Netflix has been offering online movie streaming in the US since 1999, but it’s taken until now for the service to make its way over the pond to the UK. For £5.99 a month, you’ll get unlimited access to the Netflix library of films and TV programmes, which means that the service will be going head-to-head with the Lovefilm Instant offering, currently priced at £4.99. The gloves are off in the Netflix vs Lovefilm rumble, but how does the new kid on the block fare?
There’s no denying that just six quid a month will get you a sizable chunk of films and TV to choose from, although it’s worth considering how much strain it could place on your Broadband data cap. If you go above the set limit on your ISP package, you could well end up getting charged for the extra data – an important point to keep in mind if you’re planning on getting the most out of your monthly £5.99
As well as streaming from your computer, Netflix works on pretty much all of the major platforms, including Sony PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360,Apple iPhone and Apple iPad. There are also client for various web TVs from the likes of Samsung, along with LG Blu-ray players and LG home theatre systems, along with media streamer boxes from brands like Roku.
The fact that Netflix works on Apple TV as well as across numerous Androiddevices is also a major boon, and something that Lovefilm doesn’t currently offer (there is an Android app where you can manage your list and settings, but no streaming).
However, Lovefilm is aiming to be make its service available on as many devices as possible so it’s a reasonable assumption that we won’t have to wait too long to see streaming capability on Android devices.
The ability to stream Netflix via the iPhone app using 3G is also great news, although it probably depends on what the 3G signal is like where you live, or more likely what it’s like at your gym or on your commuting route, as we’re guessing those are the the places where most people will want to watch Netflix on their phone’s relatively tiny screen.
Buffering on both the iPad and Android tablet apps is surprisingly swift meaning that you get get stuck into watching your chosen title pretty much straight away.
Syncing between devices is a nice touch, which means that you could start watching something on your laptop, and then pick up where you left off at a later time on another device. The UI is simple to use and more or less the same across different platforms, so the whole experience is pretty much uniform, no matter what you’re gadget you’re watching on.
You can read the rest of the article on T3.com (originally published 1 February 2012).