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Playstation Video Store Impressions


The Playstation Video Store was launched in Europe last month and I got round to watching a couple of movies to test the service out.

First up I purchased Quentin Tarentino’s Inglorious Basterds (£11.99), at the moment you can only purchase movies in standard definition which is disappointing but the quality is about as good as upscaling a DVD through the PS3. The best feature about the video store without doubt is the fact that you can watch whilst the film is downloading. On the XMB go to Network > Downloads and then press triangle and select play, your movie will start instantly and not stop or skip at all. Its fantastic that you are able to watch a movie instantly and in full download quality as opposed to the video being streamed. Unfortunately I couldn’t say the same superlatives about the movie…

Here’s a screenshot of the specs for a downloaded SD film;

SD films can be transferred from PS3 to PSP and its a simple process of selecting the video, pressing triangle and within 10 mins a 2 gig video is on your PSP and ready to watch on the go. The picture quality is perfect and sound is good when using headphones. You can even connect the PSP to a TV to watch the film on the big screen although as its not connected via HDMI the quality will not be as good as using a PS3.

Next I rented The Exorcist in HD (£3.49) HD films are only available to rent but Sony have told me they are looking into making them available to purchase in the future. The HD quality is 720p which might seem disappointing at first but when you take into account that it took me the best part of a day to download almost 7 gigs of movie I’m not too disappointed there is no 1080p. So that means watching whilst downloading, (like you could with an SD film) is out of the question or at least until it is much closer to finishing. As it can take so long I recommend not watching the movie until it completes because as soon as you press play the 48 hour deadline to finish watching the film will kick in. The picture quality is fantastic especially when considering I was watching a film made in 1973, the sound was also of equal quality and tech heads wishing to see the full specs can take a look at the screenshot below;

Its worth noting that films will automatically be restricted with parental control on the PS3’s default settings. I had never touched them before and didn’t know my code, if you have never set it before the default is 0000. You can easily turn this off by going to Settings > Security Settings.

The Playstation Video service is great in terms of practicality, you can easily select movies when you want and the actual video files are of a high quality. Unfortunately how good the service is to you is dependant on how fast your internet connection is. The progressive download function is a life saver in this respect and at least with SD films almost all broadband users should be able to watch a movie instantly, just plan ahead when you want to rent an HD film though.

* This review was paid for by SCEE via a £20 network card, movies were chosen by the reviewer with one HD rental (The Exorcist) and one SD purchase (Inglorious Basterds).