Lovefilm Player for iPad pictures and hands-on

The Lovefilm Player for iPad is such an obvious and welcomed application that it's a wonder that it's taken so long to arrive. For starters, the look and feel is identical to the service's other portals on Samsung and Sony home entertainment kit and the PS3, and the quality and film choice apes what's available on those and through the company's own PC online streaming platforms.

Now, obviously, this isn't the first Lovefilm app to hit the iPad. The first was limited in functionality, however, and while it offered a searchable user interface to order rentable movies, it only dealt with the postal side of the Lovefilm business. The new player also offers access to its streamed video service too, allowing those with a relevant subscription to watch full films on their tablet device.

There are many different subscriptions you can opt for, with the streaming service being an add-on to a paid postal option. The cheapest you can get weighs in at £5.99 a month, but that only offers 2 hours worth of streamed content per month (with three physical discs able to be rented). You'll really need to spend at least £9.99 per month if you want unlimited streaming, but if you do, you'll be impressed with the quality.

Where on a 55-inch TV, the standard definition bitrates can look a little pale and not quite DVD quality, the iPad app benefits from presenting its fare on a smaller, brighter screen.

In fact, you would be hard pushed to tell the difference between a streamed Lovefilm movie, or a bought one through a service such as iTunes. And, depending on the age of the film, some of the video performance is excellent all round.

The only real issue is the content itself, or rather, lack of it.

Unfortunately, it's still early doors for Lovefilm's streaming service - Netflix it ain't.

The company, Amazon-affiliation or no, has only got a few license deals in place, so the choice of films you can view are limited. And barely any of them are particularly current.

That said, we're suckers for old flicks such as Bullitt and world cinema like the first Battle Royale, and it's certainly easy to find something to watch through its search and genre tabulated systems. And should you want to order the most recent films to watch on Blu-ray or DVD, the player encompasses that functionality too.

If you own an iPad and subscribe to Lovefilm, it truly is a no-brainer. Especially as it's free.

What do you think of Lovefilm's streaming service? Let us know in the comments below...