US VIDEO STREAMING LEADER Netflix landed in the UK during the second week of January, bringing with it a large collection of streamable TV and movie content as well as some much needed competition to the Lovefilm subscription service.
With many users well into their 30 day trial period for Netflix, we take a look and see if the service is worth investing in, or whether Lovefilm represents the better alternative.
Both web sites offer a wealth of content, but neither has a distinct overall advantage. We generally found Netflix to be better for TV shows and Lovefilm to be the source for movies.
There are over 10,000 titles in the Netflix catalogue, most of which are TV shows. There is a variety of content from both the US and UK. British shows include well-known titles such as Doctor Who, The Inbetweeners, The IT Crowd and Top Gear.
However, UK users are more likely to be interested in catching up with shows from across the pond, and there are lots of those to dig right into. Popular shows include 24, Arrested Development, Breaking Bad, Californication, Dexter, Heroes, Weeds and the list goes on. There are even the cult classics including Firefly, Jericho, Twin Peaks and many more that will satisfy the esoteric TV addict.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the selection of movies, which will disappoint if you are expecting the latest releases. Newly added features include the Jason Statham flicks Blitz and The Mechanic, and although we love the Stat-man, they weren't quite what we were looking for. Of course, it's not all bad as there are many good titles if you take a proper gander. A Fistful of Dollars, The Rock and 3:10 to Yuma were some of standout titles we found.
In terms streaming content, Lovefilm offers around 2,400 TV shows and over 5,000 movies available to view free with your package. Up until the debut of Netflix, the selection of TV shows streamed by Lovefilm was quite pitiful with Peep Show and Robot Chicken dominating the interface.
However, there are signs that better content is on the way with Lovefilm recently adding an ABC TV On Demand option and offering shows such as Castle and Lost. Although we like this renewed focus on TV, Lovefilm still has a way to go before it can equal Netflix in this department. A show such as Weeds, which is available in the Netflix package, will cost you £1.89 per episode on Lovefilm, on top of your package.