Video Streaming Services - Which one's for you, and what do they offer?

Deal editor275
Posted 6th Mar
Update 1
19/03 - Updated to include popular catch up TV services including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, etc.
Streaming services have become more popular than ever before. In fact, the increase in people ditching their TV subscriptions and moving towards a self built entertainment package is constantly on the up . Long gone are the days of popping down to your local Blockbuster store on a Friday night for the latest video release, as many choose to fire up their app of choice and stream the latest content available.

Wether lovers of new releases, classic British comedy or even a childhood favourite, there's a VOD (Video On Demand) service available to cater all needs and walks of life.

I've detailed below the different popular VOD services available today, what they offer and how much each one costs.

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and of course, it would be weird if we were to start with any other than the grand daddy of them all. Founded way back in 1997, Netflix has amassed a staggering 167 million subscribers worldwide (as of Q3 2019) and continues to dominate the streaming market with its content heavy selection including thousands of homegrown movies (4000+) and TV series' (1500+).

The pricing for a UK Netflix account weighs in at £5.99 for a basic standard definition subscription with the ability to stream on one device. HD and UHD 4K subscriptions are also available for those with higher requirements.

Sadly, Netflix axed their 30 day trial offering in December of 2019. So if you're hoping to jump on this streaming train (ooof), you're going to need to cough up for a minimum of 30 days.

Pricing (monthly)

  • Basic (non HD) - £5.99 / 1 Screen
  • Standard (HD) - £8.99 / 2 Screens
  • Premium (UHD) - £11.99 / 4 Screens

How can I watch Netflix?


[Visit the Netflix website for more information and sign up details]

Personal Netflix pick - Stranger Things



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Remember LoveFilm?

For those with shady memories, it was streaming before streaming was invented, only it included a plastic DVD slip case, Royal Mail and your letterbox. It was superb, honestly superb.

Amazon wanted their fingers in this pie and bought the remaining shares of a degrading LoveFilm back in 2011. Slowly, but surely, the acquisition became their foot into the door of video streaming. It's not quite to the calibre of Netflix, but with 100 million Amazon Prime subscribers recorded to date in 2018, it's handy little side benefit to your already active Amazon Prime subscription.

If you're new to Amazon Prime, Amazon offer a 30 day trial for their Amazon Prime Video service.

Pricing (monthly)

  • Amazon Prime Video - £5.99
  • Amazon Prime - £7.99 (including next day delivery, Amazon Music)
  • Amazon Prime (yearly) - £79.00

How can I watch Amazon Prime Video?


[Visit the Amazon UK website for more information and sign up details]

Personal Amazon Pick - Bosch



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In a similar, yet slightly different approach to both Netflix and Amazon, Sky also offer their own variant of video streaming. Subscribers to Sky's NOW TV can opt to choose to purchase passes that cater to their own individual requirements.

Sky offer one month passes available covering Entertainment, Cinema, Kids and Sports. Oh, and Hayu - perfect for those interested in reality and true crime TV.

Pricing (monthly)

  • Entertainment Pass - £8.99
  • Sky Cinema Pass - £11.99
  • Kids Pass - £3.99
  • Sky Sports Month Pass - £33.99
  • Hayu - £3.99

Sky Sports is also available in day (£9.98) and week (£14.98) pass options.

How can I watch NOW TV?


Mac/PC viewing also available.

[Visit the NOW TV website for more information and sign up]

Personal NOW TV pick - Game of Thrones



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It's finally happening Move over, Disney Life - Walt and his little workers (all 7 of them) are set to bring their brand new version of Disney's streaming service. Busting at the seams with over 7,500 television series' and 500 movies, Disney+ is finally set to make its UK debut on March 24th.

Subscription options for the upcoming debut will be set at £5.99 monthly, or £59.99 yearly (DO NOT miss out on this special pre-launch promo, saving you £10 on a years subscription!).

If for some reason you needed convincing, Disney+ has already proved its worth in the territories where it's already live, recording 29 million subscribers in it's first 3 months, that significantly impressive number was picked up with launches in United States, Canada, and the Netherlands on November 12, and then Australia and New Zealand on November 19th of last year.

Pricing (monthly)

  • £5.99 (59.99 yearly)

How can I watch Disney+?

  • Amazon Fire devices
  • Apple TV and iOS devices (iPhones and iPads)
  • Android phones and TVs
  • Google Chromecast and Chromecast capable devices
  • Roku sticks and TVs
  • PlayStation 4 consoles and Sony TVs
  • Xbox One console

[Visit the Disney+ website for more information and sign up]

Personal Disney+ Pick - Avengers: End Game



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Absolutely Fabulous, Only Fools and Horses, Gavin & Stacey, Fawlty Towers and Love Island - British content you love to see all in one place. OK, maybe not all of them BritBox is the BBC and ITV coming together, as enemies do, to provide the best British programming in a Netflix-esque streaming service.

With a pricing to rival the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Britbox is available for £5.99 per month and offers multi device viewing with each account.

Pricing (monthly)

  • £5.99

How can I watch Britbox?


[Visit the Britbox website for a 30 day free trial and sign up]

Personal Pick - Fawlty Towers



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[From Wikipedia]

Originally called The Auteurs, MUBI was founded in 2007 by Turkish-born entrepreneur Efe Çakarel as a social network for cinephiles, with an interface specifically geared towards aesthetic design and simplicity. Çakarel says that he began work on the business model for MUBI after being unable to watch In the Mood for Love online while in a café in Tokyo. In 2010, the company adopted the new name MUBI
.

Pricing (monthly)

  • £9.99 (£95.88 yearly)

How can I watch Mubi?

  • Roku devices
  • iOS
  • LG and Samsung Smart TVs

[Visit the Mubi website for a 30 day free trial and sign up]



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What is BBC iPlayer?

You can watch all our TV channels online and nearly all of our programmes are available to watch shortly after they've been broadcast for a set amount of time. We also curate shows from the BBC Archives and offer live events and online exclusives.

Just missed the start of a programme? You can use Live Restart to go back to the beginning of a programme that’s being shown on TV right now.

How can I watch BBC iPlayer?


**During the COVID-19 outbreak, the BBC are offering free educational & entertainment content which you can check out [here]

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What is ITV Hub?

The ITV Hub is just like telly, but a bit better (we reckon). You can watch shows from any of our family of channels, that’s ITV, ITV2, ITVBe, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV. Missed last night’s Corrie? We’ve got it. Fancy browsing through our shows and finding a new drama to love? Go for it. Or maybe you’re not sure what you want to watch yet, but you can live in the moment and get straight into streaming our live channels.

We’ll also share with you exclusive premieres, first looks at brand new shows and box sets of your favourite dramas and comedies. Little treats for our lovely viewers - we’re nice like that!

How can I watch ITV Hub?


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What is All 4?

All 4 is a video on demand service from the Channel Four Television Corporation, free of charge for most content and funded by advertising. ... The service offers a variety of programmes recently shown on Channel 4, E4, More4, Film4 and 4Music and shorts.

How can I watch All 4?


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What is My 5?

My5 is the on demand video service that brings you your favourite shows from across the Channel 5 family, including Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5SELECT and the Paramount Network for free.

How can I watch My 5?


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What is UKTV Play?


Watch the best comedy, drama, entertainment and documentaries from Dave, Drama and Yesterday. Watch hundreds of box sets, as well as exclusive previews, on your TV, mobile, tablet, or online.

How can I watch UKTV Play?


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What is TV Player

Watch live TV from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and other UK channels on TVPlayer online for FREE.

Where can I watch TV Player?


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What is dplay?

Watch the latest episodes from your favourite Quest, Really, Quest Red, DMAX, Food Network and HGTV shows, live and on catch up on dplay.

Where can I watch dplay?

ComputerMobile or Tablet [Android] / [iOS]
Community Updates
You can use Chromecast for all of the above bar Mubi, dplay,UKTV and tvplayer (not sure about whether those work on Chromecast), you can even use voice commands on google home for Netflix.

Groups

Top comments
sdoherty100006/03/2020 14:19

I use Plex for £8 a month and it includes al the programs in 1080p


Plex is just streaming someone’s (usually illegally sourced) content collection. It’s just a media server tool. Not a streaming platform.
Edited by: "thesinstar" 6th Mar
Slightly off the topic but you did mention it.

I'm eagerly waiting for the final season of Bosch..
Couple of things I feel are worth mentioning from my experience with Amazon, since they've put me off ever subscribing after experiencing it on a borrowed login:

- They put ads at the beginning of the videos; they're skippable, at least, but ads on a paid service just seems wrong.

- It's a hassle to use; not only is the interface abysmal, but they mix things to buy and rent in with the subscription content.

- The "skip intro" functionality can be really inconsistnet; sometimes it doesn't come up at all, others it might skip too far on not far enough.
I use Hulu. It’s American only but easy enough to get around. Couldn’t use Sky as too much content is unsubtitled and I’m hard of hearing.
275 Comments
Slightly off the topic but you did mention it.

I'm eagerly waiting for the final season of Bosch..
What does VOD stand for? Couldn't spot it in your description
Xtranathor06/03/2020 14:15

What does VOD stand for? Couldn't spot it in your description


My apologies - Video on Demand.
I use Plex for £8 a month and it includes al the programs in 1080p
Has anyone got a share place available on Netflix
sdoherty100006/03/2020 14:19

I use Plex for £8 a month and it includes al the programs in 1080p


Is it like kodi where you have to find a stream
kevnemma06/03/2020 14:24

Is it like kodi where you have to find a stream


No it’s one click play
moshixmoshi06/03/2020 13:50

Slightly off the topic but you did mention it. I'm eagerly waiting for the …Slightly off the topic but you did mention it. I'm eagerly waiting for the final season of Bosch..


I couldn't get into it as they all say his name so much.
I use a vod only app and its only £20 for a year
I'm trying to get my parents to ditch sky £60/m and go with nowtv broadband... They can get 63mb download speed...

What are people's experiences, with watching sky sports via streaming... State your download speed also...

Kind regards
I use Hulu. It’s American only but easy enough to get around. Couldn’t use Sky as too much content is unsubtitled and I’m hard of hearing.
Is there only one more season??
sdoherty100006/03/2020 14:19

I use Plex for £8 a month and it includes al the programs in 1080p


Plex is just streaming someone’s (usually illegally sourced) content collection. It’s just a media server tool. Not a streaming platform.
Edited by: "thesinstar" 6th Mar
Amazon is good, particularly for students as you get 6 months free with an educational email address and then it’s only £39 a year or £3.99 a month and you get access to other things too.
I get the top package of Netflix from sky for 3 quid a month, I am tempted to get Disney + too
ding06/03/2020 17:16

I get the top package of Netflix from sky for 3 quid a month, I am tempted …I get the top package of Netflix from sky for 3 quid a month, I am tempted to get Disney + too


How did you manage to get Netflix for £3? Sounds like a good deal!
thesinstar06/03/2020 17:11

Plex is just streaming someone’s (usually illegally sourced) content c …Plex is just streaming someone’s (usually illegally sourced) content collection. It’s just a media server tool. Not a streaming platform.


Plex offers its own service of free movies etc. No, it’s not an illegal platform though some people would use it as such
kevnemma06/03/2020 14:24

Has anyone got a share place available on Netflix


I'm up for a share if someones a dab hand at sorting stuff like this out.

4 user UHD £12 pm
4 ways £36 each for a year
Edited by: "hamsterboy" 6th Mar
hamsterboy06/03/2020 17:29

I'm up for a share if someones a dab hand at sorting stuff like this out.4 …I'm up for a share if someones a dab hand at sorting stuff like this out.4 user UHD £12 pm 4 ways £36 each for a year


If you subscribe through Netflix Turkey it’s only £5.50 a month for UHD
Thanks for collating available services, I'll stick to Netflix as it seems to have the best price/content ratio. I did try Amazon and couldn't find anything worth watching.
Worth pointing out that Plex now offer a free (legal!) streaming service (a lot of old films and obscure genres), also there are a lot of old movies freely (& legally) available from Youtube - Of course there are many many more services, however I have seen both of these as part of a smart TV suite...
Is it worth mentioning all the free services - perhaps a separate post?
My5, iPlayer, etc...
Nice post - would it be worth it to list the resolution quality of the offerings other than Netflix? I know they don't offer different options but would be good to know what they offer as standard resolution.
AndrewRoss06/03/2020 17:15

Amazon is good, particularly for students as you get 6 months free with an …Amazon is good, particularly for students as you get 6 months free with an educational email address and then it’s only £39 a year or £3.99 a month and you get access to other things too.


I need a student email.
fwibble06/03/2020 16:40

I'm trying to get my parents to ditch sky £60/m and go with nowtv …I'm trying to get my parents to ditch sky £60/m and go with nowtv broadband... They can get 63mb download speed...What are people's experiences, with watching sky sports via streaming... State your download speed also...Kind regards



Until recently, honestly, watching Sky Sports on NowTV wasn't great. Poor quality and with horrible stutter because of the 720p30fps stream. I had given up on it until a month ago when I rejoined with the new NowTV Boost option and its actually very good, in both detail and smooth motion.

There are limitations on which channels are available in 720p, 1080p and 1080p50. And on which devices the Boost service is available on. Made finding a working combination of devices harder then it should be. NowTV are working on a wider rollout of support for different channels and devices. Current working combinations are listed here: help.nowtv.com/art…ice

Personally after testing Samsung TV app, YouView box and the various NowTV streaming devices. I've found the "NowTV Smart Box with 4K" gives the best results. A fair amount of trial and error was required as I discovered the 4K Box doesn't support auto refresh rate changing if HDR is enabled.. Resulting in some stutter as the 4K box was outputting at 60Hz but the content was in 50FPS.
Therefore you need to disable HDR to get the 50fps Sports stream to match your TV.

From memory, you needed to navigate through the menu's on the 4K box;
Settings >> Display Type - Auto [4K HDR 60Hz TV in my case] change to 4K 60Hz TV
Settings >> System >> Advanced system settings >> Auto-adjust display refresh rate - Disabled change to Enabled
Settings >> System >> Power >> System restart

After it restarted the 4K box switches to 50Hz when the 1080p50 stream starts and the action is a nice fluid motion.

You'll want to match the stream frame rate to your TV's refresh rate for best results too.

Still room for improvement. Would like to see slightly higher bitrate as its currently ~8Mbps. (I'm on BT 50Mbps Internet)
Some errors/ommissions

Roku Sticks also allow:

Netflix
Prime
NowTV
Apple

(No Experience of others not listed)

They are a good choice IMO, just based on their support for multiple services and the 4k units are on offer (at Argos & Currys) regularly.

Apple isn't TV listed? Android fanboy?
Disney + is worth it for the Simpson’s!!
sdoherty100006/03/2020 14:19

I use Plex for £8 a month and it includes al the programs in 1080p


£8 per month
thesinstar06/03/2020 17:11

Plex is just streaming someone’s (usually illegally sourced) content c …Plex is just streaming someone’s (usually illegally sourced) content collection. It’s just a media server tool. Not a streaming platform.


Not true.. whilst it can be used for illegal content it has lots of perfectly legal free content (advertised based model):
plex.tv/en-…ee/

Also great for indexing any home videos.
40057007-ebBki.jpgI hear this is good. Apparently acquired by Netflix a while back?
Couple of things I feel are worth mentioning from my experience with Amazon, since they've put me off ever subscribing after experiencing it on a borrowed login:

- They put ads at the beginning of the videos; they're skippable, at least, but ads on a paid service just seems wrong.

- It's a hassle to use; not only is the interface abysmal, but they mix things to buy and rent in with the subscription content.

- The "skip intro" functionality can be really inconsistnet; sometimes it doesn't come up at all, others it might skip too far on not far enough.
Piracy - Free, 4k, huge library. No DRM, VPN, or location errors.
a-j06/03/2020 23:04

Couple of things I feel are worth mentioning from my experience with …Couple of things I feel are worth mentioning from my experience with Amazon, since they've put me off ever subscribing after experiencing it on a borrowed login:- They put ads at the beginning of the videos; they're skippable, at least, but ads on a paid service just seems wrong.- It's a hassle to use; not only is the interface abysmal, but they mix things to buy and rent in with the subscription content.- The "skip intro" functionality can be really inconsistnet; sometimes it doesn't come up at all, others it might skip too far on not far enough.


On their TV app, the ads can't actually be skipped - only fast-fowarded, which inevitably ends up with you unintentionally fast-fowarding through the first few moments of the desired content, and so a rewind can then be necessary; because their seeking function is horrible too. The chronically repetitious nature of the same advert playing again and again actually has the unintended effect of ensuring we will never EVER watch the show being advertised (Good Omens).

Needless to say we have cancelled our subscription.
I can't believe netflix doesn't have wolf on wall street and many other films.
Cyberflix
Genuine question
Are hukd paid per click if I use the links in the OP
I have amazon, Netflix and nowtv. I have to say of the three I think amazon is the best. It also offers 4K content at no extra charge. Lots of original programs plus plus programs from us tv networks.
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