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Sony PS3 video download service now live
Friday 20 November 2009 11:17:18 by Andrew Ferguson

The Sony PS3 Network has now added a movie store, and while not the first console to offer full films it perhaps offers the largest files. The store can be previewed at videostore.uk.playstation.com and carries films in both SD and HD formats from twelve film studios.

The films are around 2GB in size for SD quality, with HD films weighing in at around 9GB. Prices range from £2.49 to £3.49 and whilst the rental allows you to keep a film for 14 days on the console, it will expire within 48 hours from when you first started watching it. Purchases appear to range from £6.99 to £11.99.

The HD service would just not have worked in 2000, when a HD film at the quality level Sony is using would have taken almost 2 days to download over a '0.5 meg' service; even today it will take around five to six hours on a line that can support '4 meg' downloads, and that's ignoring any peak time congestion. In an ideal world you would want to be able to download the film in about the time it would take to drive to the nearest DVD rental store and get back home, making a strong case for '20 meg' and '50 meg' broadband services. Currently in the UK apart from a few apartment blocks with fibre/Ethernet, maybe 5 to 10% of ADSL2+ users, and Virgin Media XL and XXL customers, quick downloads of HD film are fantasy.

To encourage people to try out the new service, Sony is offering the Transformers movie for download to those registering a Playstation Network account on a new Sony PS3 until 30th November. Existing network users, can buy Angels and Demons and get a voucher for The DaVinci Code.

The Christmas period could prove very interesting this year, as with the schools on holiday and probably many firms taking extended holidays there may be lots of people at home playing games, watching movies or using the various free streaming services on the games consoles. At least by using downloads, while it might be frustrating to wait for a download to complete, it does play content as a download rather than streaming it, so buffering is not an issue. (You can enjoy buffering if you want to, by electing to play the video while it is still downloading). Also the PS3 is not tied into only downloading a film; background downloads are supported, but we do not recommend trying any online gaming with a large download underway.

Comments

Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
Could finally be something to use my 11Mb/s on. I can kick a download off at lunch time and it should be ready for the evening. What it needs is an application front end so that I can queue up titles and have it do just that on Saturday/Sunday. That would probably be cheaper than Lovefilm.
Posted by jondigidol over 7 years ago
I have 50 mb Broadband from Virgin Media but found the film download of an HD rental yesterday really slow. I tested the ISP connection but it was 49mb. I think it was downloading at 4-5mb. Could this be Sony's problem. I think this service will be a great stepping stone to get other companies to invest in the same thing however a bit worried if I can't take advantage of the NGN speeds.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
It may be a Sony issue, hard to say, needs some VM staff to comment
Posted by pigfister over 7 years ago
remember that you are only renting them videos you supposedly purchase, as the drm blocks you from moving it to a permanent storage & you are restricted to only a couple of downloads so if you wipe it from your hard drive or your ps3 goes down or you purchase a larger hard drive be prepared to purchase the content you already brought yet again.

sony's new model is charge at every possible opportunity & remove your rights.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
PS3 allows you to move purchased content onto the backup and then down again onto the newer hard drive. This works for games purchased over the PS3 network.

And while some will say evil corporate Sony, the other console manufacturers are doing the same.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
Have now viewed the download I did last night, 8Mbps AVC codec on a HD file, and on a 40" it is around Sky HD quality. Still not the same as a Blu-ray.

Much better picture that SD freeview or satellite feeds.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
I know I'm only renting but that's fine as long as the price is comparable with Lovefilm. I have no interest in 'owning' a film. Most films I only watch once anyway. Same with TV programmes.
Posted by gmoorc over 7 years ago
Only seems to be 2ch audio on the descriptions for the HD content I have checked! Seems an odd decision.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Tried it today, quality IMO is poor compared to a bluray or HD DVD (compression is still an issue for blocks of a single colour and blacks, causingg blocky edging). Its about the same as a good DVD.
Pigfisher you are wrong, the BUY not rent content is encoded with open MPEG4 compression codec in a few containers such as AVC and later on MKV, you can copy the file off your PS3.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
While I can see the compression (for those not sure where to look, the edge of someones arm against a different colour background shows it nicely) when at 1 foot from screen, at viewing distance it is pretty good. Given the quality levels people accept from Freeview I think HD is a fair tag.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Dont get me wrong its better quality than some other legal services, but its nowhere near bluray and similar. Pricing for some films is not that good either, theres a few you can go and buy the actual disk for the same or less if you look around. I may use it now and again, but blockbuster is where i will still rent and amazon, play and similar where i will still buy.
Posted by cjbell68 over 7 years ago
Can't comment on the offering in detail, but was immediately struck by AndrueC's comment about using his 11Mb connection.

So, given how ideal it is to have sufficient bandwidth for downloading in a reasonable time - hopefully this will be a way to drive demand for faster services.
Posted by m101dream over 7 years ago
i download my torrent i have over 1000 films all in HD avc 5.1 surround sound files all work great on my 46" samsung and i have 500GB hard drive on PS3 quality much better then sky believe me and the size is around 2GB most films latest film i have G.I Joe in HD, Taking of Pelam 123 , Heat the 1995 movie is absolutely beautiful
Posted by m101dream over 7 years ago
go and torrent them don't buy share people and save money and size i do this all on BT option 3 at night with 7Mps at £25 with no download limit so am downloading 200GB average monthly i also have 1TB hard drive 500GB hard drive and 320GB network drive plus my 500GB ps3 hard drive
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
I trust that if someone wants to borrow your car that you don't complain, if they leave a polite note promising to return it the next week.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
^^^ LOL Andrew, i dont think m101dream realises how easy a target he will be under new powers, no idea either how he thinks a 2gig file will be true HD, i imagine as usual he thinks just the resolution makes something HD, his 2gig torrent downloads (probably xvid or x264) will look rubbish compared to bluray and the framerates wont be 50 or 60fps but the regular 24-25fps. Still if he is happy thats all what counts.
Posted by ellacitymick over 7 years ago
@m101dream........... You are a muppet!!
Posted by pigfister over 7 years ago
just remember people any content you [i]purchase[/i] from the psn you do not own, you are not allowed to lend it, sell it or even give it away for free.

digital download licence agreements are removing our rights of ownership, purchase the dvd or cd people don't allow sony to destroy the second hand market.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"just remember people any content you [i]purchase[/i] from the psn you do not own, you are not allowed to lend it, sell it or even give it away for free.

digital download licence agreements are removing our rights of ownership, purchase the dvd or cd people don't allow sony to destroy the second hand market."

I suggest you go read the copyright on the back of a DVD, same thing applies, you are not permitted to loan it, resell it, broadcast it etc etc etc.... PSN downloads do not have any lesser rights than many DVDs have.
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