has been increased in part by taking the audio track straight from the studios. It means louder bangs and quieter whispers with no need for customer to make any adjustments to their TV.”

The broadcaster is moving to the Panasonic developed AVC-Intra encoding format. The company says it is dropping dynamic range compression for its on-demand movie service.

A Sky Cinema Ultra HD service will be launched in the coming months on the Sky Q platform. However we understand that this will initially comprise a move to 2160p resolution, but not HDR. That remains under development.