Testing LoveFilm on PS3 with the Pet Shop Boys

Mail-order movie rental company LoveFilm have launched their PS3 console service this week. Full-subscribers pay out £9.99 to gain access to a library of DVD-quality films, concerts, documentaries and other TV programmes which can be streamed direct on to the TV if available. DVD and Blu-Ray copies can also be ordered via the console, delivered a few days later.

£9.99 a month? What? That’s like £120 a year. Not a bad subscription rate – comparable you might say. There’s a thought. Pay a monthly rate and gain access to a library of stuff you can watch on the TV whenever you want. I wonder whether that idea will catch on. I wonder.

The application works well. The interface design is pleasingly clean. Realistic user experience design and efficient code make the application a pleasing one to use. I like the fact that if I’m searching for a programme title it will adapt the navigational options for ‘Watch Now’, ‘DVD’ and ‘Blu-Ray’ appearing according to availability. The fast-forward function works well (multiple speed options available by hitting the R3 button on the controller), although I can see how some might consider the lack of visual scrubbing to be a failing. Personally, I don’t.

My Saturday afternoon spent nosing around the LoveFilm library saw me peer at the Norwegian film Let the Right One In, momentarily forget how bad Carry on Cleo and settle down cosily on the sofa with the Pet Shop Boys’ live gig from the Savoy Theatre, London. Lead singer Tennant looked surprisingly young and handsome while Chris Lowe did his usual ‘I’m not really doing anything’ schtick. But both were – understandably and probably deliberately – upstaged by their backing vocalist Sylvia Mason James. She is fantastic.

By far the most entertaining was a near-acoustic performance of a classic PSB track Rent. One beautiful crowd pleaser.

Although their (surely ironic?) mix of Somewhere from West Side Story proves that just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. I mean really, who really thought this was a good idea?

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