Sky movies and sport coming to a PC near you

I was impressed by the marketing machine that is Sky television, after the satellite pay-TV operator managed to get its Sky-by-broadband service Web portal operational over the weekend - only a couple of weeks after announcing its plans to the media.

Plans call for both streamed and downloadable movies and sports to be made available to existing pay-TV subscribers by the end of this week.

Streamed TV will be available with a resolution of 540 x 432 pixels, and at an average data stream of 860 Kbps. Details of the download image file resolutions have not yet been released.

Now the bad news. Because of heavy digital rights management (DRM) issues, only Windows XP users will be able to use the service, although the plan is to offer the service to 3G mobile users as well.

Downloaded content will only be viewable on the PC that downloaded the file in the first place and, says Sky, its DRM technology will only allow file viewing for up to 30 days following the download.

I'm all for the controlling content once it has been downloaded, but Sky must be aware that much of its content is already being pirated via BitTorrent and a number of other file sharing services.

To imposed tight controls on its broadband TV service is only going to act as a red rag to a bull when it comes to the hackers out there.

Because of this, I suspect Sky's DRM system will be cracked sooner, rather than later...