Video Unlimited, like Music Unlimited, aims to offer a huge media selection to users of Sony products. While it’s currently in preview, the app is available to everyone via the PlayStation Store, and is worth checking out if you want an easy and reasonably priced option for watching movies and TV on your PlayStation 3.
The service itself is pretty straightforward, offering movies & TV, new & old, in a library that matches most other services out there. The pricing appears, for the most part, on-par with other services, and when compared to iTunes, movies in HD and SD to buy were the same price, but it’s $1 cheaper to rent an HD movie in iTunes than it is from Video Unlimited.
The implementation of the Video Unlimited app is really where it falters, feeling clumsy and not fully fleshed-out yet. For example, if you buy a movie it won’t show up as “purchased” in the Video Unlimited interface, there’s not even a “My Purchases” menu item. Instead, you have to go back to the PS3′s XMB interface, over to the Video menu, then scroll through the list of videos installed on your PS3. It’s a very awkward implementation and nowhere near as seemless as it is on other platforms, where the app is also a container for the content. Along with the weird choice of where to put your video purchases, the installation of the app itself needs work. On the 1st Generation PS3 we used, we had to figure out how to download the app, after finally downloading it, there was an immediate update available, and after that we had to activate the PS3 to allow it to view the content. Seeing as this was a video app, when prompted to choose between activating video or games, we chose video. Yet, the app wouldn’t run unless we chose both. If it’s going to force you to activate both, why present two options, which will just confuse the average user?
Unlike Sony Music Unlimited, which is in full release, Video Unlimited is still in a preview state – so take any complaints with a grain of salt – as the app and service may change before their official release. For now, it offers a very good selection of movies and TV shows, at competitive prices. Sure, the interface could use some work, but it is in “preview” mode, so there’s plenty of time to change things before it becomes a finalized product.