Netflix vs Lovefilm
Streaming giants go head to head
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Some Other Factors.
I currently have both and found these differences...
This week Lovefilm has 2. Netflix the new releases section looks the same as it always has, so presumably no new content since launch day.
Lovefilm has lots of filtering to drill down to what you want. Netflix present about a dozen categories, chosen by them, with about a dozen films in each, again chosen by them.
Lovefilm has forums, e-mail, the works. Netflix is phone only.
Having said all that, if I had to pick one It would be Netflix for the vastly superior streaming quality. Check out Tokyo Gore Police on both services to see how big the difference can be.
Currently a better option than either of them is the local video shop. Or if you want everything an on-line service should be, try The Pirate Bay. These two streaming services are not ready yet.
One last thought.
Could the film industry PLEASE STOP SIGNING EXCLUSIVE DEALS WITH DISTRIBUTION SERVICES. You're limiting your audience for a quick initial profit.
"Could the film industry PLEASE STOP SIGNING EXCLUSIVE DEALS WITH DISTRIBUTION SERVICES. You're limiting your audience for a quick initial profit."
Exactly this. It's clear that the studios have learnt absolutely nothing from the last decade of watching what has happened to the music industry. A service that gives me only half of the content I am interested in is pointless and is the reason I haven't signed up for either Lovefilm or Netflix yet. A service that gives me most (maybe not all - Spotify-ish) is much more enticing.
No monthly charge, full HD dowloads, releases before they are released and best of all,
A free holiday in the USA!
I'm trialling Netflix at the mo
ment, and am really enjoying the offering. However, they really need to add lots of recent movies. Sky have a better selection of 'current' movies on Anytime or on their scheduled tv service.
Where Netflix has the edge is I can stop watching something on the eggsbox and pickup the Android tablet and continue watching there.
I'm surprised Amazon don't have
this offering, shirley they'll need it to deliver movies to the Kindle Fire.
Its just a shame I started experiencing the <<buffering>> issue last night - more on-device content caching please Netflix.
Expect the same from Netflix.
If you are expecting movies that are on in the cinema, expect to be disappointed.
If you are expecting movies that are out on Sky Movies, expect to be disappointed.
If you are expecting movies that are just out on DVD, expect to be disappointed.
Streaming for BOTH services are the movies that companies have already extracted all possible profit from from existing outlets.
If you want recent movies, then LoveFlim movies by post is the only option....