DVD Rental-by-Post

I've just signed up for a free trial of Film Four's DVD Rental Service. There are tons of these rent-by-post services around now, with seemingly every company trying to get in on the act, from Amazon to Blockbuster.

As a flat, we tend to watch a lot of DVDs. We own quite a lot between us, and tend to buy new DVDs when we see them cheap. We also recently joined the local branch of Blockbuster, which is rubbish (hardly any stock, and when you do find something you want, it's invariably already out.

So, we've been talking about joining a rent-by-post service for a while, but it was only today that I decided to take the plunge and try out FilmFour.

Why FilmFour? Well, for starters, I heard about their service from being on their opt-in mailing list (so SPAM can work, sometimes). Secondly, I quite like FilmFour as a company - their films tend to be quite good, their website's ok, and they're one of the only companies actively promoting British filmmaking.

However, their price (12.99 a month for unlimited rentals, 2 at a time) seems reasonable (though I haven't compared it to too many companies), and there's no minimum contract. Their rental website seems well designed too. Adding films to your rental queue is painless, as they use javascript, meaning you don't have to leave the page. The search works well, and there's also several easy ways to browse: by genre, decade, alphabetically, mood, and highest rated. On top of these, there's also some decent content: reviews from Time Out, editorials from Tom Charity, current cinema release information, and lists of film festival winners.

I particularly like the lists of good films from past years. They hit the nail on the head when they say:

We've all done it. Made note of a film we really, really wanted to see but somehow never managed to catch it at the cinema. Next thing you know a year's gone by - maybe even two - and by now even the name of the movie escapes you. We aim to refresh your memories, with a list of some of the best and brightest films...

...I'm always doing this, and I much prefer renting old films that I never got round to seeing in cinema than simply renting films I've seen before and liked (which everyone seems to do). You can even help prevent this from happening by pre-ordering films which are out now and in your consciousness, before you forget about them.

All in all, it looks good. Now I just have to sit back and wait for the DVDs to arrive...

P.S If you decide to give the site a try too, enter frankie@frankieroberto.com as a referral...