Online Movie Streaming: Which Service is Right for You?
If you’re the kind of person that got frustrated with tangled tapes and the need to rewind every video you rented, we’ve got some good news: online movie streaming is here, and it’s here to stay.
So as we say a bittersweet goodbye to the video rental shops of old, another question may pop into your head: which of the UK movie streaming services is the right one for you? Well, let’s first define a movie streaming service. These are subscription-based services which you pay a small fee for each month. You can then access many hundreds of films and TV programmes from your computer or ‘smart’ television and watch them instantly via the internet. There are many choices out there all vying for your attention, so here’s the rundown of each one.
Netflix is probably the most widely advertised and subscribed streaming service available in the UK. It costs £5.99 a month for unlimited standard definition streaming and £6.99 a month for unlimited high definition (HD) streaming. You can access Netflix on your computer, laptop, iPad or tablet, and even your mobile smartphone. It offers totally unlimited streaming of films such as Avengers Assemble, The Hobbit and other big name movies. Netflix also offers full series of television programmes such as the hit show Breaking Bad.
Amazon Instant Video
Amazon Instant Video is available as part of Amazon’s existing ‘Prime’ subscription service, which provides other benefits to Amazon shoppers (such as free next day delivery). The cost of a Prime membership is £79 per year at the moment. The Amazon Instant Video service tends not to have as many titles available at any one time as Netflix, however it does have some movies that are exclusive to the service, such as The Dark Knight Rises. Again, this service is available on PC, laptop, tablets, phones and other set-top boxes.
The Now TV service differs to the previous two in the sense that it comes in the form of a set-top box. The Now TV box can be used to access free online services such as YouTube, BBC iPlayer and 4od, but you can also have a Sky Movies, Sports or Entertainment subscriptions added to it so that you can access this content without having a regular Sky box in your home. The Now TV box essentially turns any television into a smart TV, and is available for £9.99 (just the box) or as part of the packages mentioned above.
The key differentiator for Blinkbox (provided by Tesco) is that it offers films that are usually unavailable on any other platform at the time. The platform works similarly to a video rental shop: rather than subscribing for a monthly payment, Blinkbox operates a ‘pay as you go’ system. When you join up to the service, you can watch any movie you want for just £1, and after that each of the films is priced individually. This can be a good choice if you don’t think you’ll watch movies too frequently – but still want access to quality films.
So which of these options is for you? We hope we’ve offered some guidance into the often confusing world of internet film streaming.
Written by Simon Morris
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