Screenselect merged with Lovefilm on 7 October 2006, and is now trading under the Lovefilm name. This review has been left in its final form on that day.
Most reviews across printed media and the net rank Screenselect as the best UK DVD rental site--and we agree. It boasts a 58,000+ title library (pretty much every DVD released in the UK), user-friendly navigation, and the breadth of the collection means you have a better chance of getting your top choices. To give a sense of scale, in October 2005, Screenselect shipped a million DVD rentals out. We like their various themed collections, which make it easier to browse and pick something of interest. They've also won praise for sending TV/film series in their precise order and also allowing a payment break if you go on holiday.
They have an excellent reputation for customer service, the bane of many otherwise good rental companies.
Screenselect was established in early 2003 by some of the team which originally launched amazon.co.uk. It has since merged with Video Island, making it the largest UK DVD rental company. The Screenselect/Video Island engine "powers" several other UK rental companies, and has been rapidly expanding. Keep in mind that you can only get one free trial period with any of these Screenselect/Video Island-powered sites--but our own opinion is that you should cut out the middleman and subscribe direct with Screenselect if you like their system. In June 2005, Screenselect/Video Island and its partner sites were estimated to have a 37% market share of all visits in online DVD rental, making it the UK market leader by a considerable margin. As of early 2006, it had 250,000+ customers.
In January, Screenselect was the first online DVD rental company to offer its members a cinema booking service at Vue Cinemas nationwide. This is part of the company's declared strategy of moving its services beyond the letterbox, offering movie fans access to a range of entertainment packages. In March, they began a robust console game rental offering: 1400+ games for PS2, 40+ for XBox 360, 700+ for XBox 100+ for PSP and 400+ for GameCube. Also, unlike Lovefilm which charges higher for game tariffs, you can mix and match DVDs and game rentals at no extra charge.
However, despite all the features and the swift mailings, there have been some complaints about delays on getting new releases. Screenselect may not be perfect, but if we had to recommend a single UK DVD rental site, this would be it.
Prices: Screenselect are offering a rare 30-day unlimited disc free trial (their normal free trial is only 5 discs within 21 days). To take advantage of the offer, click our "Start Free Trial" button below and then when you reach the Screenselect site, press the grey "Go" button next to the special promotional code; DO NOT press the red "Get 5 Free DVD rentals today" button, or you will not get the special, 30-day offer. You won't be able eligible for another free trial if you've already had one with any Screenselect or Lovefilm "powered-by" site (the two companies are in the process of merging.)
Screenselect charges £9.99 per month for an unlimited 1-disc at-a-time subscription, £12.49 for 2 discs, and £15.99 for a 3-disc package. They recently introduced two fixed tariffs on the Amazon model, £5.99 for 2 discs in a month, 1 at home at a time, and £7.99 for 4 discs per month, also 1 disc at home at a time.
Screenselect offer a month discount if you prepay for six months. It is possible (and unlike other companies, easy) to cancel within the free trial period.