TV On Demand Packages
Compare the cheapest and best TV On-Demand packages including Netflix, LoveFilm & NOW TV. Learn how to stream TV shows and movies to your laptop, tablet PC, TV or games console.
TV On Demand Packages Explained
What is TV on-demand?
TV on-demand is an online service that lets you watch movies and TV programmes whenever you want to. To receive TV on-demand you’ll need a good broadband connection and a compatible device to watch your on-demand content with. Most people will watch their TV on-demand services on a laptop or PC, while some TV on-demand services allow you to use a games console such as a PS3, Xbox 360 or Wii connected to your TV. Some others, most notable Apple TV, requires a specific set-top box and a good wireless broadband connection to function.
You’ll need a broadband package with a sufficient monthly download allowance to stream enough video to enjoy everything that TV on-demand has to offer. As a rule of thumb each episode of a TV programme in Standard Definition will be about 500-750Mb in size and a movie will be about 1.5GB. So, to really make the most of TV on-demand, a high or unlimited monthly download allowance is a must.
Watch movies online
With a TV on-demand package you can watch movies online on any compatible device at a time to suit you. This makes TV on-demand a great alternative to other so-called linear TV services. With our TV on-demand packages you can gain access to thousands of the latest and greatest movies. The cost of watching a movie depends upon a number of factors including which TV on-demand service you’re using and whether you’re opting to watch in Standard or High Definition (if available).
With Apple TV you pay a one-off fee for an Apple TV set-top box, which you then connect to your TV via an HDMI cable. This great-looking set-top box connects wireless to your home broadband network to let you stream media from your laptop or PC, to watch YouTube videos and more and to let you rent and buy movies online.
To rent movies using your Apple TV you’ll need an account with iTunes. Once subscribed you’ll be able to rent movies directly through your set-top box and without the need to log on via your home computer. To stream media from your Windows or Mac laptop or home computer you’ll need to make sure that you have iTunes 10 or later installed.
Apple’s iTunes is perhaps the most famous online retail of movies, TV shows and music thanks to its connection to the ubiquitous iPads, iPhones and iPods which are themselves amongst the most widely used media players in the world. With iTunes you have the option to rent or buy movies and TV shows in standard definition and, in many cases, in High Definition.
When you buy a movie or episode of a TV show it is downloaded via the iTunes programme onto your Apple device or home computer. It is then yours to watch on your Apple devices for ever. With a rental the movie or episode is only yours to enjoy for up to 48 hours, but you can watch it as many times as you like in this period.
The cost of standard definition movie rentals on iTunes varies depending upon how old or popular it is, with new and the moist popular programmes tending to be charged at the upper end of the scale. HD movies cost a little more than their standard definition versions.
On the Blinbox site you can watch a wide selection of movies and TV shows from the past 50+ years, with many being completely free to view. Prices for more popular and more recent TV shows and movies vary.
To access it you’ll just need a good broadband Internet connection and a suitable device, such as a Windows laptop or desktop computer, with Windows Media Player 11 or higher installed. Blinkbox content can also be watched on your TV via a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. Most Blinkbox movies and TV shows can also be watched on Mac computers but downloading is currently not available.
As a service Blinbkbox has a lot to offer to consumers, not least the vast library of films and classic TV shows that are completely free to watch. And movie buffs will love that many top movies are made available to stream on the day they are released on DVD. Some top titles are only available to buy, and usually at a price which is just a little lower than the cost of purchasing them on DVD.
Netflix is a very popular TV and movie streaming service and is the most recent to launch in the UK. Having already built up a massive following in the States it has quickly proven very popular with UK users too.
With Netflix you pay a fixed monthly subscription charge and you’re then free to stream as many movies or episodes of TV shows as you like. Netflix content can be viewed in myriad different ways. As with all other streaming services you can watch on your laptop or desktop PC, on selected Smart TVs, home cinema systems, Roku boxes and Blu-ray players and via the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation PS3 and Xbox 360. There are also apps that will let you stream Netflix content to Apple iPhones & iPads and Android phones & tablets.
The Amazon-owned LOVEFiLM offers a very similar service to Blinkbox in terms of movie streaming, but one that comes coupled with a disc-through-the-post movie rental service. Some movies can be streamed to your laptop, home computer, Xbox 360, PS3, iPad or compatible TV on a pay-per-view basis with prices comparable to Blinkbox and iTunes while other movies are only available to subscribers to the upper levels of packages. There’s also a small selection of older films that can be watched completely free of charge to help give you taste of the service.
LOVEFiLM customers sign up for a combined service of DVD/Blu-ray disc rentals through the post and Internet streaming. There is a range of different packages and prices to choose from and as a rule the more you pay the more DVDs you can enjoy in a month, and the more hours of online streaming you’ll be entitled to.
Can I get TV on-demand?
As discussed above the main considerations for TV on-demand come down to broadband availability and the equipment you’ve got access to. If you live in an area with a consistently good broadband speed of 2Mb or better then you should indeed be able to subscribe to one or more of the TV on-demand services listed above. You may need to install specific software to access any given service so have a look above at the system requirements for each TV on-demand provider.