Wal-Mart to offer movie download with purchase of DVDs

Wal-Mart in the US is tentatively entering the movie download market with a new service that allows DVD buyers to download a digital copy of the movie from the internet.

The first film to receive the treatment is Superman Returns. Customers who buy a copy of the DVD will be able to choose a $1.97 download for portable devices; a $2.97 option for a computer-compatible download; and a $3.97 version that works on both. Once at home, simply enter the code on Wal-Mart's beta download site to redeem the coupon and download the film.

As usual, downloads are only compatible with players that support Windows Media Player, and PC-compatible downloads will only work on Windows XP with Windows Media Player 10.

Cnet news.com reports that movie download services have in general received a lukewarm reception, with Amazon Unbox service being panned by bloggers, and Microsoft's Xbox Live service getting off o a "rocky" start.