Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video vs Now TV: which is better?

The top three players in the UK are Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and NOW Broadband. They all offer a fabulous selection of TVs and plenty of movies to watch on demand, as much as you want and when you want. You can even get them with a regular TV package. But which one is right for you? Let’s take a look at them.


Learn more about TV streaming services in our guide

Netflix

Price: £ 6.99 to £ 12.99 per month; 30 day free trial

Netflix began life in the United States in 1997 as a DVD rental service by mail. It’s a household name these days – literally, as people all over the world stream movies and TV shows to TVs, computers and tablets, with no Royal Mail in sight.

This is in large part thanks to highly acclaimed original shows (like Stranger Things and Sex Education) and popular series that have migrated to Netflix only (like Breaking Bad). It’s so popular, in fact, that when Netflix enters a region, movie piracy drops.

Why is it good

  • It’s available on tons of devices. Web browsers, iPhones, Android, Windows phones, smart TVs, streaming sticks, game consoles – whatever technology you use, it’s almost guaranteed to support Netflix online or as an app.
  • There are some great original programs out there – Russian Doll, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Daredevil, Sense8, and BoJack Horseman to name a few.
  • It also has tons of UK TV and movies from BBC, Channel 4 and more.
  • You can watch it on up to four screens at once and even put multiple profiles on one account – perfect for families.
  • HD is available, as is Ultra HD on some videos.
  • The prices are tiered, so you will only have to pay as much as you want, depending on how many screens you will be watching at the same time and what screen resolution you want. It’s also on an ongoing monthly basis, so you can cancel your subscription at any time.
  • There is a 30 day free trial.

Why is it bad

  • Besides the Netflix originals, there aren’t many new releases. Most movies will arrive on DVD and other services a few months before landing on Netflix, if at all.
  • UK Netflix does not have as wide a range of programs as the US version.
  • Since shows and movies are added on a contract basis, they tend to go away without warning every now and then.

How to get it

Thanks to its high availability, you can create an account on just about any device. But good news if you have a YouView or Virgin Media TiVo box – they both already included the app. The Netflix app can also be downloaded to streaming sticks.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video

Price: £ 7.99 per month for Prime Video only, or £ 79 per year for an Amazon Prime subscription; 30 day free trial

LoveFilm was a UK-based DVD mail company that morphed into an online streaming service and was then taken over by retail giant Amazon. It has since undergone a serious overhaul. Renamed Amazon Prime Video, you’ll find tons of the latest TV shows and movies, and it recently started its foray into original programming as well.

Why is it good

  • £ 7.99 per month subscription available for video only, with a one month free trial – one of the cheapest on the market.
  • Choose the annual Prime subscription option, and you won’t just get Prime Video – you’ll also get next day delivery on thousands of Amazon products, free books in the Kindle Library, Amazon Prime Music, and early access to some offers. For the equivalent of £ 6.58 per month, you get a lot.
  • HD resolution is available as standard, and Ultra HD is available with smart TVs and Amazon Fire.
  • There is some decent original lineup – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Sneaky Pete, The Man in the High Castle and The Grand Tour.
  • Besides the originals, there is a very wide range of TV and movie shows, including new releases and big blockbusters.
  • You can download videos to your device to watch them later.
  • There is a 30 day free trial.

Why is it bad

  • The annual Prime membership costs £ 79.
  • While there are some good original shows, they’re not as popular or critically acclaimed as those from, say, Netflix.
  • There are a few shortcomings in its line of devices – you won’t find it on Chromecast, Windows phones, or pre-iOS 7.0 iPhones and iPads.

How to get it

Like Netflix, you can set up an Amazon account from a wide variety of devices with the Prime Video app. This app is available on most smart TVs – so it can go with any TV package you choose – and is the raison d’être of the Amazon Fire TV Stick or Box.

NOW broadband

NOW TV program guide

Price: £ 7.99 per month for an entertainment pass, with a 14-day free trial; £ 11.99 per month for a Sky Cinema pass, with a 14-day free trial; £ 33.99 per month (or £ 8.99 for a day, or £ 14.99 for a week) for a Sky Sports pass; £ 3.99 per month for a Kids Pass, with a 14-day free trial.

Launched in 2012 and owned by Sky, NOW Broadband was created to easily deliver pay-per-view movies and sports to anyone without Sky TV. It comes in the form of a monthly pass for Sky Cinema and Sky Sports, and an Entertainment pass for 11 pay TV channels, including Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Discovery.

It also offers broadband and home phone packages, which you can of course also combine with your choice of TV.

Find out more about everything you can get from NOW Broadband.

Why is it good

  • It’s a fantastic way to get pay TV channels without all of the hassle – it’s cheaper than subscribing to a package, and there’s very little setup, no long contracts, and no need for money. ‘a satellite dish. It also means that you can watch Sky Cinema and Sky Sports regardless of the other TV you subscribe to.
  • You can combine it with your broadband plan.
  • Sky Cinema offers an incredible array of movies, including a bunch of new blockbusters before they’ve even been released on DVD.
  • The NOW Broadband app is available on YouView boxes, so you can get it with a cheap TV package from BT or TalkTalk.
  • It’s the only one of the three to feature live sports – or any live TV, for that matter.
  • There are 14-day free trials for Entertainment and Sky Cinema passes.

Why is it bad

  • When it comes to TV, there isn’t as much choice as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video – you’re kind of limited to those 13 channels, unless you get a NOW TV box with Freeview.
  • There are no exclusive original shows.
  • TV and movie subscriptions are expensive compared to other services.
  • It is not supported by that many devices – Windows phones, Kindle Fire HDs, and Google Chrome are not supported.
  • Full HD (1080p) streaming is not yet available in all areas, and Ultra HD is out of the question.

Check out our full NOW Broadband review here.

How to get it

NOW Broadband has its own set-top box that you can plug into your TV with any other box you own. That is, unless you have a YouView box – available with a BT TV or TalkTalk TV package – that has the NOW Broadband app already installed. You will also find the app on various smart TVs, game consoles, smartphones, tablets and of course web browsers.

Conclusion

Honestly, the best of the three for you and your household depends a lot on the devices and TV package you already have. And what you want to watch, of course, since they all offer such different things.

NOW Broadband works a little differently than Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, focusing primarily on live channels, sports, and premium movies, while the other two are more box-based and big-movie based. This means that if you want the latest and greatest movies, a Sky Cinema pass on Now TV is by far the best bet.

But if you’re more concerned with the frenzy of certain TV series (or if you already have Sky TV), Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video are pretty close. Netflix is ​​a great addition to any TV package to get more sets – especially if you have a low cost one with a Netflix compatible box, like Virgin Media’s Player TV or TalkTalk’s Basic TV.

Amazon’s service, on the other hand, isn’t limited to TV, if you go for a full Prime membership. For next day delivery and Prime Music, as well as tons of great shows, this is something pretty special. And that’s a no-brainer if you have an Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Our ultimate conclusion is therefore:

  • Ideal for movies: NOW broadband
  • Ideal for TV: Netflix
  • Best all-rounder: Amazon Prime Instant Video

All three offer free trials… so we would say your best bet is to try them all and see which one you like best.

About Mitchel McMillan

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