An unforeseen casualty of the Internet, the traditional DVD/video rental shop has all but disappeared off the face of the UK high street, save for the mighty presence of Blockbuster video. I don't think we ever really used to see video or DVD rental as a particularly expensive thing until the likes of Love Film came along and made us all realise just how much money we were paying for the occasional film rental.
Membership of LoveFilm
Love Film is probably the market leader for online DVD rental in the UK. Heavily marketed, there are always offers on introductory memberships, and if you don't get your first month free and/or earn some cash back somewhere, you're either clueless or lazy. More and more of my friends and family seem to be joining Love Film, each with their own variation on membership, which amply demonstrates just how flexible the whole thing can be.
There are a number of membership options at Love Film. You can choose to receive either films or games or a combination of the two. You can go for an unlimited membership (that is, you can have either 1 2 or 3 titles on loan at any one time, with no limit to the amount you receive in a month provided you send them back) or a fixed membership where you have, say, up to 4 titles per calendar month. The prices reflect this, but the very best value comes from the most expensive options. 3 unlimited, for example, currently costs £15.65 per month, but if you're a committed film viewer and you don't fall foul of other circumstances, you can easily clear 20 films in a month. I'll let you work out how much per movie that actually means that you pay.You have to sign up to Love Film but there's no contract period so if you join, do it for two months and change your mind, there's no obligation. You can either pay as a monthly subscription (debited by credit or debit card) or as an annual subscription, with a fair discount if you pre-pay for the year via the latter option. You can change your subscription at any time (increasing or decreasing your commitment) but beware that if you do this mid-month, you might lose out when downgrading, as they will assume the new, cheaper term commences from the time you request the change. If the account goes unpaid for whatever reason, they'll put a stop on it and send you a reminder, but they're not particularly snotty about such things, generally assuming it's a genuine mistake.
Selecting Your Films
Once you've signed up, you'll need to build a rental list of films that you want to see. This isn't a rapid task and it's likely that it will take you a little while to think of all the films you want to see. Once you've selected and viewed some films, they'll try and make it easier for you by making recommendations whenever you log in, but these are very hit and miss. If you rate a particular horror film highly, surprise surprise, you'll get another horror film, and then it'll all shift over when you watch and like a romantic comedy. If you watch a lot of films, this feature is almost next to useless, partly because you'll have a good idea of what you like and partly because they'll keep suggesting films that you've already seen.