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iphone-5s-camera.jpg"It's much more efficient to teach iPhone to take great photos than it is to teach millions of people to be expert photographers," reads the Apple iPhone 5S press blurb, conjuring an image of a terrifying future in which a sentient iPhone insists on taking the perfect selfie of you against your will.

While we haven't quite reached that photographic dystopia just yet, Apple is certainly waxing lyrical on the quality of the snaps that can be taken with the new iPhone 5S. And even if the rest of the iPhone 5S refresh underwhelms, there's no denying that the iSight camera improvements sound worthy.
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While sticking with an 8MP sensor, Apple has instead chosen to boost the size of the sensor itself rather than up the megapixel count. Each sensor node now measures 1.5 microns, allowing for enhanced detail in colour depth and range.
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Using a new f/2.2 lens rather than the iPhone 5's f/2.4 lens, images will be able to retain more detail and contrast in bright lighting conditions too, while a dual flash with both a warm amber light and cool white light will allow for balanced snaps when images require a more graded light range. If you're shooting action-packed photos, a new auto image stabilisation system (taking multiple shots at once and combining them to deliver the sharpest, most vivid final shot) should ensure subjects moving at high speed still look their best.

But let the photos speak for themselves. Scroll down for a handful more images from the iPhone 5S camera. They're straight from Apple, so may be touched up a tad, but they give a good impression of what to expect.

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21 iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C cases and covers

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You've just shelled out a couple of hundred quid on an iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C pre-order and the thought of your shiny new smartphone slipping through your buttery fingers sends a chill through your heart. But not to worry! Smartphone case retailers are already clamouring to get your new Apple wonder-phone kitted out, with Proporta already offering 21 iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C cases and covers.

"With any new Apple model, it's a race against the clock for accessories manufactures such as ourselves, and the timing of these new iPhone models will definitely see us wanting to have cases and screen protectors in stores as soon as possible," said Proporta's Lynnette Prigmore.

Click below to check out designs from the likes of Ted Baker and the V&A Museum.

Job cuts hit struggling BlackBerry

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thorsten-heins-blackberry-w1.jpgIt's still very much a rough time to be at mobile phone manufacturer BlackBerry. According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal, the Canadian smartphone makers this week laid off dozens of staff in a whole new round of job cuts.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal claim that it was predominantly members of the US sales team that will now be standing on the breadline.

"I can confirm a small number of employees were laid off today," a company spokesman told the newspaper, also confirming that these were just the latest layoffs in a series that has continued over several weeks now.

Despite this year's BlackBerry 10 reboot for the company and the launch of a number of critically well-received handsets, BlackBerry has still struggled to make up the ground lost to smartphone rivals Apple and Google with Android.

As such, the company have now begun farming out key software properties (including the popular BBM messaging system) to rival mobile platforms, while also potentially considering an outright sale of the company.

ipad-5-dickson.jpgThere's not a moment's peace to be had for the Apple secrets police. After suffering through dozens of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C leaks in the lead up to last night's launch, we're already getting clear-as-day alleged leaks of the new iPad 5 tablet.

And they're from a credible source, being from the camera of serial leaker Sonny Dickson. He's grabbed over 100 high resolution shots of what he claims is the new iPad, some of which place it side by side with an iPad 4.
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Looking very similar to Dickson's video leak from a few days back, the shots show an iPad notably smaller than the iPad 4, with a thinner edge bezel that seems inspired by the iPad mini design, while retaining the full-size iPad's 9.7-inch screen.

With the iPhone 5S now revealed, it'll be interesting to see which of its new features make the jump to the iPad 5. The Touch ID fingerprint scanner for instance would make a perfect fit for the tablet, though Dickson's photos do little to suggest its inclusion.

Apple's next big launch event is expected to be in October, which would likely be the showcase for new tablet tech. We'll be keeping you up to speed with all the latest rumours and leaks until then, so keep checking back for more whispers.

jurassic-world-top.jpg♪Dun-da, dun-da, dun-da da de dun dun da♪

After months of speculation, it's now been confirmed that we will be getting a new Jurassic Park film. And, rather than it being called Jurassic Park 4, this time we'll be heading to Jurassic World!

Deadline Hollywood are reporting that the third dinosaur cloning sequel is now moving forward nicely, with a release date set for June 12 2015.

The film is to be co-written and directed by Colin Trevorrow (whose excellent Safety Not Guaranteed is well worth a look), while the legendary Steven Spielberg will be executive producer.

"It's important to make a movie for the fans, but I also have to remember that there's a lot of people who couldn't care less, and need for me to make a solid case for why the hell there's a Jurassic Park IV in the first place," Trevorrow told IGN.

Trevorrow also revealed a "pretty badass" new dinosaur will also be making an appearance in the next movie. And it'll all be in 3D this time around too.

Get your comments section quote fest out of the way now then. May I kick off with "Clever girl...".

iPhone-5-official-02.pngSay goodbye to the iPhone 5, with last year's flagship smartphone from Apple set to be discontinued in the wake of the newly-unveiled iPhone 5S.

To my memory, that's the shortest shelf-life of any iPhone to date. But it's hardly surprising; not only did Apple reveal a new flagship handset tonight, but also a cheaper smartphone in the form of the iPhone 5C. Occupying the cheaper price point that the iPhone 5 would have slipped down into, it also sports similar specs to last year's model, while giving Apple an all-new colourful product to promote at the same time. The iPhone 4 will now also be discontinued, unsurprisingly.

However, the iPhone 4S lives on! For those looking to get in on the Apple-action super cheap, the 8GB iPhone 4S will now become the free option on contracts.

iphone-5s-r-3.jpgApple have lifted the covers off the iPhone 5S, the successor to the iPhone 5 and the premium option over the newly-revealed cheaper iPhone 5C.

The headlining feature is the smartphone's new (and long-rumoured) fingerprint scanner, which Apple calls Touch ID. It's 170 microns thin and sits within the Home button, scanning your sub-epidermal skin layers with a definition up to 500ppi.

Reading in any orientation, it can be used to unlock your phone or used instead of an iTunes password when making purchases. Made from sapphire, it should be safe from scratches which could otherwise affect its readings. All fingerprint scans are encrypted, and "secured inside a secure enclave", for tinfoil-hat wearers worried about the prints falling into the wrong hands.
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Sporting the brand new A7 processor, Apple claim the chipset inside the iPhone 5S is the first 64-bit chip available in a smartphone, with the new iOS 7 operating system and all native apps now optimised for 64-bit performance. It boasts over 1 billion transistors.

Overall, the A7 chip will give a 40x boost to CPU performance, with a 56x leap in graphics performance. Apple showed off the graphically demanding Infinity Blade 3 to hammer home the point. OpenGL ES 3.0 will also be supported by the chip.

The iPhone 5S will also sport the M7 chip, a new addition to the iPhone line that continuously measures motion data through the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass, and will enable all-new experiences in health and fitness apps.
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In terms of camera specs, the iPhone 5S will sport an 8MP sensor, with redesigned five-element Apple-designed lens with an F2.2 aperture. The sensor has a 15% larger active area, packing in pixel 1.5 microns, going for the "bigger pixels is better than more pixels" approach that HTC took in the HTC One's Ultrapixel camera system. A dual LED flash system (one LED being cool white, the other a warm amber), also features. When combined in over 1,000 variations, the flash can dish out just the right colour balance straight off the bat. Auto image stabilisation will also feature, as will a new 10 fps burst shooting mode. Slow motion shooting at 720p / 120fps will also be supported for the first time.

Though looking almost identical to the iPhone 5, it will be available in three different colours - silver, "space grey" and gold, just as was rumoured. The chassis will be made of a high-grade aluminium - far more durable than the glass-backed days of the iPhone 4 and 4S.

Battery life for the iPhone 5S is said to be 10 hours of 3G talk time, 8 hours of 3G web browsing, 10 hours of LTE or Wi-FI browsing, and a whopping 250 hours of standby.
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In terms of pricing, you're looking at $199 for the 16GB version, $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB daddy. UK pricing is £549 for the 16GB model, £629 for the 32GB model and £709 for the 64GB version. New cases will also be available at $39 a go, £35 in the UK.

The phone will be hitting stores on September 20. No pre-order available this time around, so better dust off your queuing shoes.

iphone-5c-official-top.jpgApple have finally confirmed the long-rumoured iPhone 5C handset. It's set to be the cheap option in the iPhone tonight, sitting below the new top-tier iPhone 5S handset.

Following months of rumours and analyst speculation, the new entry to the iPhone line has been confirmed to come in a number of colours, looking almost identical to the many leaks that have hit the web over the past few weeks.

The back and sides of the iPhone 5C are made from a single piece of hard-coated polycarbonate plastic, with white, blue, green, red, and yellow colored cases available. Apple's Phil Shiller claims you "won't see seams, or part lines, or joins." Despite being Apple's "budget" offering, the handset looked very neat, similar in style to Nokia's Lumia line-up.
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Very similar also to the iPhone 5, the handset features a 4-inch Retina display, and is powered by the A6 processor. It also shares the iPhone 5's 8MP camera, with an improved FaceTime HD camera around the front. The handset will also support "more LTE bands" than any rival smartphone. It will come running the new iOS 7 operating system

Custom cases made from a "soft-feel" silicone rubber will also be available, offering an additional colour option to mix-and-match on the handset, and priced at $29 a pop.

The iPhone 5C will start at $99 for the 16GB model, rising to $199 for the 32GB model, both based on two-year contracts. SIM-free and off contract in the UK, that'll be £469 for the 16GB model and £549 for the 32GB version, which, sadly, will unlikely be the sort of saving that British consumers were hoping for.

Pre-orders for the handset open on September 13, with the phone hitting stores on September 20.

apple-ios-7-apps.jpgApple have announced that the iOS 7 mobile operating system update will be landing on September 18 2013, hitting the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S as well as the latest handsets set to be revealed tonight.

First announced back in June, iOS 7 is a major re-working for the operating system, visually looking cleaner and more "flat", in line with the new software head Jony Ive's design ethos.

Features include redesigned native apps and icons, tile-based multi-tasking, iTunes radio and AirDrop for local file sharing over Wi-Fi.

New additions revealed today include a new male voice for Siri in the US and other select territories, as well as remixed ringtones alongside brand new tones.

apple-ios-7-apps-2.jpgApple's iPhone 5S keynote kicked off in traditional fashion, with CEO Tim Cook speaking about the companies current business and retail details.

And Cook had a big stat to drop at the start of the event - by the end of September 2013, Apple will have sold their 700 millionth iOS device.

In terms of retail, Cook said the company would be "turning [the] focus back home", revealing a new architecturally astonishing store in Stanford, California, with an attractive glass-fronted design.

Cook also spoke of the iTunes Festival currently taking place in London, with 30 world-class acts playing over 30 nights in the capital. Streaming to over 100 countries, over 20 million entered the lottery for free tickets.

We'll have more from tonight's launch event as the evening progresses, so keep checking back for more.

breaking-bad-complete.jpgCurrently biting your nails through the fifth and final season of Breaking Bad? Once the drug-cooking saga all comes to its inevitably horrible end, you'll be able to relive it all in its entirety on Blu-ray, as Sony Pictures have just announced the Breaking Bad: The Complete Series boxset.

And it's a really sweet little set! All contained within a replica methylamine barrel, it's a 16-disc set containing all 62 episodes of the show and 55 hours worth of special features. Each will also be available as an UltraViolet digital download as part of the purchase too.

Other goodies contained in the boxset include a Los Pollos Hermanos apron and a collectible booklet with a letter from show creator Vince Gilligan, as well as a commemorative Breaking Bad challenge coin designed and created by Gilligan exclusively for the boxset set.

Special features include extensive interviews with cast and crew, a documentary exclusive to the boxset and a clip showing the cast doing the first emotional read-through of the final episode of the super-popular show.

Find it in stores from November 25. You're looking at £110 for the boxset, according to this Amazon listing.

We were totally ready for next-generation dogs in Call of Duty: Ghosts for the Xbox One and PS4. But machine-gun wielding astronauts? Infinity Ward really are pushing all our nerd buttons here.

This latest trailer gives a little more insight into the best-selling shooter series sequel's single player campaign, kicking off in the middle of a space station battle before hurtling back down to Earth to show a dog taking out a helicopter.

Let me say that again: a dog taking out a helicopter. Badass.

Launching on November 5th, the game will also be available on current-gen consoles including the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, as well as PC. Check out the trailer above.

Nokia Lumia 1020 hits UK stores on September 12

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nokia-lumia-1020-official.jpgHoping to become a PureView paparazzi with the new Nokia Lumia 1020? Then you won't have long to wait; Nokia's official UK Twitter account has just confirmed that the handset will be going on sale this Thursday, September 12.

"#Lumia1020 + UK = this Thursday" is the simple message given by the tweet, though there was still no sign of an off-contract price for those looking to go SIM free.

The Lumia 1020 makes use of a whopping 41MP camera sensor, using the company's incredible PureView tech, and capable of some very tasty shots according to those forwarded onto us by Nokia themselves.

It's looking equally impressive under the hood too, with a Qualcomm S4 processor sitting underneath its 1280 x 768 4.5-inch AMOLED HD+ display. But with the 6-inch Nokia Lumia 1520 looming over the horizon, those looking for a Windows Phone phablet may want to hold out just a little longer before committing the cash.

ee_banner.jpg4G merchants EE have introduced a new Swap scheme for customers on their network, letting them upgrade to a new handset mid-contract.

It's not quite a straight swap though. First off, you'll need to be the current owner of an iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 or S4, Galaxy Note II or HTC One. Then, rather than simply upgrading to the next handset of your choice, you'll have to pay a one-off fee.

And these fees are pretty steep. You're looking at £49 if you're on EE's top-tier £51 a month contracts, rising to a gigantic £249 if you're on a £36 a month plan.

"With smartphone innovation moving at a relentless pace, we realise that some customers want to move to the latest handset at the earliest possible opportunity," said Pippa Dunn, Chief Consumer Marketing Officer, EE.

"That's why we've introduced 'Swap' to sit alongside our existing upgrade offers - providing a new, simple and easily affordable option for pay monthly customers to move to the latest 4G smartphones."

Going live on September 17, it's launching just in time for the new iPhone's to tempt EE customers to open their wallets once again. Just make sure you've got the readies.

Could this be the cheap and cheerful iPhone 5C, breaking cover on video ahead of tonight's expected official unvieling?

Spotted by Phone Arena over on the Youku Chinese video hosting site, the 15 second clip shows a handset seemingly running Apple's iOS 7 operating system, in an iPhone-sized handset that looks to be cased in baby-blue plastic.

The user swipes through some iPhone homescreens before opening up the Safari browser, and then that's your lot. No multi-angle view, no close-ups.

Sure, it looks like the real-deal - the cheap handset is said to be cased in colourful plastic, teased by Apple itself with tonight's event invite tagline stating to expect something to "brighten everyone's day".

But then, when you've got the latest, most keenly anticipated Apple product of the last 12 months sitting opposite you, in full working order, you manage only to grab a fifteen second clip? Fishy, right? It's almost as if the poster didn't want us to get a good look at the device. Like it's a fake or something, a modified iPhone 5 perhaps?.

Hmm. Well, with only a few hours to go until Apple open their toybox themselves, we'll soon know for sure what's hitting their stores. Check back at 6pm BST for all the launch day details.

HANDS-ON REVIEW: Acer Liquid S2

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DSCF4148.JPGLanding just a few months after the original Acer Liquid S1 launched, we have to admit the Liquid S2's appearance at this year's IFA 2013 conference took us a little bit by surprise. But with headlining features such as laying claim to being the world's first phone to offer 4K video recording, the spec boost seems to justify the quick turn around. We went hands on in Berlin for this first-look review.
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Firmly sat in the "phablet" realm of smartphone sizes, the Liquid S2 measures 166 x 86 x 9 mm, with a 6-inch 1920 x 1080 full HD display. Built primarily from plastic (with a metallic rim around the edge of the device), its curved chassis doesn't quite have the premium feel of the HTC or iPhone flagships, but felt at least as sturdy as the equally-plasticky Samsung Galaxy range. It's a whopping phone though, and just like all other phablets it'll be an acquired taste, especially if you're shy about holding a six-inch anything up to your face.
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That large size affords the Liquid S2 a gorgeous screen though. Pin sharp with a 367 ppi, its colours were rich and its brightness more than a match for the harsh show floor lighting. However, there were moments when swiping through the touchscreen felt unresponsive, with swipes registering as taps and vice versa, or not at all. Admittedly, a tech conference stand isn't the best place to gauge the reliability of a product (for all we know the handset may have been dropped several times before we got our hands on it), but with no visible signs of damage, it was a concern.
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The flakey nature of the touch response also made it difficult to judge the performance of the processor, a 2.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 backed by 2GB of RAM. It seemed capable, and when we fired up apps or played around customising the home screen it did so speedily.
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The Snapdragon 800 also allows for the Liquid S2's 4K video recording to happen. As well as packing in a 13MP still camera, the Liquid S2 also supports the new super-high definition video standard. But before we get carried away, be aware that 4K recording on the Liquid S2 at this stage is hardly all that inspiring - to the naked eye it seems to only be managing a frame rate of around 12fps in 4K recording mode, making for very choppy playback indeed. Using the 4K feature also made the handset get incredibly hot (in fact, the Liquid S2 was running very hot throughout our test). 4K recording is a luxury of course, and still-sharp Full HD 1080p video capture was handled without issue. It's not as though you're even going to be able to play back 4K video at a native resolution on the handset, and few will have a 4K screen in their homes, so perhaps this isn't too big a deal. But those looking to buy the phone for this express purpose may wan't to think long and hard about it.
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Under the hood, the phone also supports 4G LTE, as well as including NFC connectivity and packing in 16GB of storage space (expandable by microSD cards). In terms of software, the handset is running Android 4.2.2 and, for the most part, is very close to a vanilla build of the OS. Acer's Float UI for app switching is there, but it's not too intrusive, making for quite a pleasant software experience.
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All the pieces are in place for the Liquid S2 to be a very capable handset, but there are still some crinkles that need to be ironed out. Due to launch at the end of October, a firmware update could optimise some of the problems we experienced during testing, and that screen was undeniably incredible. Don't write it off just yet.

Netflix headed to Virgin Media TiVo boxes

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netflix-slim.jpgOwners of Virgin Media TiVo boxes are set to get a significant TV streaming boost, with Netflix finally set to make an appearance on the set-top box.

The exclusive streaming home of shows such as Breaking Bad and House of Cards, as well as Hollywood blockbusters including The Hobbit, 40,000 TiVo-equipped homes will initially get access to Netflix before being rolled out to all 1.7 million homes with TiVo installed. A subscription to Netflix will of course still be required to view.

"We're delighted to be bringing yet another groundbreaking service onto TV screens in millions of Virgin Media homes. Netflix is a fabulous addition to Virgin Media TiVo, enabling our customers to enjoy even more of their favourite shows and movies simply and easily - all through their TV set-top box and at outstanding value," said Virgin Media COO Dana Strong.

"Virgin Media Tivo offers different ways to watch, either subscription or pay per view, all seamlessly integrated for simple, intuitive viewing so there's a world of great entertainment at your fingertips and everyone can be sure of the perfect TV moment."

Netflix joins apps including YouTube and BBC iPlayer on the Virgin Media TiVo boxes.

GTA-5-nick-5.jpgGrand Theft Auto: The Movie. It has a ring to it, right? A gaming series that wears its cinematic influences on its sleeve, you'd think it'd be the perfect fit for silver screen adaptation. But don't hold your breath - Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser says it unlikely to ever happen, and for good reason.

"We've been offered, many times, and it's never appealed," Houser told The Guardian.

"The money's never been close to be worth risking one's crown jewels. Our small dabblings with Hollywood have always left us running back to games. The freedom we have to do what we want creatively is of enormous value. The second you go near Hollywood, people seem willing, or have been forced, to lose a lot of that control. That sort of amorphous 'that won't test well' attitude is exactly how we don't work. We've always tried to think of stuff that's innovative and new, and to go into a world where that's not encouraged would be horrible."

Though careful to state that he sees it as an equally unlikely move, Houser did say he believed GTA would be a better fit for an ongoing TV series.

"There's still plenty of kudos in doing a film, but you shouldn't ever do anything in your life for kudos," he said.

"It's much easier to imagine GTA as a TV series, as the form is closer, but I still think we'd be losing too much to ever actually do it. We've got this big open-world experience that's 100 hours long, and that gives players control over what they do, what they see, and how they see it. A world where you can do everything from rob a bank to take a yoga lesson to watch TV, all in your own time. How do you condense that into a two-hour or 12-hour experience where you take away the main things: player agency and freedom?"

What do you think? Could GTA work as a movie or TV show, or should we stick with the likes of Goodfellas and The Sopranos, the stories that inspired GTA in the first place? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!


TouchID.jpgWe're just hours away now from the expected launch of the iPhone 5S (and possibly the cheaper iPhone 5C), and the leaks keep coming. Now the long-rumoured fingerprint scanner has been leaked yet again, and this time we have a name for it.

According to marketing materials leaked to French site Nowhereese.fr (the same site that revealed a picture of the Apple Lightening connector ahead of time last year), the fingerprint scanner is here called the "Touch ID sensor".

Embedded in the Home button, it's now identified by a pure white circle around the button rather than the square marking that has been present on other Apple product home buttons.

The leak backs up yesterday's similar leak, revealing the scanner, as well as chiming in well with a report by the Wall Street Journal, claiming that a slew of business apps will use the scanner for security purposes.

Anything that makes it safer to send money over an iPhone is a great move, considering how many purchases we now make with our mobiles. Could an Apple-specific payment system launch alongside the iPhone 5S? We'll know for certain in a few hours time - tonight's launch action kicks off at 6pm BST. Check back then for all the details.

copper.jpgAmazon's Lovefilm has bagged the exclusive UK streaming rights for popular US show Copper.

First aired on BBC America in the States, it was the channel's highest rated premier, and is a dark period crime drama set in 1860s New York. Following a police detective investigating the murder of his daughter, it was created by Emmy Award winner Tom Fontana and Academy Award nominee Will Rokos and stars Tom Weston-Jones of Spooks and Smallville star Kyle Schmid.

"Breaking records for a broadcaster like BBC America is a testament to the quality of this show and we're thrilled to bring it to the UK," said Simon Morris, Chief Marketing Officer at LOVEFiLM.

"We're always looking to bring great new TV content to British viewers, and following the success of 'VIKINGS' it's exciting to see the faith content creators have in our platform as a way to launch new shows in this country."

The show hits the streaming service this Friday, 13 September, and can be viewed on compatible devices including PC, Mac, Nintendo Wii and Wii U, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3, Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire, Apple iPad and all manner of web connected TV sets and Blu-ray players. A subscription to Lovefilm Instant costs £5.99 a month, while Lovefilm also offer subscription packs that include the latest Blu-rays and DVDs too, delivered direct to your door.

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