Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Lovefilm, Hate Broadband



The British DVD by post rental business bought by Amazon is being closed down.


Commerically, this makes sense, but it does throw up a couple of issues for movie buffs across the country.


The first one is that of broadband. iPlayer, let alone Amazon Prime, is a pipe dream in the village where I live in Wales (despite paying the same licence fee as everyone else). Fibre was promised in September 2015 after the Welsh Assembly Government paid vast sums to BT. But nothing has happened, and now the latest estimate is some time in 2018. I'll believe it when I see it. There are plenty of other places in the UK suffering similarly through government and Ofcom incompetence and timidity.


Even the local shop has stopped stocking DVDs for rental, thanks largely to the likes of Lovefilm. So the only option is to buy DVDs from, oh, you guessed it, Amazon, for the same price each as a monthly subscription. A huge financial penalty on those already struggling to send and receive email.


The second issue is broader. The actual choice of movies, even that can be paid for, is pretty variable across all the online services. The focus has been on box sets, with studios still hoping to preserve their theatrical release windows for feature films. 


Finding cult, niche and international movies is even more difficult still and often involves trawling across multiple services using one search function after the next. (How about a meta search service, Roku ?)