There is so much to talk about with the Pearl and Dean website that I don’t know where to start. In recent months the Pearl and Dean website has under gone a major change. It has moved away from its heavily business focus, and much more towards a much broader film audience, treading on its well known brand within the cinema industry. Its weekly newsletter seems to be constantly announcing the launch of another new service on the website. It is now possible to search for a film, look up cinema listings, rent DVDs (powered by Lovefilm.com), buy ringtones (including all the different P&D themes past and present), buy movie posters, read reviews of the latest releases, take part in message forums, create your own t-shirts and take part in weekly polls or quizzes.
Like most good websites there is a bit about the history of the company, but this site also includes some history on cinema advertising and the famous asteroid theme, which all make for interesting reading. There is also a large section where you can view all the different screen titles including “Pillars”, “Groovy Dancers” and “Asteroid”.
The site is very easy to navigate around with most of the information either at the side of the screen or selected from a top menu. Because many of the services, such as the posters or DVD rental are provided by a third party website occasionally you will end up on another site without necessarily realising it and without easily being able to get back to the main website again.
The previous Pearl and Dean website and content has been moved to a new address at http://business.pearlanddean.com/. This still contains the really in-depth information including ‘market data’, ‘cinema marketplace’, ‘benefits of cinema advertising’, ‘plan & buy’, ‘research’, ‘local ads’ and much more. This part of the website is definitely worth a look around.
The nature of this site means that the main website is constantly being updated with new content, and there is a weekly newsletter which you can sign up to. The business part of the website is updated on a fairly regular basis, as and when is required.
The site has a text only option which works okay and removes the drop down option for the menus, but in a Linux browser this doesn’t work very well as the adverts and the content seem to get themselves confused. The site works equally as well in Internet Explorer as Firefox and while it is better in 1024×768 the pages just about fit onto a 800×600 screen. The download speeds for the website are a bit disappointing however, particularly if you are still using a dialup connection. The first time you download the site it will take over a minute and a half to fully download a page, but after that if you have the files in your cache it takes a much shorter amount of time.
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|Connection Rate||Download Time|
|ISDN 128K||24.71 seconds|
|T1 1.44Mbps||2.88 seconds|
Good Design: *****
Download Speed: **
Overall: My only disappointment with this site is that it has quite slow download speeds. However, this is a website which has become quite commercial in recent months, but hasn’t lost its soul and still provides the great information it has always done. The Pearl and Dean website is a must for anyone interested in cinema and I highly recommend it.
Testing Information: This site is tested using a laptop at 1024 x 768 resolution running Windows XP, Firefox Version 188.8.131.52 and Internet Explorer 6 over a 512K Broadband connection. For the text only test Lynx on a Linux Server is used. A website entitled WebSiteOptimization.com is used to test the web site to calculate the download speeds.