back to article Have Brits fallen for Netflix, or do they still LoveFilm?

BBC iPlayer turned five at Christmas, and the Corporation reported some pretty impressive usage statistics as it did so. While iPlayer is something of a juggernaut in the IPTV world, it’s only relatively recently made the leap from PC to living room and connected devices such as smart TVs and set-top boxes. Arguably 2012 was …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

    Netflix, cheaper than a TV Licence, and I can watch what I want when I want (so long as they have it). Ok more content would be nice, and a facility to remove "suggestions" im not interested in or tried and don't like. Works on all my devices (TV, Phone, Tablet, Console, Computer) what is there not to like?

    Oh Lovefilm, I would consider you but your insistance on putting them loud / annoying adverts on my Xbox dash was reason enough for me never to support your company.

    anonymous because I dont want the TV licence people thinking I watch broadcast tv..

    1. Toxteth O'Gravy
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

      >> anonymous because I dont want the TV licence people thinking I watch broadcast tv.

      Ahem. Still supposed to have one, but I won't tell.

      1. mr_jrt

        Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

        No you don't, unless Netflix streams live stuff now...

        1. Andrew Moore

          Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

          I thought you needed to have a license as long as you owned equipment that was capable of receiving a TV signal (TV, DVR etc). As long as you are playing Netflix on a PC, or phone, or tablet, you should be okay.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

            "I thought you needed to have a license as long as you owned equipment that was capable of receiving a TV signal"

            Well why don't you check your facts instead of making assumptions then spreading rumours which are wrong. Idiot.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

            3. Scrumble

              @ dz-015

              "Well why don't you check your facts instead of making assumptions then spreading rumours which are wrong. Idiot"

              Jeebus christ man, calm down. You'd think he'd posted rumours about your leather clad donkey fetish, not gotten his facts slightly wrong about the TV licence system. Idiot

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @ dz-015

                "Jeebus christ man, calm down. You'd think he'd posted rumours about your leather clad donkey fetish, not gotten his facts slightly wrong about the TV licence system. Idiot"

                Every single time there's an article on here about TV-related stuff there's inevitably a discussion about TV licensing leading to some idiot trying to tell people that they need to have a TV licence if they have equipment which is capable of receiving live broadcast TV. I've seen it so many times, and not only is this rumour incredibly misleading and annoying because it potentially disempowers people, but it's also generally irritating to see people posting nonsense because they haven't checked their facts first. Posting nonsense due to not checking facts qualifies you as an idiot. Getting annoyed at people posting nonsense due to not checking their facts is not idiotic. So you're the idiot for calling me an idiot, because I'm not one.

                1. sabba

                  Re: @ dz-015

                  @dz-015 - I am afraid I am with the other guy: you're an idiot and an incredibly rude one at that.

                2. sabba
                  Paris Hilton

                  Re: @ dz-015

                  And from the BBC licensing site:

                  "You need to be covered by a valid TV Licence if you watch or record TV as it's being broadcast. This includes the use of devices such as a computer, laptop, mobile phone or DVD/video recorder."

                  With regards to owning a device that can receive a TV signal, you simply need to prove that you are not using it to receive said live transmissions. For example, its being in a cupboard with the plug removed is sufficient. If you have a TV but only use it for watching DVDs you'd still be liable for a fine since you'd not be able to prove that you hadn't watched TV transmissions as well (unless of course you'd had the receiver removed).

          2. S4qFBxkFFg

            Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

            The equipment owned doesn't matter, as long as you don't record or watch TV as it's being broadcast, it's legal.

            Not that they can check unless you (or police with a warrant) invite them in...

            1. Rob

              Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

              The TV detector van has a chap in the back with a parabolic microphone and the TV Licence database, that's how they find out, the warrant and police can come later once they have their evidence, but that's unlikely as I think they go for a civil prosecution rather than criminal(?).

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

                No it doesn't. More false rumours spread by Capita. They rely entirely on the address database, letters with dubiously legal content and their door to door salesmen. They work on obtaining a verbal admission and the resident signing their piece of paper. On the extremely rare occasions when a warrant is obtained, it's not a police warrant, it's obtained by Capita under the current nonsensical law. If the police attend, it's solely to prevent a 'breach of the peace' and they will not enter the premises themselves.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

                  PS That was in reply to the person talking about detector vans and parabolic mikes, btw.

                  And police attendance is most probably because most licence refusal is currently in poorer areas where the additional cost of the BBC tax is of significance to the household.

                  1. NomNomNom

                    Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

                    I believe that if you watch TV on a PC but rotate counter-clockwise while reading the bible backwards you don't need a tv license

            2. StooMonster

              Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

              Yep, I have friends and family who gave up on the TV license and just use streaming stuff over the internet on their living room TVs and DVD box-sets from LoveFilm.

              They checked and are perfectly fine.

          3. jonfr

            Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

            In Denmark and Swede you need to pay tv licence if you have smartphone, computer connected to the internet or television that is also connected to the internet. Same applies if you have a radio.

      2. Tachikoma

        Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

        I have had an "exemption licence" for over 2 years now, like the OP I don't watch TV, so called them up, told them the only thing plugged into my TV is power and HDMI for the PS3. They sent a guy over, I let him in, showed him the TV/PS3 on one side of the room and the aerial/satellite leads nicely zip tied on the other side of the room. The guy went away happy and I have never seen/heard from them again.

        1. 1Rafayal

          Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

          The rules on whether you need a TV license or not are here:

          I must admit, I thought you needed one even if you just watch iPlayer, turns out you dont - you only need a license if you watch or record live TV.

          1. JetSetJim

            Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

            > you only need a license if you watch or record live TV.

            add "on any device" to cover watching the live iPlayer feed - that also needs a license

    2. S4qFBxkFFg

      Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

      "anonymous because I dont want the TV licence people thinking I watch broadcast tv"

      I wouldn't worry about it; they appear to have an unofficial policy of assuming everyone watches broadcast TV, legally or otherwise. It's not a problem though - I had someone at the door earlier this week asking nicely about it and he went away after I stated twice that I don't need one.

      On topic, we tried Lovefilm but stopped when the trial ran out due to various annoyances (no streaming on laptop/desktop due to Linux being the main one).

      I'd like to see a comparison between Netflix, Lovefilm, etc. and the various sites that use the less-common TLDs - until the legit outfits start offering a better range, they're going to find it hard to compete with free.

    3. CCCP

      Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

      It'd be interesting to see what proportion of the UK have speed issues watching streamed content. I don't mean average BB speeds as they are useless, rather, the pause/yawn/spinny thing rate at peak watching hours. I suspect the % suffering would be "a lot".

      Also, the streaming numbers will be boosted by the free bundles. We got £50 on Blinkbox free with the Sammy telly. Did we use it? Yes. Would we pay £3.50 per film for pause/yawn/spinny thing? No way. Incidentally, this is why iPlayer is such a success. It's free anyway. Well, not free, but you've paid for it already.

    4. mickey mouse the fith

      Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

      "Ok more content would be nice"

      Use the dns hack to stream from the american service.

      Just google "use us netflix in uk" and try the different servers until you find one that works.

      I have been using this on my ps3 ever since i subscribed and realised how shit the choice on the uk one was.

      Every now and again you have to reboot the ps3 to kick it in again (usually when the film starts) and sometimes the servers suss out what your doing and block you, but in that case just go online and find another set.

      Apparently, netflix gives you a global account and serves content based on location, and even better, they really dont care if you fake your location.

      The U.S one has so much more content. More full series, more up to date films and strangely, more bbc and british produced content.

      I.p restrictions suck, the yanks get 10 times as much content for the same price.

      1. Magnus_Pym

        Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

        "Use the dns hack to stream from the American service."

        Nooooo. Don't we have enough American content on TV as it is.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

      uTorrent. Because you don't need to pay....

  2. Bill the Sys Admin


    "(so long as they have it)"

    This is key. Because after my free month i canceled because they never do! Netflix is so limited, films are lacking massively. TV Shows are ok, but the UK Netflix is very poor. You could VPN if you are so inclined but it doesnt change much, its still limited.

    And then there is the quality of the streaming. Poor doesn't even describe it.

    1. Ed 11

      Re: Netflix.....Nah

      Are you sure the quality of the streaming isn't more a factor of your lack of bandwidth? Streaming quality is absolutely exemplary on our setup.

      1. Bill the Sys Admin

        Re: Netflix.....Nah

        For me too enjoy watching a movie it needs to be 720p or 1080. Full screen with netflix is blurry and horrible. My connection is quick. Nothing to do with that. Just in my opinion doesn’t provide the quality i desire. Even if they did the selection is pretty poor.

    2. mickey mouse the fith

      Re: Netflix.....Nah

      No need to vpn, just use any of the 100`s of free dns servers to fake the location. Quality of streaming i get from the American netflix on my 12mb connection is way better than freeview.

  3. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    Thumb Up

    We have both...

    You are spot on Netflix bette for TV, and love film for films and DVD's for TV programs that neither have.

    In total we spend £16-ish to have the best of both worlds. The way I look at it - to have both is the same price as a basic sky subscription, without having to deal with 30mins of ads for every hour of TV. My wife likes the soaps and thats the only time the TV is on for broadcasted TV.

    We are really happy, but then again our broadband connection is pretty stable, fast and unlimited*.

    * blah blah blah its not really blah blah blah - dont care because i don't torrent stuff i watch.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Exclusivity stops me subscribing

    We have to get to a point where 'TV' distribution is like DVD, book, or even music wholesaling - that, except for a few short-term exclusives, all content is available from all systems. That avoids consumers having to join multiple services, or content being removed from a service. If exclusives do occur it should be very clear how long it will be exclusive, that time should be a couple of months at most, and that material can only be exclusive immediately after first release, not go back into exclusivity at a later date.

    I'd also like to see permanent downloads at a fair price, again from all systems that want to offer that service. I no longer have space to store physical DVD boxes. Ultraviolet may be fine, but it is not universal.

    If the content makers do not do this, they only have themselves to blame for piracy, since the only criterion for peer-to-peer distribution is that someone cared enough to record the original broadcast or to rip the DVD, recompress it, seed it, and upload a link somewhere so it can be found. (Continued distribution, for catch-up, requires that other users care to continue seeding long after the initial burst of excitement has passed - it can be very difficult to go back and watch the first seasons of a less-popular programme if you stumble upon something late in its life.) Having tried recompressing material recorded on my PVR, for a personal longer-term archive, it's not trivial but you can get reasonable results through a rote process.

  5. Dakuan

    The thing that grinds my gears about Love Film its the websites ghastly UI. It's better than it used to be when every episode of a series got displayed individually and you had to scroll through pages of doctor who episodes to find anything. But it ought not to be beyond them to display a TV Show as one item, rather than each season.

    1. Marvin the Martian

      "display a TV Show as one item"

      I definitely think each season should be one item. You mention Dr. Who --- each season totally different actors, just same branding and backstory.

      And it used to be a total mess, with all episodes of all seasons randomly ordered if you searched by series name; nor a link to 'next episode' anywhere in sight. Now it works perfectly fine.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Aye the Lovefilm website used to be brutal

      but is much improved, and they added a watch list! This is essential for me. I like to cue things up when I'm bored, and then when I actually want to watch tv in the evening I don't have to go searching. Does netflix have a watchlist yet?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Loveflim disks by post is the killer

    As much as watching instant stuff is nice and all, movies are to be enjoyed in Blu-Ray bitrates, not rubbish streamed bitrates.

    LoveFlim is the ONLY service to offer the best of both worlds. I had a NetFlix trial, just to get the free fiver from Quidco, but Loveflim is where it's at. (in the UK at least),.

    1. Annihilator

      Re: Loveflim disks by post is the killer

      Lovefilm was painful to use for about 3 years when they had their Universal dispute, and zero mention of it on their website.

      I've had issues with Lovefilm in the past, they consistently lower their prices on plans and don't apply it to existing customers, which is an insane way to keep customers happy.

    2. Captain Underpants

      Re: Loveflim disks by post is the killer

      If you want stuff by post, then yes.

      If you don't, then it's not a killer feature, it's a waste of space. (For instance, I've no interest in disks by post because of the delay involved - I want streaming or not at all, and do not have or want a Full-HD-capable TV, so Blu-ray via post is not compelling for me).

      That said, I think it's good that someone's offering the option - a wider range of services benefits all of us.

    3. blade-runner

      Re: Loveflim disks by post is the killer


      I was looking at various websites for movie streaming over christmas (currently get Blue Ray transcodes from a dwindling choice on newsgroups).

      The problem I have found with all of them is the crap selection and poor to average picture quality.

      I have worked in TV and Postproduction for most of my career and have seen the amazing leaps in quality from PAL SD to 4K digital.

      It's depressing that we are going backwards these days to almost VHS quality in the home, and even more depressing that people seem happy with this.

      4K cinema projectors are commonplace in movie theatres in the UK now, and the highest quality material you can buy domestically is 1080p Blue Ray.

      Amazingly streaming or downloading movies seems to be mostly stuck at SD 720, with high compression.

      And the choice compared to the toal number of movies available on disc is pathetic.

      What is the point in ever increasing production quality by the movie, tv show makers and display manufacturers if we are all watching thumbnail sized compressed crap...


    4. mr-tom

      Re: Loveflim disks by post is the killer

      I loved Love Film initially, but then over a six month period, it seemed every other disc they sent me was filthy and / or scratched. I watched little bits of so many things that in the end I gave up on them and decided to wait for iptv. Now Netflix is here, even though the range isn't great, I simply never, ever run into quality issues, and that's on a positively medieval Internet connection,

  7. Eponymous Cowherd

    Netflix vs LoveFilm vs Blinkbox?

    I subscribe to LoveFilm and Netflix VOD services. Personally I find:-

    • Content: LoveFilm is the clear winner. Far more stuff I want to watch than on NetFlix.
    • Picture / sound quality: Not much to choose, both very good (and superior to iPlayer).
    • Reliability: Both pretty good. NetFlix suffers slightly fewer buffering issues.
    • Device support: NetFlix is the clear winner. Lack of Android support is a big issue with LoveFilm
    BlinkBox? Pay per view and each view is way overpriced for me. I have an STB with Blinkbox, but It'll have to be a lot cheaper before I consider signing up.

    1. Rob

      Re: Netflix vs LoveFilm vs Blinkbox?

      In regards to the Android support for LoveFilm, do they have an app for it on their Fire Tablets? I would have thought someone could export the apk and then sideload it on another depending on what the App requires.

    2. Matthew 3

      Re: Netflix vs LoveFilm vs Blinkbox?

      Lovefilm don't seem to have the James Bond films. Are they on Netflix or has Sky got exclusive rights for them all?

  8. James 51

    Both netflix and lovefilm require silverlight so no linux watching (moonlight lacks the required DRM module). Neither streams natively to playbook either (if Amazon can create the app for the kindle fire to do it they can recompile it for the playbook too).

    1. Bill the Sys Admin

      So very annoying, why do they not use HTML5 or does that not support DRM?

  9. IHateWearingATie

    Might be time to try Netflix / Lovefilm again

    Tried them both at the beginning of last year on a free trial and the selection available was terrible, so I went back to watching whatever popped up on Sky (£21 a month for just the entertainment package)

    However, may have another look soon and see if the Sky subscription is still needed...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, nothing legal is getting close to ThePirateBay yet.

    That's a shame because I'd happily pay for that kind of service. Just about any film ever made available to play on any device.

    Sadly the fixation with exclusive deals and DRM is killing the movie industry.

    1. Kay Burley ate my hamster

      Re: So, nothing legal is getting close to ThePirateBay yet.

      CORRECT! TPB has the best service of the three.

      The exclusive deals are the problem, some stuff will be on one and the rest on the other. The chasing of more money rather than more audience appears to be the motivation.

      Love Film is lacking in stream-able content whenever you find something good it's only available on DVD. I prefer Netflix as it doesn't get my hopes up only to crush them by saying I have to 1, pay more and 2, wait for a DVD to get lost in the post.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Prof Denzil Dexter
        Thumb Up

        Re: So, nothing legal is getting close to ThePirateBay yet.

        excellent. love the description for the queen!!

  11. Jim 59

    Netflix, Lovefilm, Blinkbox

    These services are okay, but it's hard to get excited about an offering that serves up thousands of repeats in exchange for a lock-in contract. Broadcast TV seems to be about 80% repeats, often repeating the same material several times a week. Combine that with intelligent PVR ownership and series-link recording, and the public's appetite repeat TV is pretty well catered for.

    Blinkbox offers the slightly more interesting possibility of pay-as-you-go.

    1. Rob Beard

      Re: Netflix, Lovefilm, Blinkbox

      There isn't a lock in contract, you can cancel it at any time you want.

      I've got a Netflix subscription which I share amongst the family (IIRC you can have two concurrent streams at once, keeps the kids quiet, one watches on the Wii U and another on the PS3) and there is enough content on there for me to warrant spending the 6 quid a month. I can cancel at any time, but that 6 quid a month gets me TV shows which I haven't seen (Life on Mars for instance), shows which I have seen but aren't available on iPlayer (Red Dwarf which I'm watching with the kids - okay granted we could watch it on Dave, but we'd have to wait for them to come back on again, on Netflix we can watch them in order) and things in HD that I have DVD box sets for but aren't available on Bluray (24 seasons 1 to 7 for instance). There's also exclusive content like Arrested Development which I'm a big fan of, and a fair few movies to keep the kids entertained, and some movies that I'd not normally get to watch.

      If I went down the Blinkbox route for Red Dwarf I'd be paying about £5 to buy a series or £1.99 per episode. That's great but I have DVD box sets that I rarely watch, that £5 per series could just pay for a Netflix or Love Film subscription for a month.

      Still YMMV, it's good to have the choice, just wish there was native Linux support (I find Netflix on Wine is a bit pants on my machines) and it would be nice to intergrate the services with XBMC on Linux, but well until that happens I'll just carry on using it on the consoles. Oh and great tip from the others on here about the DNS thing, I signed up for a trial, considering it's only £3 a month, it doesn't break the bank :-)


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Netflix Great/LoveFilm Not so good

    I signed up to Netflix and Love Film before christmas, during that time I use Netflix heavily. Either on my (andriod) phone, PS3, Wii, PC, the missus uses her iPhone as well. The applications always run smoothly, work fine over HSPDA/EDGE. There is the problem where is can forget what you last watched, but it is easy to find the content.

    LoveFilm is limited to my PS3 or a PC and has a terrible search mechanisim. I have a LoveFilm instant account. When I perform a search I don't want to see things available on DVD. Whenever we have tried to use it, we search/browse and then find out it is only available by post. The search feature and the fact it is limited to my PS3 is why I am cancelling this month.

    1. Matthew 3

      Re: Netflix Great/LoveFilm Not so good

      "LoveFilm is limited to my PS3 or a PC"

      Pretty sure Lovefilm works on at least as many devices as Netflix. I've used it on my smart TV, Wii and on an iPad as well as the ones you've mentioned.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Netflix Great/LoveFilm Not so good

        Please point me at the Andriod and iPhone application, all I kind find is an order by post application. I think LoveFilm has been limited to the Fire when it comes to small devices.

        The Wii update only appeared in the last few weeks and I haven't had time to try it yet. But if it is like the PS3 LoveFilm application I don't have much hope, even 4oD player is better than LoveFilm on the PS3.

        The web expearences are quite different from a UI perspective as well, the search facility is painfull and the web design looks like from 5 years ago.

  13. Reading Your E-mail

    LG TV

    Don't have a lot of choice right now, since LG hurled lovefilm at us Netflix is no longer a choice, unless I want to watch it via a smaller screen on my Xbox, as they removed it from the dash to make way for lovefilm.

    Lovefilm is ok when you get it going but the LG app is awful on the LW650t, it takes 2 mins to load the app (sometimes more) from the dash and forget trying to browse, better to do that on your pc then jump straight to it on the TV. That said, once it gets going it seems fine, so far no pauses even at peak times.

    1. groovyf

      Re: LG TV

      How old is your TV? Mine's a recent LG and have both LoveFilm and Netflix apps on there.

      1. Reading Your E-mail

        Re: LG TV

        Bought in the Jan sale in 2012, so guessing 2011. Doesn't show in the premium features menu anymore.

        1. IsJustabloke

          Re: LG TV

          perhaps it depends upon the actual model. I bought an LG tv (LM620T) back in november last year and it has both apps and both work very well.

          I had a trial with both services and have kept LoveFilm , dumped Netflix. It could be my bandwidth but the picture quality for HD content (of which there is much) is as good as the braodcast quality. They also seem to be constantly increasing the number of "collections" available.

          So I've no complaints at all about the LG or Lovefilm for that.

          On a side note... there have been 3 firmware updates delivered to my TV so they seem to be pretty good in that deptment as well.

  14. jb99


    They all appear to be streaming services.

    I'd quite happily pay to watch on my laptop or tablet on the train each day but as they are streaming services they are literally useless to as there is no reliable internet connection.

  15. Prof Yaffle

    XBMC Binary Addons

    I've got Lovefilm, but use it for the discs, not the streaming - I'm not buying a new TV just to support the IPTV service du jour, it's bad enough keeping up with DVB-T/S2 and MHEG standards making my tuners obsolete (my current TV lasted 8 months before The Space and superseded it...). And don't get me started on Lovefilm's support for their own tablet (Kindle Fire HD) but not anything else Android-ey, and that's before I ask whether I want to dangle my 'phone out of side of the television.

    No, the answer to Linux/Silverlight/everything streaming to me is to embrace XBMC's new binary add-ons. Netflix, Lovefilm, the Beeb and everyone else can write closed-source addons, including whatever advertising, geolocks, DRM or authentication they need, and provide them to work seamlessly with the rest of XBMC. I can then have the YouView experience but without a(nother) soon-to-be-obsolete box cluttering up the lounge.

    Other fine media suites are available and may have similar qualities, before I get battered with Plex, WMC or other brickbats.

  16. Jedit Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    LoveFilm cold called me asking if I wanted to try a subscription. I informed them that I already had one, but would be cancelling it because they had cold called me and I don't do business with companies that use cold calling.

    1. HP Cynic

      Re: HateLoveFilm

      Hah! About to do the same with TalkTalk.

      Weds: I get a "Health Check" call which is in fact a sales call to ask me to get their TV deals. Not the first time, happens every few weeks but picking up the pace recently. As usual I say "If I want more services I'll look on the website".

      Thur: Another call from TalkTalk, I refuse to take the call and am told "It was TalkTalk doing a HealthCheck - they will call back tomorrow".

      Fri: expecting another call tonight where I'll tell them as a result of their harassment I'm going to cancel.

      Basically TalkTalk are losing customers fast so seems they are desperately trying to get their existing base to buy more of their services. Another free Netflix trial just appeared in my inbox too.

      LoveFilm can jump off a bridge or pay me back the £10 they scammed out of me during their "free trial".

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: HateLoveFilm

      Clearly it's not a cold call, you are on their database, as you are a customer. ...


      1. Jedit Silver badge

        "you are on their database, as you are a customer. ..."

        True dat, but a company that doesn't separate existing customers from potential new customers is so wilfully incompetent that they don't deserve business.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I tried Lovefilm but cancelled it because the interface was so awful. Currently on Netflix and sticking with it because the interface and streaming is much better. I hope the selection improves over time. In the meantime I use other sources to watch the stuff which is missing, which I feel is perfectly acceptable.

    1. Chris Parsons


      That people should choose a service based on the interface of the software rather than the content.

      1. sabba
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Baffling

        Why is it baffling? If you can't find what you want or use it in an appropriate manner then it doesn't matter how great the content they have.

        1. Magnus_Pym

          Re: Baffling

          Because it is sounds like saying 'It is easy to find that there is nothing I want to watch'

  18. Cosmo


    I currently am signed up to LoveFilm, but mainly just use it for the DVDs by post service, which is pretty good for my use case.

    I am concerned about the amount of fragmentation that is going on in the streaming market though. So it looks like to me you need LoveFilm for film content, NetFlix for TV content, SKY for the most up-to-date content (plus don't they have exclusivity for one of the movie houses?)

    So if you wanted to get a broad brush of everything, it means managing lots of subscriptions, plus I feel that over time it'll get worse before it gets better. I feel that broadcast TV is starting to wobble now and is losing its dominance, but I'm worried about having to sign up for service A for TV series A, service B for TV series B, service C for Film C etc. etc.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The key questions for many people, then, is: “What can I watch?” and “Is there one service that will give me everything I need?”

    As far as that latter goes, the answer still remains a firm ‘no’. Exclusive content deals mean that, in many cases, this is likely to remain that case for the foreseeable future.

    This is why I won't sign up. What is needed is someone to kill Sky's domination of the exclusive New content.

    Re pricing debate, look at how much the cost of cinema tickets have gone up. Its crazy.

    1. HP Cynic

      Cinema tickets are indeed insane but there's often good deals on a Tuesday.

      One of my local Odeons has not even bothered with a silly euphemism and just called it "Cheap Tuesday" where tickets are £4

      The other nearby Odeon knocks off money for Premier Card holders.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Indeed if they carry on like this I won't be surprised if the rate of freetards went up.

  20. Phil 56

    I have Lovefilm ( the one that includes 1 dvd at a time ) and I also have Netflix and I have just cancelled my Sky TV subsription.

    I am pondering over buying a Freesat box with recording facility, but since I upgraded my broadband to unlimited fibre optic all the TV I have watched has been either Lovefilm or Netfix.

    Also as someone else pointed out there are no adverts and much cheaper than my Sky subscription.

  21. envmod

    tried both

    found lovefilm slow and frustrating

    found netflix quick and easy

    went with netflix

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now TV

    I heard from the inside that Now TV has attracted less than 5,000 subscribers. Mind you, with a web site that looks worse than anything I could do (and I'm a coder, not a web designer) this didn't surprise me as much as it might have done...

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: Now TV

      Hopefully, there may be some figures for NOW TV issued as part of Sky's results, which are due out next week - they weren't willing to share anything in advance of that.

  23. SpaMster

    Might be worth noting the numbers you have for the amount of tv series and movies on Netflix is nowhere near that. Are these the totals for the american version or what?

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      No, those are the UK figures - those for the US (obtained via the Netflix API) are 9154 films and 4989 TV seasons. UK figures are from the Oric website - there isn't a UK API at the moment - based on their own research.

  24. Steve Pettifer
    Thumb Down

    Just cancelled my LoveFilm account because i don't watch as many films as I used to. It always annoyed me that I'd get random discs off a list because I was rarely in the mood to watch what arrived and the streaming selection is so dire it's ridiculous. Their ads trumpeting it are pretty disingenuous at best. In addition, to cancel I had to speak to an incomprehensible person in India who would not deviate from their script:

    Me - "I'd like to cancel my account"

    Him - "As a valued customer I can reduce your monthly payments.."

    Me - "No, I want to CANCEL my account"

    Him "Well as a valued customer, you can take a membership holid..."


    That alone makes me pleased to have cancelled.

    I tried Netflix but their selection was similarly cack so canceled before the free trial ended (don't think I watched a single thing on it).

    Blinkbox is overpriced, no question, but is really the only game in town for me as they seem to have the best selection of stream-able stuff. If they can get their pricing model to something sensible (say 2 quid for a recent release) I'd definitely use it more, but £3.49 a pop for latest releases is pretty stiff. Problem is, they have no genuine competition right now so they can charge what they like. Not sure if Sky Go will make any difference or not seeing as you basically have to have a Sky TV package to get it.

  25. PaulR79

    Netflix need to do more in the UK

    When they initially launched in the UK Netflix had a very poor selection. Compared to what's available in the US it's pathetic and after looking through the 'vast' amount of series and films I didn't even take up the trial. I've looked back now and then over the year to see if it's gotten any better but so far I don't see it. They may say they've doubled the content but it's easy to double such a small number.

    LoveFilm..... ugh.... I made the mistake of taking up a trial when Amazon offered a voucher for trying it (thanks for the free headphones Amazon!) and I've been paying for it with "come back to us" things in the post since (no thanks for that Amazon..) The thing that bugged me about LoveFilm is how a lot of content wasn't included in their streaming packages and you had to pay more for (?!) which seemed all too like Sky when it started charging separate fees for Sports, Movies, then Sports on demand followed by movies on demand etc. Pay for access to all these movies*

    *Except those others ones which you have to pay for again

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Netflix need to do more in the UK

      See my below post. Media hint.

  26. Piro Silver badge

    Use Netflix..

    Run it through a US proxy.. Get everything. is an easy way to do this for sweet FA.

    I don't have a Netflix subscription now, but that's what I'd do if I still did. I'm to attached to the hoarding of the actual files without streaming and without DRM. I'd rather buy a DVD of a single movie for the price of unlimited Netflix in a month. Then of course I rip the crap out of them.

    1. Pie
      Thumb Up

      Re: Use Netflix..

      That was going to be my tip as well.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Use Netflix..

      Unblock US is pretty good too - can choose a country to be "from". Although it is a pay for service.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. mickey mouse the fith

        Re: Use Netflix..

        "Unblock US is pretty good too - can choose a country to be "from". Although it is a pay for service"

        Sod paying for anything,

        Change dns back to your i.s.p `s, Clear cookies and any temp files, reboot router, supply new email address-->works for 2 or 3 rearms of the free 5 day trial.

        T:hey dont even check the email address exists, so just stick a disposable, made up one in there.

        Apparently changing the wifi card in your laptops mac address or signing up from different devices lets you do this forever, but i just google for free dns servers, there are 100`s out there and its less hassle.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Use Netflix..

      You might as well cancel NetFlix and just download everything from Bit-torrent, it's just as illegal....

  27. Arthur Jackson


    I use my local library, there is quite a choice of DVDs, Box sets and foreign language films. Weekly rental is £1.50 for a standard DVD, £2.50 for box sets or Blu Ray, if it is a premier, just released title then they charge £3.50 and 2 day rental. I can search online to see if a particular title is in stock at one of my local libraries.

    Last week I read "Let the right one in" by John Linqvist, and watched both the Swedish and American DVDs based on the book.

    Check it out, you might be surprised at what is available, and by using your local Library you may be helping to keep it open.

    1. Don Jefe
      Thumb Up

      Re: Library

      The wife and I use our local library for movies a lot (as well as audio books) too. Lots of new titles and plenty of inventory considering there are only 398 people who live in the town. It is a really nice library and there is no fee to borrow, just a limit of three digital items checked out at any one time.

  28. Downside
    Thumb Down

    Tried Netflix...cancelled netflix

    Netflix - has some odd "cult" movies, rest of it was a real "meh". XBOX app was an awful way to try and find content I wanted to watch.

    I guess I kinda like discs and browsing in video stores - the sound and image quality from full-fat BluRay is wonderful. Until they come up with a great way to find content and can provide it in high bit rate..

    Content it key though. BlinkBox has got HBO stuff, which makes up for me not having Sky Atlantic. Good for them.

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Martin Glenn
    Thumb Down

    Well the clincher for me being deaf was that Netflix has subtitles on nearly all of its streamed content, Love has pretty much none.

  31. Scott 62

    i have both, but prefer Netflix because

    1. I can watch it on my Andriod phone whilst on the toilet at work.

    2. Subtitles. I frequently watch Netflix on the iPad whilst in bed and don't want to risk waking the kids up, having no subtitles on Lovefilm is a pain in the arse.

    3. Access to the US / Canadian catalogue via VPN, which is awesome.

    1. Chris Parsons


      Are you sure? It's only a video library. I would expect a bit more than that before I would be overawed.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Internet is not a broadcast medium and therefore as Netflix becomes more successful the greater the problems it will face with content delivery. I understand that the networks will add bandwidth but will they be able to do it economically? Netflix may need to build data delivery centers closer to consumers to alleviate these problems. Building data delivery centers closer to consumers will be quite costly. The service may work quite well at the moment but will it scale?

    1. Ian Yates

      And VOD is not a problem solved by broadcast... Whether they can afford to scale it, though, is a different issue.

    2. James 100

      "Netflix may need to build data delivery centers closer to consumers to alleviate these problems."

      From a recent Reg story, it's clear Netflix *ARE* building out distributed delivery nodes - colocating with ISPs where they can, Akamai-style, peering directly with the rest so users are always served by local nodes rather than stressing a backbone.

      I've just finished re-watching 24 day 2 from Netflix. The TV's built-in Netflix app can start playing an HD stream as faster than a DVD player can get in gear (Entanet FTTC, ~ 60 Mbps); even over Three's 3G to an iPad, though, Netflix generally manages to deliver decent streaming quality with about 3 brief streaming glitches out of about 15 hours of streaming.

      No idea about Lovefilm, but I'm very impressed indeed with Netflix. Having been cynical about Net video for a long time, I'm stunned by the service they deliver now. I can see why even Sky are moving in that direction now, with 'Anytime+'; with decent bandwidth (i.e. not the over-contended wet string peddled by the likes of TalkTalk and Virgin) it really does work very nicely.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT - service that is so last century

    ADSLMax exchange + poor copper Loop = That even on a less than 3 mile line Anything downloaded or streamed punishes other users in the house who need access at the same time. British Broadband really Sucks

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BT - service that is so last century

      ADSL speeds approx 4 Mb/s within 3-5 miles of exchange. Enough for streaming and downloading other things. Each ADSL line is exlusive for each household. The line is not shared with neighbors.

      Virgin Cable - 100 MB - Each Cable line is not exlusive for each household. The line is shared with neighbors. Having said this one can still expect to get over 20 Mb/s.

      Mobile Phone Broadband - Approx 3.5 Mb/s which is shared with all users in Phone Cell. On some occasions drops to 1 Mb/s. Only very rarely 512 Kb/s.

      The British people have a number of services to meet their requirements.

  34. Spearchucker Jones

    Xbox Music/Video?

    It's all I use. On my PC, my phone, my tablet and my Xbox. I also have a LoveFilm (postal version) subscription, which gives me a bit of free streaming online. The LoveFilm app on the Xbox is crap compared with Xbox Video. I tried Netflix for 10 minutes when they launched, but that cupboard was bare, even compared with the (compared with Xbox Video) relatively bare LoveFilm cupboard.

    All said and done though, the only TV I watch is the news, and since my kid made his appearance a year ago I only watch the occasional film. So I'd love to hear how Xbox Video compares with LoveFilm, Netflix and BlinkBox (which I've not heard of before reading this article).

  35. NomNomNom

    im just going to pirate shit until there is a service where i can pay to stream movies. similar to what i did with music before itunes.

  36. Si 1

    Doctor Who

    Netflix is winning for me at the moment as they have all the surviving B&W Classic Doctor Who stories. Now if they could just hurry up and start adding Jon Pertwee's stuff and beyond it would be even better....

  37. StooMonster
    Thumb Up

    High Definition

    I signed up with Netflix because they had High Definition support, when LoveFilm were low resolution streaming only at them time. Do LoveFilm have better HD support these days?

    Another thing, was easy to roll out Netflix around the house, just used those Apple TV things: plugged them into power and HDMI and done.

    Coincidentally had a conversation the other day with friend, where I realised that most of our current household viewing is Netflix — rather than Sky or optical discs — and it's because (a) there's not much we fancy to record on Sky at the moment and (b) there's loads of series on Netflix that we kind-of-fancied in the past but never got round to watching but can now watch the entire things in HD (mostly).

  38. StooMonster

    Breaking Bad

    For those who haven't tasted the delights of Mr White and his story, Netflix has the UK exclusive distribution of Breaking Bad at the moment.

  39. Zaniwoop


    i have a Samsung smart tv and Netflix is not an option at all only lovefilm witch ofcourse lovefilm have paid Samsung to include in there smart tv's

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blinkbox for me

    On the rare occasion I want to watch a film, blinkbox usually has something. £4 is a bit steep compared to rental from the local DVD shop (or Asda's cheap buys). Other than that, it seems great.

  41. Thorfkin

    Top Gear

    I just wish they would update Top Gear on Netflix with the newer series. They stopped at series 17 and have not posted anything past that.

  42. The Brave Sir Robin
    Thumb Up

    Netflix for me

    With Netflix I get HD content with 5.1 surround sound on my WD TV Live STB and great HD video on my Android phone, Android tablet and PCs. Using the DNS bodge I get access to the US content. Currently working my way through some series I missed such as Warehouse 13, Eureka and Breaking Bad.

    Lovefilm doesn't support Android which is a big no-no for me. Especially as there's no reason for this as they do support the Kindle Fire. Also no support on the WD TV Live.

    It amazes me that Netflix can provide HD quality streaming on Android tablets and phones with DRM but the likes of Lovefilm , Sky and the BBC can't. Perhaps they should license streaming technology off someone who knows how to do it like Netflix.

    1. StooMonster

      Re: Netflix for me

      The BBC, Sky, etc say they have more than a quarter of their customers using GingerBread, so they cannot offer advanced features like HD streaming ... unless they want to cut off their service for a chunk of their customers.

      (Last time I looked on Google Android analytics, couple of weeks ago, GingerBread was more than 50% of devices accessing Google Play in the prior two weeks.)

      Of course they could develop different clients for different versions of Anroid, which is exactly the Android fragmentation issue in a nutshell.

      Whereas their Apple iOS clients are shiny and packed with cutting edge features, such as programme downloads (so one can watch iPlayer on the train and not worry about tunnels).

      1. The Brave Sir Robin

        Re: Netflix for me

        That argument is bollocks. Netflix runs on Gingerbread and even Froyo. The whole Android "fragmentation issue" is also bollocks. Developers need to write their code properly. Netflix runs on anything with Froyo or newer. The only issue potentially is for someone running a cheap and nasty budget phone/tablet.

        The market share argument for supporting Apple over Android is a non-argument and there is no fragmentation issue for Android if the code is properly written. The BBC and Sky seem to be populated by Fanbois IMV or they're in Apple's pocket (probably in the case of Sky anyway). It is fundamentally wrong of the BBC to waste license fee on supporting the Apple platform over Android when there are more Android using license fee payers.

        Cut off 50% of their customers ? How can they cut off 50% of their customers when they don't bloody have any customers ? BBC iplayer on Android is lazily and badly written, relying on utterly rubbish Adobe technology to bodge in DRM. Sky Go is so crap it's not worth bothering with even if it does work on your device. Amazon just want people to buy Kindle Fires so they won't support other devices even though there's no technical issue why not.

        If Netflix can produce a quality product on a wide range of Android devices then there's no excuse for Sky, the BBC and Lovefilm not to do the same.

  43. OrsonX

    pay for TV?

    Big Bang is on constant loop on Channel 4....

    ....and even that's shit now.

  44. CmdrX3

    US content on Netflix is far better

    Although I did really like their Lilyhammer series. I might even pay a months access to watch House of Cards. Will it be as good as the original... You might very well think that, I couldn't possibly comment.

  45. SolidSnake

    Tried both Netflix and LoveFilm instant

    Contentwise, I didn't find BIG difference between the two.

    I choose Netflix at the end simply because for the ease of use, I also found their recommendation engine is good.

    I had many troubles with LoveFilm, the user interface is really behind and the app experience on the PS3 was horrible.

    Both need more content though.

  46. Hagglefoot

    Fate acomplished

    You will probably find that that the shot in the arm that Netflix is promoting is due to the fact that over Christmas all those DVD gifts that had Ultraviolet paraded all over them were installed by people because of the no choice disposition of the media.

    For a while people were buying the digital versions so that they could load them on their iGadgets but with ultraviolet you were left with only once course of action, that and the supposed drop in i-Gadget sales and to get the same film on itunes download is so expensive. People have therefore in a cost saving exercise gone for galaxy III's and are watching moves over netflix while reserving the true blue hi quality playback for a cozy night in in front of the widescreen.

    There we go mystery over. Chistmas gift channeled to netflix via Ultraviolet, I suspect the registrations will remain for rewatch purposes but the take up might drop off now after Christmas.

  47. Barry Rueger

    The view from Canada

    We're doing Netflix (US, via an add-on service to fool them into thinking we live there). The programming might be a season or two old, and the movie choices less than comprehensive, but we're paying about $12 a month, versus $40 minimum for cable.

    For us it's a hands down easy choice. We're not TV junkies, and don't care if we're watching "this weeks'" episode of some show, so we could never justify the difference.

    Admittedly Netflix lacks sports, and news, but I don't care about the former, and listen to BBC World Service in the car via smartphone for the latter. And surely Netflix' interface is horribly bad, and inconsistent to boot - some days it shows me "recently watched", some days it doesn't. No idea why. And I would LOVE to be able to tag things that I find and would like to watch later.

    My frustration is the sheer amount of programming out there on the web that I can't (easily) get onto my TV. I'll happily pay for a single box that will get me the usual Netflix etc stuff, but also let me view streaming TV from websites the way that I can on my computer. And don't get me started about the madness of all of these regional series with differing choices.

    Finally: An American remake of House of Cards? - that's just sad.....

  48. feanor

    Can't use Netflix thanks to the damp peice of string that BT laughingly refers to as broadband. Maybe one day in the distant future us country bumpkins will be able to use such things. Its nice to have something to look forward to.......

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not really worth it

    Both Netflix and LoveFilm have terrible UI's and while Netflix is the better that's not saying much. For using on a TV their search facilities are painful. You really do need a keyboard.

    Of course none of this would matter if the content was top notch. Sadly they both have a very limited supply of films and TV episodes ... even worse is that they often don't have the complete seasons of series that finished years ago!

  50. Bobthe2nd


    When comparing providers ensure you use the same units.

    Lovefilm do films AND games.. Netflix do films only and just low quality streaming, so its not comparable.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seriously thinking of ditching sky. The only dissenter in my house is a somewhat unintelligent child who likes to watch disney channel tweenage garbage ad infinitum(seriously, if you've even seen some of this stuff, it makes the ITV1 saturday nite schedule look quality). I'd be happy to pay a very small fee to be able to stream / download this twaddle to their bedroom tv, thus keeping them out of the way and stopping the whinging. Can anything UK based actually do this? One of the very strange things about streaming / downloading services is their lack of will to actually tell you what they show....

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like