While Apple is busy announcing the launch of movie downloads in the US, Sky in the UK has had to pull its Sky by Broadband service informing customers that the service has been put on hold while essential security upgrades are carried out.

It appears that the pause in service is due to Microsoft having to work out a way of blocking the tools that can circumvent the Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection that exists in Windows Media Player.

"We took this step as a precaution after Microsoft said it was working on an update to its digital rights management software, which is used to protect content on Sky by broadband against unauthorised copying or distribution", a Sky spokesman told reuters on Tuesday.

In a statement on the Sky by Broadband website the company said:

"In order to make an essential update to the Sky by broadband security system, we are sorry that access to all movies and some sports content has been temporarily suspended. This does not affect your computer and content can still be bookmarked for future use. We will keep you posted on progress and apologise for any inconvenience."

According to Reuters the spokesman declined to comment on when the broadband service, which was halted on August 31, would be up and running, deferring questions to Microsoft.

The company launched the service to allow its current subscribers to be able to download movies to a laptop to watch away from home. Exclusive to Sky digital customers, it allows you to download hundreds of films on your PC, including a mix of Hollywood blockbusters and classic movie titles available on Sky Movies.