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LOVEFilm loves the Playstation 3
Wednesday 10 November 2010 14:17:11 by Andrew Ferguson

Games consoles have moved well beyond being just games consoles, the Sony PS3 has now gained a LoveFilm application that allows LoveFilm subscribers to watch a large part of their film catalogue instantly over their broadband connection.

The application is available as an icon on the PS3 video menu, which downloads a small (2MB) application that once you sign in with your LoveFilm account details will let you browse their catalogue, select films for delivery, or watch it instantly on the PS3.

This is not the first film service on the PS3, but since viewing is included as part of a new or existing dvd/blu-ray rental service, it is substantially different to the main PS3 video store where rentals cost £2.50 to £4.50 per play.

In terms of how good the service is, do not expect Blu-ray quality, it is more inline with the quality of Freeview, but does look a little better than the equivalent film played over the existing PC based LoveFilm streaming service. Bit rate calcuted from playing a 2 hour long movie was 1560Kbps (Kilo bits per second) giving a total usage figure of 1.4GB (GigaBytes), so those on slower or congested broadband services may not have much success. In this respect the download rather than streamed model used by Sony's own video store is better for those on slower connections.

The arrival of a film service with a large catalogue and at a fixed monthly fee is something that has been missing from the market. The cheapest package that allows streaming to the PS3 is £5.99 which gives 2 disc rentals per month, and 2 hours online streaming, £7.99 gets you 4 discs per month and four hours of streaming, unlimited viewing starts at £9.99 per month.

Comments

Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
1.5Mb/s - I might actually use that. Not for anything major but there's one or two old films I might be prepared to watch after they've been squeezed through 1.5Mb/s by a decent encoder.
Posted by icanhazinternet over 6 years ago
You've actually been able to do this with competing site blinkbox.com since May. They also let you pay-as-you-go rather than having to sign-up for the top-end subscription package.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
£9.99 is far from their top-end package, and quality appears better than BlinkBox based on what I've seen.

Blinkbox is simply a website compatible with the PS3 browser. LoveFilm is a full PS3 application.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Quality seems quite reasonable. Definitely worth exploring especially since my subscription gives me unlimited viewing.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
I've seen the quality called DVD, perhaps if you view the DVD on a 1080p TV and no decent upscaling is taking place.

Hopefully in time, a higher bit rate option may appear. For the big movies blu-ray and this for the rest seems not unreasonable, and handy if you have kids as a selection of kids films available.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Yeah, it's not DVD quality but at least it's watchable on a big screen which is more than you can say for their PC version.

As a supplement to the disc service it's adequate. If I was stuck for anything else to do on a rainy day I'd happily watch a couple of minor films.
Posted by GeeTee over 6 years ago
Why should the ISPs pay to supply the bandwidth for such offerings for the likes of LoveFilm and Sony to profit from while at the same time being expected to provide DSL/VDSL services at c. £10/month price points?

Without ISP network based distribution infratructure this will fail. Be that due to package limits or throttling. Single-cast is not sustainable.
Posted by ian72 over 6 years ago
Tried it last night but kept on getting connection errors on the movie I was trying to watch. Maybe too many people trying it out...
@GeeTee - ISPs choose what packages to offer. I pay my ISP for bandwidth and choose to use that for Lovefilm. It is the consumer that should pay, not Lovefilm. I would rather pay the ISP for the bandwidth I want rather than pay Lovefilm for the bandwidth for a service I may not use. You seem to think Lovefilm create the traffic - they don't, the ISP customer does and that is who should pay.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
@GeeTee:What ISP are you using? I use Be Unlimited. It costs a bit more but - funnily enough - they don't shape traffic and I don't suffer from congestion. They could probably give me 1.5Mb/s 24/7/365 with half their servers tied behind their backs :)
Posted by GeeTee over 6 years ago
@ian72 - I agree the consumer should pay. Question is, will they? Or will the millions of subs lured by the lowest price "unlimited" packages just expect to be able to take advantage of such things?

@AndrueC - O2 Pro. For the same reason as you use Be no doubt.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Strange that you had problems then. What time were you trying to use the service? I gave it a brief spin around 1730 then another hour around 2000.

I'd not be surprised if LoveFilm had capacity issues mind you. Their web site has been slow and clunky for a couple of years now.
Posted by GeeTee over 6 years ago
@AndrueC - it wasn't me having the issues it was ian72. Haven't tried it myself.
Posted by icanhazinternet over 6 years ago
@andrew
Does the LoveFilm app carry Sony titles?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
Name a Sony title you are looking for and will look.

As for problems, not sure if it was capacity or the PS3 app that had issues, but did glitch a few times last night.
Posted by icanhazinternet over 6 years ago
@andrew How about Mona Lisa Smile?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
Nope - Mike Newell's MONA LISA SMILE is only available for disc rental, not online viewing.

Believe everything available for PC streaming, is also available on PS3.
Posted by zyborg47 over 6 years ago
i am on the lowest Lovefilm package at the moment, which don't offer films online, to do that I have to upgrade, which I would do, but if I upgraded and then the service is useless then I am stuck, because the package I am on have been discontinued

Maybe if Lovefilm gave me a trial for even one film just so I can sii if it worth paying the extra £2.00 a month for.


i got two DVDs a month and to be honest that suits me.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
Last night was a stutter fest, but connection was otherwise fine.
Posted by acpsd775 over 6 years ago
@zyborg47 they do a 30 trial for ps3 streaming
i started using the service today and i actually think the service is pretty good quality no glitches or streaming problems i think its as good at BBC iplayer at least and to me its better quality than the pc streaming s i give them a thumbs up for this just need sky player working now and ill be well happy lol
Posted by ian72 over 6 years ago
I think it has the same films as the PC service but it didn't seem to have any of the TV series (I was going to use it to watch Shameless). As far as problems I haven't got around to trying it again - suspect it was probably just a glitch on the first night but will give it another shot some time.
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