Lovefilm by Post to cease in October

I was gutted to receive an e-mail today to say that the Lovefilm by Post service will cease at the end of October.  I have used this service for 10 years now and it has been really excellent.

Unfortunately, such are the issues with our BT infrastructure here in the countryside, I cannot reliably stream any video content so my options are limited to physical media.  It's a shame as it will mean having to buy discs and so I will think twice about taking risks on certain films.

The end of an era I guess.  Unless anyone can recommend a decent alternative to Lovefilm by Post.

Original Post

I got that email too. We don't have broadband that is either fast enough or reliable enough for effective streaming. I still want a physical disc service.

To be fair Lovefilm lately has become poor; with faulty discs and delayed/wrong choices etc so not terribly sad it is ending.

I hope Cinema Paradiso 'delivers' (sorry). It seems to get decent reviews from users.

Bruce

Trevor, thanks.  I shall check out Cinema Paradiso.  Something tells me they are going to get a fair bit of new business from this decision.  I guess it makes sense for Amazon to try to steer Lovefilm by Post users towards one of their online services, but I imagine the market for a physical rental outlet is still very much there.

Bruce, I haven't had any faulty discs or wrong choices yet from LF, although I have noticed that the speed with which discs are turned around - i.e. discs received and new ones then despatched - has slowed considerably in the past 6 months.

Richard Dane posted:

I was gutted to receive an e-mail today to say that the Lovefilm by Post service will cease at the end of October.  I have used this service for 10 years now and it has been really excellent.

Unfortunately, such are the issues with our BT infrastructure here in the countryside, I cannot reliably stream any video content so my options are limited to physical media.  It's a shame as it will mean having to buy discs and so I will think twice about taking risks on certain films.

The end of an era I guess.  Unless anyone can recommend a decent alternative to Lovefilm by Post.

Sorry to hear that, they seemed like a very good service to me, shame its finishing, despite all the promises BT remains very poor in rural areas where people really do need a better service. Here in La France profonde, we manage around 9.0 Mb/s down & about 0.85 on the up which is very acceptable & theres a roll of purple stuff steadily making its way towards our village .

Gary Shaw posted:

I was with Lovefilm for several years but the wait for new films got longer and more spotty and subsequently got seduced by Sky. But I do miss the back catalogue that, for example, allowed me to explore Studio Ghibli and the like. 

Alas the catalogue on Sky is shockingly poor along with the compression rates for the money - and I really only use it because our rural broadband is too slow for much better at the moment, and I do enjoy the sport in UHD...

However I have recently discovered Amazon Video on prime - and its free to prime members catalogue appears pretty similar to slightly better than Sky Cinema. I have started experimenting streaming HDR and regular HD Amazon video over our 3.8Mbps link - and it works. The key thing is the Amazon app is adaptive and so increases or decreases the resolution on available bandwidth. Streaming acceptable HD/HDR video to 55" OLED panel now appears just about viable over a 3.8Mbps rural link. Yes if you are much below this in speed bets are probably off - but worth a try?

Simon

 

By the way, if your line drops when the phone rings that does point bad house wiring and/or bad DSL filters, which is so is going to make your ADSL unreliable and slower than it should be.... worth getting BT to rewire your phone sockets and master socket unless you are absolutely confident it is all tip top. However it sounds like you have an ADSL 'long line' ... and these are slightly different beasts to regular ADSL, and you can sometimes ask to have your line fixed at 2Mbps or slower for improved reliability.

A house a third a mile away from me in my village off the same cabinet and main wiring loom has the same as you... 1.5 To 2 Mbps, unreliable, and disconnection with phone ringing and told not much BT can do to improve, and I get 3.8Mbps ... fairly rock solid other than ionospheric noise which one can do nothing about unless change planet... but I had BT re do my wiring my side of the master socket demarcation and put a new master socket/master ADSL socket in with a primary filter... So who ever advised not likely to improve you should qualify their advice and ask how they tested your house wiring... a lot of mis information on xDSL... it actually get quite technical and equally reliant on domestic wiring that the house holder is responsible for.

Again for mobile have you checked all networks and considered and/or roaming sims/or mobile home repeater (though check approved for connection to your network such as Cel-fi) with an antenna mounted high in your house? The best networks to try are O2 and Vodaphone as they use the lower GSM 850/900MHz band and that is better for longer distance and less attenuated. IT in the country side can be quite different from what the townies and suburbanites are used too... it sometimes need looking a bit below the covers to get it to work for you... I end up giving a fair amount of advice around where I live on this..but of course there are some genuine complete 'not spots' ... and then Satellite is your friend ... that is universal across the U.K.

Simon

Appreciate your comments and suggestions. We've changed microfilters several times without stopping the dropout issue and the master socket was rewired just a month ago (we had a hub apparently damaged by lightning/power outage so the engineer came). No improvement. I do wonder if our old DECT phones are a problem causing broadband dropouts when it is answered and may change them soon.

My two neighbours get the same issues (and speed) which makes me feel OK that it is not our problem. I don't really want to get an engineer to install lots of new wiring and find nothing has changed as actually this speed is fine for the usage we have. I have no desire or need to stream TV or music.

As for mobile I can just about get O2 in some of the upstairs windows of the house. This bothers me not a jot as I rarely use my mobile even when I do have coverage.

Bruce

Ditto about the email. Been using LoveFilm (and, prior to that its predecessor, DVDs365) for no less than thirteen years. Will also have a jolly good look at Cinema Paradiso.

A variation on Richard's original request: we've just started using Netflix as a streaming service, which works fine but the selection of films that I want to watch isn't great. I know this has (certainly historically) been part of Netflix's business model - 'tonnes of films, just not many you've heard of' - but I've just spent a dispiriting half hour searching Netflix for all the films that are currently on my LoveFilm list and I managed to find a paltry 5 out of 31. I'm not after terribly obscure stuff either: they don't even have a single version of Macbeth (I'm after the Fassbender version). No Whiplash, no Eyes in the Sky, the list goes on.

Unlike many people above, we are in the fortunate position of having a good fast internet connection so streaming isn't out of the question. Can anyone therefore recommend a streaming service which is more likely to fit my needs than Netflix currently does? Amazon Prime seems superficially tempting (a bit cheaper than Cinema Paradiso at £6.58 per month if you pay annually) but it'd be nice to support a company that has a better tax-paying record.

Suggestions please.

Mark

I've used CinemaParadiso for a while (albeit on one of their cheaper packages as they were a bit more than LF) and they are pretty good - operationally no different than LF. They do seem to carry everything and when I found something they didn't have emailed them and the added it - they also carry some 4k titles, which I don't think LF ever did.

I've had some pretty fun but obscure titles come without delay (I'm about to watch Breakin' - I never even knew it had been release on UK DVD). I'm not sure how they will do with new titles at the moment - I guess they have a lot of new people joining up who all want Fury Road or some such. But why not get Beat Street instead (I'm working my way through 80s New York films at the moment ...)

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