Netflix or LoveFilm?

Greetings to you!

Hope your weekend was as good as mine, I had a lovely time, the right balance of fun, family and friends … music, dancing and luuuvvv! 🙂

Don’t ask, cos I never tell!

Anyhoo .. back to the point of the story.

At home, I’m with Virgin Media as my Broadband, TV and Telephone provider .. its a pretty good service at 60Mb download speeds for a pretty reasonable cost including a second set-top box, free landline calls that I never use, 200 tv channels which are largely shit apart from the Scottish Premier League on BT Sports .. and as I’m a Celtic fan thats what matters to me most sports wise.

You will know that the expensive part is when you add in a Sky subscription to either their movies (£27pm) or sports(£35pm) or combined at £41pm for their HD packages.

I used to have these until about a year and realised that I barely watched the movies and hardly watched the sports as most of the times I’m at the game or can get it on another feed such as Celtic TV without paying the cost of the SKY subscription.

Any movies that I really want to go and see, I’ll go and see at the cinema, and It doesmt matter to me if I’m watching other movies that aren’t brand spanking new on my tv because they are new to me .. or all my old favourites like Pulp Fiicion, Reservoir Dogs, Elf, Anchor Man etc that I have on DVD anyway.

So you get the picture … 🙂

A year ago, I cut my costs dropped my Sky packages and took out subscriptions to both Netflix ( streaming only ) and Lovefiilm’s streaming service.

These are both relatively cheap compared with Sky’s subscription costs, the quality of picture is great , the only downside is the lack of current content, particularly for movies which seem to be a few years behind.

My experience until recently was that Lovefilm had more recent movies but Netflix had better tv content including broadcasting the latest episodes of Breaking Bad the day after they were broadcast in the US … Now I don’t watch a lot of tv but that is a fantastic series which I’ve raved about on these pages previously.

Over the past year, Netflix has done quite a bit of catching up with Lovefilm’s movie content and their movies has become more recent, now only lagging by a year whereas Lovefilms content has been relatively static.

I was on Loveflm for the first time in a while this weekend, looking at their latest releases and nothing seems to have changed over the past few months which is very disappointing. Their latest releases include Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes which is at least 2 years old, probably 3.

Obviously this will be part of their licencing agreement and I expect that this is hindered by the fact that its owned by Amazon and they;d rather attempt to make more money from selling us the movie than streaming it.

The other advantage for choosing these streaming services over Sky is that I can I give my kids my logon details and they can watch the movies in thier bedrooms without the need for additional set-top boxes or when they are staying at their mums.

For me, I like the fact that my Netflix subscription is available as an app on my Apple Tv and will stream full HD content without the need for any other devices.

Although I recently purchased a Samsung BD-6500 Blu-ray player which has all the catch up tv services and will stream both LoveFilm and Netflix, this is rather clunky in its interface compared with the Apple Tv. ( 75 quid from Amazon much cheaper than $99 from the Apple store )

So with the movie content being similiar, better tv shows and availability on apple tv, Netflix was coming out on top and I’m close to cancelling my Lovefilm subscription.

That however took a slight twist this weekend .. its still new so bear with me for a minute.

If you are an Apple user, you will know that if you have an iPad then you can stream the content from your iPad to your Apple Tv .. well you can with most things, but SKY blocks this somehow or other.

What I found yesterday, was that if you set up a VPN ( Virtual Private Network for those non-techies ) then with a little effort, download an app,, allow it to configure the settings and for a £10pa ( yes per annum ) subscription, then you can access Netflix or indeed any site as if you were in the USA .. nett results .. all of the latest content from the USA on your ipad no matter where you are in the world.

In my case, I have downloaded Hotspot Shield from the app store to my ipad ( could also work from my iphone) then starting Netflix as normal, it brings up the latest US content, then I can wither watch it on the iPad or airplay it to my Apple tv and tv in full HD.

My experience and its only been for a few hours watching Skyfall, Reservoir Dogs and Trainspotting, none of which are available on Netflix UK is that the quality is unaffected by the extra jump in using the VPN or the fact that I’m streaming from servers based in the USA rather than the UK.

Fantastiic!

Tonight ., I’ll give it a go with Lovefilm and determine if the content streamed from the USA is any better than the UK

But right now, Netflix looks like the clear winner for me.

A fex examples of the VPN set up below.

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