With Sky having launched its latest online streaming option Now TV, there are more options than ever for film fans to consider when it comes to streaming content. But out of the major players in the market, what are the major differences you need to know about?
For example, some will be better equipped to use with 4G handsets than others, while some will be more of interest to those who love older – or stranger – films. Here’s a bit of a guide to the strengths and weaknesses of the three main streaming services currently available and why they might appeal to you.
In the UK at least, LOVEFiLM is the oldest player in town and offers a £4.99 per month subscription that is digital only. This means you don’t get access to their mail-out Blu-rays, DVDs and video games, but can use its streaming option on your PC and laptop, as well as the many tablets, Blu-ray players, smart TVs and games consoles it is supported by. Sadly, LOVEFiLM’s rush to keep up with the number of TV shows being offered by its rivals has left the user interface of its player neglected, as it is now overcrowded and difficult to navigate. But for those who want older or more unheard of films, it’s the one to go for.
Now TV is the new kid on the block having only launched this summer, but it should not be underestimated. The breadth of films on offer can’t compare to what LOVEFiLM and Netflix have, but while the numbers are limited, the range is much newer than you’ll find anywhere else. This is of course down to the fact that it is backed by Sky, which has deals in place to bring movies to their home subscription customers before anyone else. It’s more costly at £15 per month, but Sky is offering three-months at £8.99 for new subscribers and a month’s free trial. In terms of where you can use it, there are plenty of device options, though Sky limits you to registering the account with no more than two at a time.
Netflix issued the first real challenge to LoveFilm’s market dominance when it launched this year, bringing with it a great catalogue of new and old films, a competitive selection of TV shows and the ability to stream using your smartphone. If you’ve recently bought an Apple iPhone 5 and want to test out your 4G service, Netflix is absolutely the best option. At only £5.99 per month, it’s reasonably priced and has a much more intuitive user interface than either LoveFilm or Now TV. For example, the player remembers where you’re up to in a season of TV shows and you can return to a film later – on any device – and pick up exactly where you left off. The selection is top notch and it’s available on a wide selection of gadgets. All things considered, it’s the best of the bunch.