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Revisited: Netflix vs. LOVEFiLM

Revisited: Netflix vs. LOVEFiLMAround a year ago I wrote a post comparing both Netflix and LOVEFiLM and at the time my personal choice and the overall winner of the comparison was LOVEFiLM, but a year has passed and both streaming services have developed somewhat, so now is a better time than ever to compare the two once more to see if LOVEFiLM is still holding the trophy.

In my last post I began with the price; nothing much has changed here, but I believe Netflix have lowered their price a little from £6.99 to it’s still £5.99 per month. In my last post I didn’t actually mention the different prices of each so that was good on my part.. Anyway, LOVEFiLM is still £4.99 for it’s LOVEFiLM Instant but it also has other payment options which can quickly become confusing.

Netflix in the UK is a flat rate of £5.99 for anytime streaming, that’s all it offers, LOVEFiLM on the other hand offers the option to pay a little more in order to get rentals, if you don’t navigate to the right page first you may end up paying a little more for physical rentals without meaning to.

Revisited: Netflix vs. LOVEFiLMBoth Netflix and LOVEFiLM can be played on a series of different devices such as PC, Mac, Apple TV, Xbox 360’s, PlayStation 3’s, and most Smartphones and Tablets, this hasn’t changed since I last wrote about them and in this case both are pretty much on par. A decent internet connection is required for each, but most services allow special bandwidth allocations for online streaming, it tends to just be downloads that they cap.

In terms of navigation via my Xbox 360 Netflix does come out on top. Like I mentioned in the past post the user interface for LOVEFiLM on the Xbox is abysmal. It’s almost impossible to find something to watch as there’s no clear search option. Netflix on the other hand has almost the same UI as the web version.

Now this next part is where both services came apart with LOVEFiLM coming out on top; Content. Now like I wrote before a whole year has passed and both services have improved somewhat but for me, Netflix is now the clear winner because of a few reasons but one main one in particular; Original Series.

Revisited: Netflix vs. LOVEFiLMRecently Netflix have been launching it’s own Original Series which aren’t tied to any TV network, this also means that you need to subscribe to Netflix in order to watch them as they won’t be shown anywhere else. Recently we’ve seen a brand new season of Arrested Development appear, two brand new original series, House of Cards and Hemlock Grove and finally my personal favourite which I can’t get enough of so far: Orange is the New Black. This not only adds something unique to Netflix the quality of the series’ also blow LOVEFiLM out of the water.

That’s not to say that LOVEFiLM isn’t attempting the same thing, they’re currently running a new feature called Amazon Original Pilots where they’re showing several pilot episodes and are asking for user feedback which I’m assuming the top rated shows will then be made into a full series. As it stands right now though, Netflix for me comes out on top.

Personally we watch more TV shows than movies so I can’t really comment on the quality of the movie libraries but what I do know is that both services don’t really offer a lot in the way of recent films, if it’s less than a year or two old, chances are it won’t be available yet. Personally I’d rather head over to BlinkBox for movies as you can watch the latest movies for as little as £4.

Finally we’ve got a few more points to make, the quality. Both services can offer 1080p HD streaming depending on several factors, your internet connection, the content you’ve chosen, and the platform you wish to watch it on. As it stands right now LOVEFiLM offers only 1080p on PC and Mac, everything else gets 720p. LOVEFiLM have said that the PlayStation 3 will be getting 1080p soon though. Netflix is a different story, If you’re on a PC that runs anything less than Windows 8 you’re limited to 720p, if you have a Mac that’s 720p too. Everything else but the Xbox 360 gets 1080p. Netflix has said that Microsoft add certain limitations to the Netflix app which means 720p is all they can offer right now.

The verdict?

Revisited: Netflix vs. LOVEFiLMNetflix for me is the all-out winner. Granted it’s a little more expensive than LOVEFiLM but Netflix has it’s Original Series, a hell of a lot more American TV shows from stations like HBO* and Showtime, whereas LOVEFiLM is full of more British TV shows – no thanks. One thing I did mention at the end of my last post is an idea that my wife came up with: “This is a brilliant idea my wife came up with and that’s a “DVD Rack” or “Watch Later” option”, as it turns out Netflix have introduced a “Watch Later” option, something which I believe LOVEFiLM is still lacking. So again another point to Netflix.

At the end of the day it’s personal preference. A year ago I liked LOVEFiLM over Netflix, this year I prefer the latter. Who knows, Amazon might pull it out of the back with their Original Pilot program and blow Netflix away.

What are your thoughts on both LOVEFiLM and Netflix? Leave a comment below!

*Whoopsie, no HBO shows are available on Netflix. My bad!

  • Joltek

    I have both at the moment and Lovefilm generally has the edge for movies and Netflix doesn’t work ŵith my surround sound which is annoying. I have recently committed to lovefilm for a year with its combined amazon prime delivery service. If netflix continues to allow me to dip in and out then I will prob cancel it unless they get a few more good tv shows as I’ve watched pretty much everything I’m interested in on there now.

  • Rob

    Regarding your last “DVD Rack” point, LOVEFiLM has had Watchlist for several months and does the job really well

  • Brad

    Netflix has always been £5.99 and you can stream in superhd on windows 8 via the netflix app. Netflix don’t get any content from hbo and lovefilm has recently received TV shows from showtime.