Walt Disney has turned to Microsoft to power its HD downloading service in what some have seen as a trial run for Apple's Apple TV application.

Hoping to beat Blockbuster movie rentals and appeal to the lazy gamer, the company has said that it will be offering feature films from The Walt Disney Studios to US members of Xbox LIVE service.

Announced at E3 in Santa Monica, new and classic movies from stables of The Walt Disney Studios including titles from Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures and Miramax Films, will be available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace in HD.

“We’re always looking for more ways to let people experience our films”, said Dan Cohen, executive vice president of pay television and interactive media for Disney-ABC Domestic Television. “With the millions of Xbox 360 consoles in living rooms today with a direct, high-speed Internet connection, Xbox LIVE really has become a terrific device for the delivery of digital entertainment content.”

However, customers of the service will not be able to buy the film's but merely rent them for the evening at a cost of 480 Microsoft Points (around £4) for brand new HD movies and 320 (around £2.70) Microsoft Points for brand new Standard Definition films.

Classic feature films in high definition are 360 Microsoft Points each, and classic feature films in standard definition are 240 Microsoft Points.