Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) on Tuesday announced a new video delivery service through its PlayStation Store that will enable PlayStation 3 and PSP console users to watch movies, TV shows and original programming alike.
The new service launches with almost 300 full-length movies and more than 1,200 TV episodes, many available in both Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD) formats. Studios participating in the new service include 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate Entertainment, MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Bros. Entertainment. The Walt Disney Studios and television broadcasters are also participating.
Users use the same login as the PlayStation Network to access the video content, and can search by title, producer, studio and cast. The download is progressive, so users can begin to watch video shortly after the downloading process has begun, similar to how it works on Apple's iTunes Store. You can also download in the background, so you can use your PS3 to play games and access other content through the XrossMediaBar (XMB) interface.
Movie rentals are priced from $2.99 to $5.99, and they're good for 14 days (once you start playing back a movie, you have 24 hours to finish it, again, like the Apple Store). Purchasing movies costs from $9.99 to $14.99.
Marlin Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology is being used to protect the content, but it allows videos to be shared on multiple activated devices (depending on the type of content). And users can transfer videos from their PS3 to a PSP handheld console, so you can watch videos on the run.
The PS3 can already view videos on a host PC, Mac or network appliance on the same network employing Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support—Nullriver Software makes a Mac OS X application called MediaLink to help facilitate this. But this gives PS3 users another way to watch premium video content without having to rip DVDs or to download video illicitly from the Internet.