Feeds

Netflix vs Lovefilm

Streaming giants go head to head

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

IPTV Week

This month, at long last, US video streaming giant Netflix finally arrived on UK shores, with a £5.99 all-you-can-eat offering. It was swiftly matched by the local incumbent, Lovefilm. The Amazon-owned company pitched a streaming-only option at an introductory £4.99.

But which is the best option for Reg Hardware readers, and is there really much difference between the two best-known names in video streaming?

Netflix vs Lovefilm

First things first, if you want physical DVDs, or games rentals, then your only choice is Lovefilm. For a few pounds more than the streaming package, you can add postal DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals, a market Netflix isn't addressing in the UK.

But beware, some of Lovefilm's cheaper postal options include only a limited number of hours streaming per month.

Netflix streaming service screenshot on Samsung

Browsing Netflix on the Samsung 8000

I tested both services head to head on a Samsung 8000-series TV connected by HomePlug AV powerline network tech to a broadband connection that averages a 16Mbps download speed.

Setup

Netflix was a simple service to set up, though the TV app directs you to the website. As you create your account, Netflix asks about various genres of film and whether you watch them ‘Never’, ‘Sometimes’ or ‘Often’, to help provide recommendations.

Lovefilm streaming service screenshot on Samsung

Browsing Lovefilm on the Samsung

Lovefilm can – apparently – be set up from the TV. But since I once tried a service called Sofa Cinema, owned by The Guardian but run by Lovefilm, I couldn’t use the same email address. My postcode wasn’t recognised, and the on-screen package choices didn’t have the new streaming-only service. It was only by calling customer support that I was able to get up and running. Frankly, if I wasn’t writing about it, I’d have given up with Lovefilm then and there.

Netflix

Price £5.99 per month unlimited streaming
More Info Netflix

LoveFilm

Price £4.99 per month streaming only (introductory price)
  £7.99 per month unlimited rental of one disc, with unlimited streaming
  £9.99 per month unlimited rental of two discs, with unlimited streaming
More Info Lovefilm

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: Interface

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?