I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous of my stateside friends and their ability to access a seemingly endless list of film and television on demand. Being late to the party is an affliction that we British Android lovers often have to suffer (where are you Google Music!), and it’s fair to say that it was met with a great deal of excitement when Netflix UK was announced at CES in January. As an early adopter of Spotify Premium, and a long time user of Picasa web albums, I have been enjoying the ability to access my music and photos over the web and had been longing for a worthy solution for movies.
Lovefilm (part of the Amazon group) launched their instant video streaming service late in 2011 and I jumped right on board for the free trial. Unfortunately I found the whole experience underwhelming – The native android app only allows you to order DVD’s by post, there’s no facility to view content on your phone or tablet. The Xbox app was clean and simple with a pleasant UI, but there was no HD content and the SD picture quality was average at best. These 2 points are deal-breakers for me and I decided to cancel the service after the free trial. I should point out that Lovefilm’s DVD/Blu-ray delivery service is excellent, they certainly get pass marks in this area, however the last time I purchased a DVD the iPhone was still waiting for 3G and MMS.
I’m currently 2 weeks into my 1 month free Netflix trial and the early signs are positive. In order to summarize my findings, I’ve broken my review into 4 key points: