On January the 9th Netflix launched in the UK and Ireland joining Lovefilm and Blockbuster in the home entertainment arena. So now there is more choice if you like to watch movies at home.
Unlike Lovefilm or Blockbuster however, Netflix is solely a streaming service. I have been waiting patiently for it to be available and am really looking forward to giving it a whirl. The price seems reasonable too at a flat fee of £5.99 a month.
I’ve previously used both Blockbuster and Lovefilm with varied success and our members have mixed views about both.
Lovefilm – 1.4 out of 5 stars
“I really wanted LoveFilm.com to work for me as it seemed like a great find to watch movies instantly online – How WRONG was I?
10 minutes into watching the movie, it started buffering and then stopped for a hour and half, I could not even get it started again. It was not my internet connection as I always stream and download things and tests showed my connection did not go off at all while I was trying to watch the film.” Read full review
Blockbuster – 2.2 out of 5 stars
“Been with Blockbuster on-line for 3 months at first the service was good but recently its gone downhill, instead of going into details, I will just say that if you want a problem dealt with and email them ,Don’t expect a response!!!!!” Read full review
So what are the main differences between the three?
Lovefilm not only sends out discs of films and games for members to watch but also offers a streaming service. Membership prices vary with a variety of different price ranges depending on how much you want to watch and if you want a mixture of films and video games. They also have small selection of television shows that can be streamed with many more to rent. The streaming service has over 4,000 what members can watch at no extra charge as part of their package with another 1,000 available pay per view.
You can stream films instantly via a number of devices including:
- Xbox 360
- Sony & Samsung TV and certain Blu-ray players and home cinema systems
If you want to cancel at any point then you need to ring customer service.
Blockbuster does not currently offer a streaming service outside of the US. They send members films by post and again have a range of price bands depending on how many films you want to watch. They have a slighter larger range of movies then Lovefilm due to an ongoing dispute with a few film studios.
Like Lovefilm you also need to call customer service to cancel your membership.
Netflix does not offer a traditional films-by-post service and is solely a streaming service. Where they appear to differ from both companies is the flat fee. There is no limit on how many films or shows you can watch so this may appeal to heavy users. It also looks like they offer a larger selection of television shows than Lovefilm currently does.
You can stream films and TV shows instantly on devices including:
- Xbox 360
- On some Apple & Android devices
- On some internet connected TV’s
Most offer a free trial so if you want to have a go before committing to a monthly fee than give them a go. Our advice? Make sure you set up a reminder a few days before you need to cancel so you don’t get charged.
All I really want in a subscription service is streaming that doesn’t continually stop and buffer (or fail altogether), a variety of movies and TV shows that I can watch with no huge waiting list for titles AND most importantly, an easy way of cancelling. If I can sign up online why can I not simply cancel online too?
So there you have it. If you already use one of the companies mentioned or are about to give them a go remember to come back and let us know how you get on.