Virgin joins the online movie rental scramble

Although it is still in beta testing mode, Virgin Media Online Movies has gone live offering virgin media customers and noncustomers an online service that is not available on the company’s set-top box system.

This is a separate system from their television service, which operates on-demand movie viewing. The aim is to allow Internet users to view a wide range of film titles, and the company intends to continue to add to the service offering more titles in HD format.

It will however be possible for most users to connect their computer to their TV in order to watch movies via their online service, but on a larger screen. Virgin’s new movie system will be making use of Microsoft’s Silverlight technology, and will actually be operated by FilmFlex Movies the same people who oversee Virgins TV VoD movie service.

The maximum price per rental will be £4.99, and the minimum at the moment is £3.49, for which they will be able to stream the film that a time that suits them at any point up to one month after purchase.

Virgin will have to do battle with a handful of other rental services such as YouTube Rentals, which began operation at the beginning of the year.