While I may agree with Benny's opinion that in the high definition arena download-to-own content is definitely the underdog, when competing with plain old DVD many customers now do have the bandwidth available to make standard def downloads viable - going by the supposed national average of a 4Mbit broadband connection. Sony certainly seems to agree because it has just announced it intends to enter the download-to-own market.
Supposedly the entire Sony Pictures Television library is going to be made available, although sadly the information available doesn't indicate if films will also be up for grabs any time soon. Still, the prospect is an enticing one - who doesn't want to download Dawson's Creed and Seinfield? All files will be encoded in DivX and playable on any certified device, although they will also, in true Sony Style, be DRM-ed up to the eyeballs.
No retailers are yet signed up, but Sony says it won't be restricting who sells its content. The smart money would expect the PlayStation Store to offer a portal for grabbing content, considering the PS3's multimedia-device leanings - more importantly it would make a more direct rival to Microsoft's Xbox Live Video Marketplace. In terms of release for these downloads it's suggested that they should be available on the same day as the physical disc launch but when this will start is as yet unknown. I don't know about you (yes, you) but I'm looking rather forward to this one.