ScreenSelect – the British Netflix?

I have started renting DVDs from ScreenSelect. Overall, the service is pretty good. I do have a couple of complaints, though:

  • They do not necessarily have in stock all the DVDs they are listing on their site. Some have not been released yet, some have a anticipated date of release, some don’t. This was a bit of a disappointment, as some DVDs I’ve found only there were not apparently available.
  • There is no information on the current status of a DVD. I like to anticipate what DVD I can request, and this is easier if I know that it is in high demand.
  • The pre-selection process is not flexible enough. There are only 3 levels, meaning that if you have 10 titles in the 1st level (“ASAP”), you have no idea which one they will be sending in priority.

I also suspect that they ship in priority titles for which they have the most copies available. For example, I’ve had the Lodger in my highest priority list, along with other more mundane things like Friends, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and various works by Woody Allen. Well, it always seems that the most popular ones are being sent first, meaning that I might never get the Lodger (considering I add more titles once in a while to the top priority list).

Anyway, all in all, it is a pretty good service and the price seems fair (I have the 15£/month deal, the equivalent of 2 cinema tickets or 3 DVD rentals in the place I used to go 4 years ago).

About Eric Lefevre-Ardant

Independent technical consultant.
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