Netflix vs Lovefilm – online movie streaming services compared
When Netflix originally launched in 2012, there was much talk of it taking Lovefilm’s crown. A year later, is there a clear winner between Netflix and Lovefilm?
Lovefilm is owned by Amazon, and started life as an online DVD rental site. It has evolved beyond this, and now offers streaming content, such as films and TV shows. Netflix is available in 47 countries, and in the UK is purely a streaming service, with no option to rent DVDs.
Read our full guide to Netflix, Lovefilm, and other online film services.
Netflix or Lovefilm – which is cheapest?
LoveFilm offers a variety of packages, depending on how many discs you wants to rent at the same time. If you just want to stream movies and TV, similarly to Netflix, then Lovefilm Instant is priced at £4.99 per month.
Lovefilm also has a ‘Box Office’ service, which offers newer content that’s priced individually outside of a Lovefilm Instant subscription. To rent only discs, you can sign up to a £5.99 subscription to receive 3 discs per month.
Netflix has just one subscription price of £5.99 per month, although both services are currently offering a free one month trial.
If the very latest releases are important to you, you might want to ditch the online subscription to either service, and just rent films individually from services like Lovefilm’s Box Office, Blinkbox or iTunes. Read our full guide for details of all these services.
Which? expert view
Although Lovefilm is technically cheaper to just stream movies, you will have to pay extra for newer Box Office releases or a physical discs subscription. Netflix offers a flat fee for all the content you watch.
Netflix vs Lovefilm – will they work on my TV?
Both Netflix and Lovefilm are available for PC and Mac but these platforms are just the tip of a titanic iceberg.
Both Netflix and Lovefilm cater for Smart TV’s from LG, Samsung and Sony (although Panasonic owners are out of luck), and Android devices. Netflix also supports Roku.
Games consoles are well represented, with both services available on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii and Wii U. Portable games consoles aren’t supported, which seems a shame, as watching streaming content on a Nintendo 3DS or Playstation Vita seems like a no brainer (it’s also a service that is available in the US).
Both services support the iPad, but Netflix goes further and supports the iPhone, iPod touch and Apple TV.
Which? expert view
There’s not much not much in it, but Netflix wins this one by a whisker. That’s thanks to its superior support for Apple devices.
Netflix vs Lovefilm – which has the best content?
Neither service offers all the latest blockbuster releases for streaming, although you can get these movies through Lovefilm if you opt for its By Post disc rental service. If streaming the newest releases is important, then you might want to look elsewhere. Sky’s Now TV has a lot of newer films before they hit Netflix and Lovefilm, and its price of £14.99 per month reflects this.
Recent research by the TV streaming portal Oric found that the Netflix had a bigger library than Lovefilm, when it came to TV series, but that Lovefilm trumped Netflix for movies, offering 3,284 titles at the time of research, compared to Netflix’s 1,668.
Netflix originally launched with HD films and 5.1 surround sound, putting Lovefilm on the back foot. However, Lovefilm also now offers both these features, so the difference between the two is not so clear cut.
Which? expert view
This really depends on whether you prefer TV or movies. If you’re into films – go for Lovefilm. If it’s TV you love – then Netflix has more to offer. You’re only going to get the best of both worlds by subscribing to Lovefilm By Post.
Netflix vs Lovefilm – which is best?
As for a clear winner? Well, a lot of that depends on the sort of content you watch and what you want to watch it on. Both services offer a free 30 day trial, so I’d recommend giving both a shot to find which one suits you best.
Have you used Lovefilm or Netflix? What did you make of them? Let us know in the comments below.
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