Sky isn't just a household name in the UK, but in several other European countries too. In those regions, however, Sky Movies as a brand doesn't exist. Instead, it's called Sky Cinema in those parts, and come July 8th, that's what it'll be known as in the UK as well. Big deal, right? Well, the new name isn't the only change. For starters, instead of debuting four new movies a week, a fresh film will be added to the roster every day. Sky Cinema will also devote more space to original content and foreign flicks in the future, with a new international release dropping on the service every Wednesday.
Sky's on-demand library is now more popular than its linear channels, and this too will be growing as Sky Movies becomes Sky Cinema. For starters, the catalogue will increase from 1,000 to roughly 1,200 movies just throughout July. Themed events and transient "pop-up channels" that show back-to-back Harry Potter titles, for example, are to become more regular under Sky Cinema. On the technical side, Sky is implementing what it calls "better HD" on the Cinema service, which apparently carries one-third more pixels, as well as higher dynamic-range audio across the on-demand library.
Most importantly, upon the launch of Sky Cinema, HD movie channels will no longer command an added premium, so anyone with the right bundle (including Virgin Media patrons) will get the best resolution at no extra cost. Film discovery is also set to improve in subtle ways, and Sky subscribers will be able to skip back to the beginning of movies being shown on the linear channels from the EPG for the first time. Unfortunately, not a great deal of news for owners of a shiny new Sky Q box, though 4K flicks will be available at some point later this year.