26th Jun2014

On Trial: Blinkbox vs. Netflix vs. Now TV vs. Amazon vs. Wuaki.TV

by Phil Wheat

We made the switch to streaming only services here at Nerdly HQ almost a year ago and have never looked back.. There’s very little between the services in terms of content, its the PQ and AQ that are the real differences and the winner on that side of things, at least in our BT Infinity 2 household is Netflix – the HD content look amazing, there’s very little buffering and even less picture break-up, something which can’t be said for the majority of the other services out there. My thoughts:

BLINKBOX

blinkbox-screen

Before Tesco took over Blinkbox [completely] I was a real advocate for their service. The choice of free content was great for families, and some of the completely free movies they had were real rarities, stuff that hadn’t seen the light of day since VHS. But times have changed and now (last time I checked) the free stuff has gone and subscription services offer much better value for money. If I want to buy a film or TV show I’ll always go to iTunes I’m afraid, rather than anywhere else.

NETFLIX

Netflix-screen

Hard to beat if you use Netflix with a DNS service such as Unblock-US. Great choice of movies, original content and, if you access overseas versions, the widest range of content out there. However the price hikes make this go – for me – from an impulse purchase to “let me think out this” purchase. Still, this is the king of online film & TV services and I have no doubt it will continue to be the leader in both content creation and innovation when it comes to streaming.

NOW TV

now-tv-screen

We received a completely free Now TV box and a free months sub, which at the time I thought was fantastic. However out of all the streaming services it is Now TV that has had the least use – at least the actual Now TV service that is. The box came in handy for watching catch up services from other terrestrial providers and I even side-loaded Plex on to it via the developers menu to add even more functionality. But the more I used the box the less I actually watched Sky’s content and within 3 months I had cancelled the sub… A few months down the line and the Now TV box has been switched out for a Roku 3 giving me even more choice and functionality.

LOVEFiLM/AMAZON PRIME/INSTANT VIDEO

amazon-instant

For years I had, until very recently in fact, a VIP membership to LOVEFiLM – with access to all the streaming content I could possibly want, without paying a subscription (this was in exchange for penning one or two reviews of films available on the service every month). Besides watching films to review did I watch anything else? Ver, very little. If anything LOVEFiLM was used mainly as a source of family/kids entertainment – we spent many an hour watching old episodes of Power Rangers, Relic Hunter et al. However even then (and moreso now Amazon are running the show) content was incredibly hard to find if you didn’t use the search. We all know there’s just some days you want to browse through whats available and that’s VERY hard with this service…

WUAKI.TV

wuaki-tv

The relative new kid on the block, Wuaki.TV offers both a subscription service (Wuaki Selection)and the ability to buy movies and TV shows for download. Which when compared to the likes of its closest competitor, Blinkbox, actually gives it the edge. Yes, the subscription portion of Wuaki may not have the newest movies but what it does have is a vast catalogue of Disney movies – which is great for families, and the young at heart! Wuaki are also thankfully making strides into providing movies in HD, both to buy, rent and stream. Plus having signed a deal with Google to appear on the Chromecast (which you can get for free when you buy Game of Thrones from them) and bringing Ultraviolet into the Wuaki fold, in an attempt to be the UK home of Ultraviolet – much like Flixster in the US – Wuaki.TV may be the one to watch in 2014/2015.
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WINNER: Netflix (with a DNS service)
RUNNER-UP: Wuaki.TV

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2 Responses to “On Trial: Blinkbox vs. Netflix vs. Now TV vs. Amazon vs. Wuaki.TV”

  • Robert

    I don’t think reviewing Netflix with a DNS service is a fair comparison with the rest. It is like comparing uk supermarkets with Wallmart *if* you are happy to pay shipping from the US. It unfortunately undermines the entire articles integrity.

    • Phil Wheat

      In all honesty, with DNS services costing as little as £1.20 a month, using one is a complete no-brainer if you’re a Netflix subscriber…