British giant Dixons is getting in on the VOD game. The group, akin to the US’s Best Buy, recently announced it would launch a streaming service known as KnowHow Movies via its electronics retailers Currys and PC World, although partners were not previously disclosed. Today it’s been added the service will roll out on March 1 with content from studios including Disney and Warner Bros along with the UK’s Momentum Pictures. The service will not act as a direct competitor to Netflix or Amazon’s LoveFilm as it will operate on a pay-per-view, rather than subscription, model. KnowHow titles will be available on the same day as they are released on DVD and Blu-ray and the service will also come loaded on connected devices sold in the shops. KnowHow Movies will also partner in Hollywood’s buy one, play anywhere UltraViolet digital library later this year. A full press release follows:

Currys and PC World today announced their expansion into an entirely new category with the launch of KNOWHOW Movies, their transactional on-demand movie and TV streaming service.

Available subscription-free from Thursday 1st March 2012, KNOWHOW Movies is an exciting new proposition from the UK’s leading electrical retailers which will allow viewers to watch and buy from an impressive library of films and TV shows directly from their TVs, Smartphones, laptops and tablets.

Teaming up with major film studios including Disney, Warner Bros, and Momentum Pictures means customers can rent or buy fantastic films and TV episodes from launch, with new studios being added imminently. With KNOWHOW Movies, new releases will be added to the library on the day of release, meaning customers will have access to them as soon as they become available. New releases are priced at £3.99 to rent and £12.99 to buy and catalogue titles are priced from £2.99 to rent and from £5.99 to buy. TV shows start at £1.99.

As the UK’s leading electrical retailers, Currys and PC World are in the unique position of having a captive audience to market the new service to, as they sell over 4.5million connected devices each year and have contact with 19million customers through in-store, online and servicing operations.

Each new connected device sold by Currys and PC World will come with KNOWHOW Movies pre-loaded and demonstrated at purchase by store staff. Customers will be able to access their KNOWHOW Movies on up to five devices, allowing them to start watching a film on their tablet on the way home from work and continue watching in front of the TV once they arrive home without any hiccups. Customers will also have access to the KNOWHOW knowledge site and UK-based Customer Contact Centre, in case they have any questions when using the service.

Initially available for PCs and Macs, KNOWHOW Movies will be rolled out to tablets, mobile phones (both Android/iOS operating systems), Smart TVs and consoles within the next six months. KNOWHOW Movies has partnered with Rovi who will manage the digital supply chain and technical platform that delivers the content to customers. Rovi is one of the only companies that can offer the breadth of support and expertise across all the devices and platforms that KNOWHOW Movies will be available on.

As you would expect from the UK’s largest electrical retailer, KNOWHOW Movies will also give customers access to the best technology, enabling them to recreate the cinematic experience in their home by working with technology providers, including Intel Insider for Full-HD playback and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 sound for TVs. KNOWHOW Movies will also become an Ultraviolet™ retailer in 2012, working closely with the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, LLC (DECE) and other UltraViolet stakeholders to drive the desire among consumers to build digital entertainment collections of their favourite movies and TV shows.

Niall O’Keeffe, KNOWHOW Development Director commented: “With KNOWHOW Movies we are offering customers the most flexible service available – they will only pay for what they watch, will have access to all the latest releases instantly, and can buy and view films and TV shows on a wide range of their connected devices. As a high street retailer we are also in the unique position of being able to help customers who are less confident with tech by showing them how to install and use the service.

“TVs and the home entertainment sector is a cornerstone of our business, and it’s hugely exciting to be taking this next step and offering our customers great content to be enjoyed on their connected devices.”

George Thangadurai, General Manager of PC Client Services at Intel, added: “Intel® Insider™ has opened the doors for the distribution and enjoyment of premium content on Ultrabooks™ and PCs.

“Our collaboration with Dixons is the latest example of how technology and entertainment can work in harmony to deliver a great user experience. KNOWHOW Movies customers will be able to watch the latest movies on their Ultrabooks and watch them in full 1080p HD on their TVs with Intel® Wireless Display.”