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LOVEFiLM

DadsDinner.com Review Updated 14/05/08

DadsDinner.com features reviews of films and videogames of particular interest to fathers of young children, alongside useful tips on how to survive everything from potty training to zombie invasion. A dad's freetime is precious, limited and liable to be cut short in an extremely messy fashion at any moment -- why waste it on a game that won't let you save when you need to or a movie with substandard explosions? Providing guidance and entertainment, Dadsdinner.com proves that leaving a man in charge of children doesn't always mean a dog's breakfast.
What is LOVEFiLM? An online rental service for games and DVDs.

Price: Subscription plans include:

  • £7.99 - 2 DVDs at a time, up to 4 rentals a month
  • £12.99 - 2 DVDs at a time, unlimited rentals
  • £15.99 - 3 DVDs at a time, unlimited rentals
  • £14.99 - 2 DVDs/games at a time, unlimited rentals
  • £18.99 - 3 DVDs/games at a time, unlimited rentals
Subscriptions are paid monthly. If you sign up for six months in advance, however, there is a discount equivalent to one month free.

How does it work?


  1. You pay a monthly subscription based on the number of discs you can have on loan at a time.

  2. Via LOVEFiLM's website, you create a list of films/games you'd like to rent. You look through the online catalogue, click on the ones you want and give them a high, medium or low priority according to how desperate you are to receive them. You can choose any game from any console that they stock.

  3. LOVEFiLM sends the discs nearest to the top of your list that they have available.

  4. You watch/play them and then send them back in individual, pre-paid envelopes when you're done. You can keep discs as long as you like.

  5. When LOVEFiLM gets a disc back, they send another from your list.
A new pay-as-you-go service allows you to buy a block of rental credits that are valid for six months. Everything works as normal but each time a disc is sent out, it costs you a credit (around £2). You still get to keep discs as long as you like (provided you keep your credits topped up). It's a good way to rent movies if you're only going to be watching them every so often. There's no pressure to watch things as soon as they arrive in order to get your money's worth as there is with a subscription.

Items stocked: LOVEFiLM's DVD collection is vast and comprehensive. Their range of Blu-ray discs is growing rapidly as more are released. An HD DVD selection remains for the time being.

Along with films and TV series, LOVEFiLM also stocks PS2, PS3, PSP, DS, GameCube, Wii, Xbox and Xbox 360 games. Older games may not be available and certain games which require extra controllers, like Guitar Hero, can't be rented.

Comments: I've covered the basics of online games rental elsewhere. I even did a mini-review of LOVEFiLM. A couple of things have changed since then, however:

  1. LOVEFiLM's selection of games has vastly improved. Pretty much all new releases on current consoles are now available. Supply seems to be good, too. I've received popular titles like Crackdown, Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror and God of War II as soon as I've put them to the top of my list. Even Grand Theft Auto IV only took a couple of tries.

  2. Multiple lists are in operation. It's possible to have more than one rental list and specify which list your next rental is to be selected from. You could have lists for action films, comedy, TV series, etc, and closely manage what you get to watch. Personally, just being able to differentiate between games and films is all I need - it means I don't have to have a separate subscription with a games rental company any more.

    On my package, I can have three discs out on rental at once. I've got a list for games and a list for films. At the moment, I have two discs from the films list and one from the games list. If I send back a film, I get a film in return. If I send back a game, I get a game in return. A quick click on the website is all that's required, however, to make sure that the next time I return a film, I'll get a game back (or vice versa).
LOVEFiLM has always been a solid choice for DVD rental. Discs are sent out six days a week and turn-around time is speedy (although the end of Sunday collections by the Royal Mail is a real drag. If you watch a film on Saturday, you can't possibly get another one back before Wednesday now.) Customer service responds quickly to emails and deals with common problems effectively. (Geeky suggestions and queries may confuse them, though... (Don't ask.)) Prices are competitive, particularly if you sign up for six months at a time.

Combining this experience and competence with the new improvements means that LOVEFiLM is now also a serious consideration when looking for a games rental service. The choice of games is there and it's at last possible to guarantee the ratio of games to DVDs received, rather than just shoving games to the top of the queue and hoping.

Conclusion: Finally, a combined online DVD and game rental service which is both easy to use and at a reasonable price.

Pros:

  • Very efficient.
  • Good customer service.
  • Decent price.
  • Excellent DVD selection.
  • Wide choice of games.
  • Combined game/DVD packages offer great flexibility.
Cons:

  • No GBA games.
  • The usual online rental quibbles - you don't have exact control over what you're going to get and you're at the mercy of the Royal Mail.
Rating: 5/5.

(Also, check out my tips on how to get the most from online rental).

Conflict of interest warning!: Click through from the ad below and take up a free trial with LOVEFiLM and I'll earn some money, which doesn't make this an entirely disinterested review. On the flip side, however, LOVEFiLM is the rental service I use myself, the trial is free, so is this site, LOVEFiLM is actually good and I have overheads, you know. So don't complain too much. (You can always type the domain name into your browser just to spite me, if you really want.)


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

already on it sorry! what has impressed me is the groups of films you rarely find anywhere,eg older foreign films,or first productions from now celebrated film makers. 6/5 actually.

DadsDinner said...

No worries. Glad you're enjoying it too. I'm saving the 6/5 in case I need it for a review of Bioshock, though.

PS You can always click through and buy something from Amazon... ;-)

Harpreet said...

lovefilm seems to be favorite for most people.

It was rate 5/5 at freedvdtrials.com

http://www.freedvdtrials.com/dvd-rental-reviews/lovefilm-review.htm