Long gone are the days of terrestrial TV, when we only had a handful of channels to choose from. The introduction of online streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have completely shaken up the market, and we can now watch what we want, when we want and where we want. There’s now a variety of on demand TV services that we can choose from, but the services they offer can be very different, and the price you pay for them too. This guide will run you through the best TV streaming services available in the UK, so you can decide which ones are best for you.
Traditional TV, whether it be terrestrial, cable or satellite, was quite limited compared to what we have now. We used to have to be at home at a certain time if we wanted to watch our favourite shows, but nowadays we don’t have to follow such a strict schedule. With TV streaming services, we have a huge variety of shows and movies we can watch at the click of a button.
As streaming services work via an internet connection, we no longer have to be at home in front of the telly to watch the latest episode of our favourite show. We can now watch it on the go, on our smartphones or tablets, on our laptops and of course, we can still watch it the old-fashioned way in the living room. But as we rely on the internet for streaming, the quality of your connection will affect your viewing experience. A poor connection could mean waiting for videos to load, or the picture might be a little blurry. It’s important to have a good broadband connection – at least 5Mbps to watch a show in HD without any problems.
TV streaming can use up a lot of data, so it’s also important that your broadband deal comes with enough data so that you can watch the latest movies and TV shows. Most broadband deals come with unlimited data, but if it doesn’t then exceeding your limit could result in an expensive bill at the end of the month. Unlimited data is less common with mobile phone contracts, so be extra careful how much you’re streaming and how much data you’re allowed to use when watching Netflix on your smartphone.
We have listed below the best TV streaming services in the UK along with the benefits subscribing to each one comes with.
Netflix is the most popular streaming service in the UK, with over 9 million people across the country having subscriptions. It offers a vast array of TV shows and movies, many of which are exclusive to Netflix. The streaming service has been so successful that they have begun producing their own films and shows, known as Netflix Originals. It will also recommend you shows to watch based on your viewing habits.
Popular shows you can find on Netflix include House of Cards, Narcos, Black Mirror and Peaky Blinders. You can also find loads of movies, such as the recent hit Bird Box and the Oscar-nominated Roma, as well as classics like The Godfather. Classic British TV shows are also available, such as Fawlty Towers and The Office.
Depending on what package you go for, a Netflix monthly subscription will cost you between £5.99 and £8.99 a month. It also offers customers a 30-day free trial. You can have up to 4 accounts on the same subscription, so your friends and family can enjoy using Netflix too. It is available to watch on most platforms, including smart TVs, laptops, smartphones, tablets and games consoles such as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Much like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video has thousands of TV shows and movies to choose from on demand, including a wide selection of original content. As well as it’s wide variety of exclusive content, you can also buy or rent some of the latest films and TV shows that are not included in the subscription.
Some of the most popular shows available on Amazon Prime Video are The Grand Tour, American Gods and The Man in the High Castle. Movies such as Django Unchained and American Sniper are also available on the streaming service.
Unlike Netflix, you can choose to pay for a yearly subscription to Amazon Prime Video. At £79 per year, it is cheaper in the long run to get this over a monthly subscription, which costs £7.99 a month. It is available to watch on most platforms just like Netflix.
Now TV is Sky’s on demand streaming service, but rather than have all it’s content in one place, you must pay for different packages separately depending on what you’re after. Now TV includes 4 main packages – Entertainment Pass, Sky Cinema Pass, Sky Sports Pass and Kids Pass.
You don’t need to be a Sky customer to subscribe to their Now TV packages. As well as the on-demand content, Now TV packages come with live TV – you’ll be able to watch the same channels that are available to Sky customers, such as Sky One and Sky Atlantic.
Popular TV shows available on the Now TV Entertainment Package include Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and The Sopranos. The Now TV Sky Cinema Pass comes with a huge selection of movies including recent releases. The Now TV Sky Sports Pass allows you to watch live Premier League football, Formula 1 and a wide variety of golf, cricket and tennis.
As Now TV comes in 4 separate packages, it’s more expensive than some of the other streaming services available. While it costs £6.99 and £9.99 a month for the entertainment and movie packages respectively, the sports package will cost you £10.99 for just a week’s subscription. You can also subscribe to the sports package daily, which is useful if there’s just one big game you want to watch, although it will cost you £6.99 for that day. The Kids Pass costs £3.99 a month. You can also watch Now TV on most platforms.
As well as paid subscription TV services, there are also some streaming services that won’t cost you a penny. Also known as catch-up TV, services such as BBC iPlayer and All 4 allow you to watch all the shows you may have missed on regular TV, on demand. Other free streaming services include ITV Player, My5 and UKTV Play.
You can watch these free TV streaming services on your laptop, smart TV or via their apps on your smartphone or tablet. These services allow you to watch some of Britain’s favourite TV shows that you won’t find on paid-for subscription services, such as Eastenders, Coronation Street, The X Factor and Match of the Day.