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LoveFilm - Interface

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


Let’s look first at the LoveFilm interface, which is actually pretty good for the most part. On Mac we were very impressed by the effort LoveFilm puts into keeping you up to date with the biggest new titles it’s added, and the huge amount of options at your disposal for searching out stuff you want to watch.

Also impressive is the trouble LoveFilm has gone to to make plenty of its vast catalogue of stuff sound interesting, via themed compilations, and connections with new films just launched at the cinema. The success of this sort of thing is greatly bolstered, of course, by the large amounts of content LoveFilm has to draw from.

Plenty to catch the eye

The reasonably small size and presentation of the cover art for titles on all of the internet server pages is good too, in that it allows LoveFilm to draw attention to an awful lot of titles at once, making it more likely that you’ll quickly find something you want to watch.


LoveFilm on a desktop/laptop

It’s good to see as well that LoveFilm understands the importance of HD to many streamers, separating HD out into its own area, and making sure anything that’s available in HD has a clear ‘HD’ logo superimposed on its cover art.

More kudos is due to LoveFilm for the sense of community it’s managed to build up on its site, especially through the huge amount of user scores and reviews available for even the most obscure titles.

Well informed

Finally in the plus column on the Mac LoveFilm home page is the amount of information on each film that pops up when you hold your cursor over a title you’re interested in. Ultimately the whole interface is busy, friendly and useful - pretty much everything you could possibly ask for, in fact.

The iPad interface is very slick too. In fact, it’s one of the best we’ve seen, making full use of all the iPad’s navigational tricks, as well as delivering a logical layout and achieving what feels like a good balance between using manageably large icons yet also populating the screen with plenty of content.

Xbox interface

As for the Xbox, again it’s clear right away that LoveFilm has put considerable effort into optimising the interface for the device, following the general layout favoured (not to everyone’s tastes, it must be said!) by the Xbox’s main interface. This makes it intuitive to use, and again we felt impressed by the ease with which we were able to find content we were interested in watching. The way the system filters movies down with each letter you add into the search field works well too.


We were initially troubled not to easily find any way of filtering films so that only HD titles were shown. But actually the option is there; it’s just unhelpfully hidden away inside the ‘Collections’ menu sub-section.

While we’re on the subject of HD, our explorations reveal that the number of titles available in the high def format isn’t as high as we would have hoped. Of the 50 most recently added titles at the time of our tests, only 10 were available in HD. Or out of 50 films starting with ‘B’, 19 were available in HD. Figures which suggest that somewhere between 20 and 40 per cent of titles are currently available in HD.


Finally we get to the quality of LoveFilm’s latest streaming service. Will the addition of HD and, presumably, some cleverer adaptive streaming technology than LoveFilm has delivered before improve things from the service’s previously below-par AV experience?

The short answer is yes. But not quite as much as we’d hoped.


August 8, 2012, 9:25 pm

Cons: No Android streaming app. Game over.


August 9, 2012, 12:25 am

The quality of the player is really terrible. Very low quality pixellated playback to the point where not worth watching. Netflix performs infinitely better.


August 9, 2012, 4:24 pm

I have a very slow 4Mbit DSL connection, and Netflix can stream HD. LoveFilm can't.
No surround sound is also a big let down. I will stick to blu rays on LoveFilm, for now.


August 10, 2012, 7:46 pm

I have a cable 10Mb connection and use Lovefilm via my 360.
I've never experienced any connection problems with the service and although initially the HD service was not consistent, it has certainly stabilised now.
No surround sound is something that I don't really miss for a streaming service and although I have not tried Netfilx I would not hesitate to recommend Lovefilms service.


August 12, 2012, 9:07 pm

Having recently switched from an "up to 8 MB/s" ADSL service to BT's Infinity (up to 50MB/s) service I was expecting all those Lovefilm streaming issues to go away.
They didn't! I still get the same picture freezes, pixelations and juddering as I used to.
Strangely enough when I switch from SD to Lovefilm's HD feeds my issues don't get any worse and it seems to me that it's not a bandwidth issue causing the problem, more a buffering issue where Lovefilm isn't sending the signal out consistently on time.
BBC iPlayer works great though. The extra bandwidth really makes a difference on the BBC's HD streams.

(For the techies among you - My speedtest results show I was getting a 3.4MB/s speed from my old "up to 8 MB/s" service and now get a solid 22MB/s from the BT Infinity service.)


November 5, 2012, 5:50 pm

Got LOVEFILM instant as a package through Talktalk - its total rubbish.

I have a good download speed and my internet TV has a wired connection. I can connect to the internet to use any other programs but not Lovefilm.
I registered in mid October and dispite sending several emails, Lovefilm have not responded (5 Nov). I have even telephoned them but got cut off by their customer assistant half way through a conversation (I think on purpose).
I'm not wasteing anymore of my time on this as its total rubbish and doesn't work.
Just opens the film then buffers and does't download.
Same as above no problems with iplayer. I have a 9MB service.

Sammii Jayne Thomas

January 2, 2013, 1:54 pm

Dreadful films, Netflix is definitely better. I cancelled my account online and got a email through today saying I had an outstanding payment? So I phoned up spke to some rude idiotic bas*ard who didn't even understand basic English! Who cancelled my account for me. Even when I mad it really clear I wanted my account a cancelled he asked me to re do my card details for them to take the 4.99 out my account! Dreadful service , dreadful company I deffirently won't be recommending this company ever!


January 2, 2013, 3:57 pm

The content in general is pretty poor. There are some decent films that most will have seen before. Unfortunately Lovefilm have a tendency to make their numbers of movies look appealing by cramming in at least 50-60% B movies in most category's. I cancelled after my free trial when there was nothing else to watch. Netflix is no better and Now Tv is just shocking.


January 5, 2013, 1:33 pm

I'm having to use this as my smart TV (LG) doesn't have a NetFlix App which is really annoying. Still, nothing ventured nothing gained.


April 30, 2013, 1:50 pm

Lovefilm is very, very poor. Awful customer service, take money from your account even though you have cancelled and then wont refund your money. Range of films for Instant is rubbish. Netflix is so much better. I would never use Lovefilm again. Ever.


August 22, 2013, 3:40 am

I mainly stream Lovefilm through my Xbox. I don't get too many problems, I just hate the interface and there isn't much of a selection.
A lot of the movies are very old and there are no up to date tv shows or new releases. A few newish films crop up now and then, but not enough to justify me paying every month.
Also there is a "more like this" section when you select a film title, it seems that the same selection of movies crops up no matter what film I pick, making it pointless.
After trying both Lovefilm and Netfilx I recommend sticking to Netflix.


September 5, 2013, 8:57 pm

Huge collection of films and TV shows; Good value; 7 out of 10???? Do you need someone to hold your hand when you go to the cinema? Have you ever watched a movie that has a rating of more than 7 out of 10 from IMDB? I'm sorry, but the movies on Lovefilm are awful with a bad selection and terrible value. I'm in the Hate Lovefilm category.


October 1, 2013, 12:56 pm

ilovefilm have the worst customer service support i have ever seen, 3 times i have called up to cancel my account and on all those accounts they failed to do so. Thankfully i changed my debit card that they cant take any money out of my account.


November 11, 2013, 12:06 pm

Lovefilm. OK but not great. Customer service not great. One guy even argued with me from the Canbury Park Road Help centre. Anyway after losing my rag I canceled and joined Netflix. The video quality and video range instantly justified my choice.
Good bye lovefilm


February 17, 2014, 12:30 pm

I liked Lovefilm in the good old days when dvds were delivered to your door...but times change. I want to stream the top films now, watch what i want when i want. If Lovefilm let me stream 8 of the latest DVD releases a month for a reasonable charge Id subscribe again...but they dont or cant. Either way they lost my custom. I subscribe to Netflix now for general viewing and Blinkbox for the latest releases.


March 16, 2014, 10:09 pm

Just told Lovefilm where to stuff their videos, etc. Things were great till they changed the rules and said you had to join Amazon Prime as well at an extra cost of nearly fifty quid. Not only that, they were charging my husband the fifty quid as well. Outrageous.

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