Sony Launches PS3 Movie and TV Service

The biggest ‘news’ out of Sony’s E3 press event earlier this week was the U.S. launch of the previously announced Playstation video service. Sony, Fox, MGM, Lion’s Gate, Warner, Disney, Paramount and Turner Entertainment have partnered with Sony to provide movie and TV content for the on-demand download service. The system uses progressive downloads so users can watch as a movie/TV show as it downloads. Sony says content is playable a minute or so after ordering. Purchased content only plays on PS3 and PSP. No PC, iPod, iPhone or other device support was announced. No word yet on whether rentals will be available for viewing for longer than the usual 24 hours.

Note: While the previous announcement stated that a service like this would be made available ‘world-wide’, I checked my PS3 in Canada and there was no such content available. Note the “video” button circled in red in the picture above (click for larger view). If it isn’t there, no movies for you!

[Update from Dave: Blogsphere chatter indicates the PlayStation video network won’t hit the UK until 2009.]

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10 thoughts on “Sony Launches PS3 Movie and TV Service”

  1. I downloaded “10,000 B.C.” in HD last night. It took about 8 hours. The file is available for 14 days until you start to watch it. Then it sticks around for 24 hours after that. I believe TiVo/Amazon is similar.
    Slim pickin’s for HD stuff right now.

    I haven’t watched it yet to see how the quality is.

  2. Most rentals on the Vudu box are 30 days to start, 24 hrs to watch. They do offer the ‘discount to extend another 24 hrs’
    I haven’t rented from Amazon in a while, but if I recall correctly it was the same 30days/24hrs.
    It looks like Sony might be using it’s might to shorten that ‘to start watching’ time frame.

  3. I downloaded Lars and the real girl in HD last night.. it took me like 6 hours +. I have yet to watch it either to see the quality but I hope to tonight. Overall its ok but no tv shows in HD, No movie Purchases in HD(only rental), and at 5.99 for an HD rental, why not just get netflix for $8 a month and get many more blu-ray disks for an extra dollar or two..

  4. I download the SD version of “Meet the Spartans” (don’t laugh – I hardly did watching it). Anyway, on my 60″ Sony the SD picture was very impressive. The PS3 upconverted it to 1080P.

    I have Netflix, so I think I would only use the PS3 service if I wanted to see a new release movie and not have to wait for Netflix.

  5. For those with 6 and 8 hour download times can you post what your Internet download speeds are. I rented Blade Runner the Directors Cut in HD over my 360 a few months ago (it was gorgeous) on a theoretcial 8 Gb download connection from Rogers. I say theoretical becaues it rarely measures more than 5 Gb in real download sped.

    I only had to wait 6 MINUTES before I could start watching and then I watched the whole movie without interruption. It downloaded ahead of me as I was watching and I never caught up to the point where it was still downloading as I watched – it pulled ahead of me. I have it written down somewhere but I belive the download took about 75% of viewing time.

    I’d be very surprised if the PS3 is any different on connections with “true” high speed connections.


  6. @Dale when the Xbox movie service launched (in the US), initially the download speeds were also horrible and similar. I assume an initial surge in traffic and not being prepared? Hopefully it’s the samewith Sony… because 6-8 hours as SOP to too long.

  7. I concur with Dave Zatz.

    btw, I have 10 down, 1 up, and still had around a 7-8 hour download. Hell, a trailer took 2 hours.

    Comparing the PS3 to the 360 in this aspect is flawed. That goes for total number sales (360 had a year head start) and download speeds for movies, again the 360 had a head start and time to iron out everything.

  8. After just watching Lars and the Real Girl, in HD, I must say the video quality is great. It wasnt quite Blu-Ray good, but it was of very high PQ. I guess Im just used to watching Amazon Unbox quality but to see a real HD download was amazing. I cant wait for amazon to offer HD downloads to the TiVo, since I prefer unbox to ps3 where video is stuck to the one machine.

  9. I downloaded Dumbo and All the Kings Men in SD – I watched Dumbo while it was still downloading and it was perfect – no issues. I still have to try HD.

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