Movies and TV on your PS3 and PSPAs I mentioned a few days ago (see here) Sony have been working on a video-on-demand service to let us buy and rent movies and TV episodes through the PS3. Well, its now been launched in the US after an announcement at the E3 event.
They currently have nearly 300 full length movies and more than 1200 TV episodes available with many in both SD (standard definition) and HD (high definition) formats. They allow renting or purchasing of videos from studios including Sony Pictures Entertainment (no surprise there), 20th Century Fox, MGM Studios, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Disney Studios, Lionsgate Entertainment and a variety of television partners. And to think the Internet scaremongers were worried the studios weren't signing up! If you rent a movie you get 14 days to view it, but once you start viewing it you get 24 hours to watch it as many times as you like. Renting movies costs between $2.99 (£1.50) and $5.99 (£3.00) and buying movies costs between $9.99 (£5.00) and $14.99 (£7.50). They are using the Marlin Digital Rights Management system to protect the video content which also allows you to copy your video to your PSP to watch on the move too - a brilliant feature if you have one.
The whole thing ties in with your PSN (Playstation Network) login account and is integrated into the PSN Store so each video can be categorised and searched. The progressive download feature of the PS3 means you can start viewing video as its downloading too so you don't have to wait until its completely finished, or you can download it in the background while you play games or do other things.
The only sad thing so far is that there is no timeframe for when this service is coming to Europe or the rest of the world. I wouldn't have thought the video format would be a major problem (PAL and NTSC etc. aren't really that relevant when talking of digital video downloads although users of non-HD televisions may need a specific format) but I expect the worldwide licensing and distribution rights probably need to be sorted out. Lets hope its soon.