Video delivery service for PS3/PSP hits UK

Over on the other side of the pond our American cousins have had the pleasure of being able to download movies at their whim straight to their PS3 or PSP for well over a year; today, finally, Sony’s Video Delivery Service launches in the UK.

So what’s it all about? Well, by logging into PSN you’ll now have the option to browse and download over 800 movies. Sony hopes to increase their library via weekly updates – they’re already promising a whole slew (or should that be sleigh?) of Christmas movies in the coming weeks.

PlayStation Store

Users can take their pick of SD or HD and also opt to either rent or download and keep, with prices starting as low as £2.49 for a rental and £6.99 to permanently buy a movie. If you choose to rent you’ll have 14 days to watch the movie and, once you’ve started watching it, 24 hours to finish it.

Bigger releases available at launch includes Angels and Demons; Bruno; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; Crank 2; The Dark Knight; Dead Space: Downfall; Gran Torino; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; National Treasure; Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Public Enemies; Star Trek; Terminator Salvation; Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen; Valkyrie; and X-Men Origins: Wolverine ­­– phew!

Early trials of the system show download times to be swift and video quality to be high enough to keep all but the most discerning resolution junkie happy. The biggest complaint is with the price of the more recent movies, particularly those in SD, with prices of as much as £8.99 causing plenty of complaints on Sony forums.

If the Video Delivery Service is to prosper then surely they have to bring their prices into line with the likes of Blockbusters and other rental outlets. Even better, Sony should be looking to provide a range of subscription services to allow users to pay for a set number of movies per month. Until then it might be worth checking prices elsewhere to make certain the same film isn’t available on to buy on DVD for less.

All hands on decks with the Lecci Mini Mixer

In these bleak, recession-weary times, the DIY approach to home entertainment has become a very lucrative business. Becoming a bedroom DJ is the latest trend to capture the imaginations of music-lovers. But forget forking out for bulky, over-priced, window-shattering equipment – budget beats are all the rage.

Gaming giant Activision has recently branched out by adding the long-awaited DJ Hero to its massively popular music simulation repertoire, and there are any number of iPhone apps currently promising to help fans on their way to turntable triumph.

lecci-mini-mp3-mixerOne of latest non-gaming DJ gadgets to hit the market is the Lecci Mini Mixer, which connects to two MP3 players, enabling users to mix and mash tracks to their heart’s content. The nifty, simple-to-use cross-fade function provides most of the fun and adds an air of authenticity to spliced creations.

There have been similar products to Lecci’s offering on the market for some time, but this device’s sleek, scaled-down design sets it apart in the style stakes, while the idiot-proof functions provide instant gratification. But what about that all-important sound?

Well, although an internal speaker is built-in, the compact size means a fully immersive sound which emulates the booming vibrations of a top nightclub is sadly out of the question. A cunning alternative is to use the audio-out channels to connect your own speakers (or headphones, if don’t dare to share your musical masterpieces with an audience) for a more banging set of beats.

The main thing to bear in mind though is that the Mini Mixer has clearly been designed more for the novice than the tech wizard, and therefore its simplicity remains the strongest selling point. If you’re looking for highly sophisticated, multi-functional device to spin your digital tunes on, this gadget probably isn’t for you.

On the other hand, the Lecci Mini Mixer makes a good-value (RRP is around £19.99), inexpensive stocking filler and provides an easy, non-fiddly way to kick-start the fun over the festive period without breaking the bank. Let the party commence.

Sky Mobile TV comes to App Store

Not content with only allowing XBox users the chance to view their wares, Sky are now offering iPhone devotees the opportunity to stream live TV right into their palm.

Channels such as Sky News, as well as their Sky Sports package, will be available via subscription, allowing you to watch top football action whilst on that tortuously pallid train journey or as you sup that wispily frothy latte in your favourite wi-fi enabled coffee shop.

Parting with £6 a month will see those with an iPhone (or iPod Touch) also able to pick up ESPN and the equine mainstay, At The Races.

Sky Sports on iPhone

Is it worth it? The live Barclays Premier League football on offer is undoubtedly the biggest draw here; the sport has proven to be a major factor in the success of Sky’s satellite service, and conversely, the investment and nourishment Sky has given to English football has injected real money, glamour and pizzazz into the game.

But we’re all used to taking in Torres v Terry on expansive TVs, both at home and in the pub – vast plains of televisual majesty, each blade of grass bristling under your nose and the crowd’s passion reverberating through the living room and your heart too.

And with this in mind, hand-held football threatens to be one epic comedown. The two darlings of Apple, the iPhone and the iPod Touch both boast a high quality display, crisp and sharp. But football is a kinetic, intricate game, brimming with subtle flourishes and – well, a pretty minuscule ball! One look away and you might lose sight of it.

Football is often seen as a communal activity too, from the 22 players on the pitch to the spectators simultaneously breathing in each kick of the ball. And nothing quite beats seeing your team slay your greatest rivals with a bunch of beer-stained mates.

Indulging in live iPhone football whilst lonesome threatens the existence of this particular enchanting past-time, but if you’re away from the big screen and rabidly ponderous of the Manchester Utd. vs Liverpool score, then there’s probably little better way of checking out the game – it’s just a fingertip away. That’s if you can see the ball, mind.

Vuzix Wrap brings large screen video to, err, sunglasses!

While most people assume (and quite rightly most of the time) that it always rains in Britain, that hasn’t stopped Vuzix from kindly bringing their stylish sunglasses-style video eye-wear to our shores. To be fair, the company does point out that they can be used whenever and wherever, you want and not just on a sunny beach!

Through the technology embedded in the Wrap product range, you can view a picture that, in theory, recreates the experience of watching a standard large screen – providing a virtual viewing choice from 44 to 67 inch, right in front of your eyes.

vuzix wrap

The Vuzix Wrap is compatible with devices which have composite video-out (found in mobile devices as well as things like camcorders, portable DVD players, games consoles, etc.). and it comes complete with an iPod/iPhone adaptor which most people have come to expect these days.

Launched in time to cash-in on the Christmas shopping, the Vuzix Wrap comes in three versions The Wrap 230 (£129.99 inc VAT), Wrap 280 Widescreen (£179.99 inc VAT), and the Wrap 920 (£249.99 inc VAT) and is available directly from the company as well as through Apple, Firebox and Play amongst others.