Japan's NTT Satellite Communications, together with film distributor Motion Pro, has started the first service in Japan for downloading films to home PCs. Launched on December 1, the service charges viewers Y300 ($2.73) per download.

The partners transmit films via the Sky PerfecTV communications satellite platform. Viewers receive them using a Sky PerfecTV antenna and tuner and download them to their PCs using a dedicated connection line and device. They can download a 90-minute to 120-minute film in approximately 30 minutes, with a picture quality equivalent to that of a standard VHS tape.

The downloads, which expire after one week, are priced to be competitive with one-week video rentals. The service will start with twenty classic foreign films, including The Lady Vanishes and Man With The Golden Arm, adding new titles on a monthly basis.