Netflix vs. LOVEFiLM

They’re fighting for your subscription, Find out how they compare!

LOVEFiLM has established itself as the UK’s leading movie rental and streaming service, but there’s now a new kid on the block. After huge success in the US, Netflix is now in the UK, but how do the two services stack up?

I’ve taken a look at both Netflix UK and LOVEFiLM to compare their key features and help you make the right choice. For those who are undecided on which service to go with, both LOVEFiLM and Netflix offers a free one-month trial, but what differences would a more discerning potential customer notice between the two? Read on to find out which service I chose to stick with.

UPDATE: check out my most recent comparison for the Best Online Estate Agent.

just want to know the winner? Skip to Final Verdict


Streaming TV and movies

Both LOVEFiLM and Netflix are about what you can watch and how you can watch it, so how do they compare for content and delivery?

LOVEFiLM has a broader selection of films

Both services offer unlimited online streaming to your Smart TVs, PS3, Xbox, Wii, Wii U, Kindle Fire and iPad on top of the usual computer/laptop option — allowing instant access to a great number of both TV and film content. While the strength of Netflix currently lies in its large library of TV programmes, LOVEFiLM is fast catching up and has a much broader selection of films available to view online.

Example DVDs
TV and Movies on LOVEFiLM including Despicable Me and Prison Break

Assuming you haven't chewed up all the available bandwidth from your broadband provider, LOVEFiLM would be the choice for streaming online; its smaller bandwidth requirement and optimised stream performs better than Netflix on most connected TVs and consoles. You can also use their Watchlist functionality to keep track of all the titles you plan to see.

Example DVDs
TV and Movies on Netflix including Little Britain and Pirates of the Caribbean

Renting by Post

Streaming is a really convenient way to watch movies, but what if we want to enjoy a good, old-fashioned DVD? How do the two stack up?

it’s ideal for trying the latest video games

Another feature currently only offered by LOVEFiLM is the postal delivery of discs to your door. LOVEFiLM give you the choice of different packages so you can add DVDs, Blu-ray and games delivered by post for a low monthly fee. It would seem that this is the more suitable choice for those whose televisions don't allow for internet access and would rather not watch TV over a laptop or tablet computer.

Example Games
DVDs and Games on LOVEFiLM including Far Cry 3 and Ted

Not only does this postal service allow for DVD and Blu-Ray delivery, it's also ideal for those keen to try out the latest video games — titles are available for Playstation, as well as on Xbox, Nintendo Wii and Wii U, and even for handheld devices such as the PSP and DS 3D.


Starting Prices

Now the all-important question; how much are these going to cost?

a single price versus staggered options

Netflix's one-shot price of £5.99 per month, while offering very good value for money for the service it provides, doesn't compare with LOVEFiLM's choice. LOVEFiLM prices start at £5.99 for the same online service as Netflix but you can upgrade for a little more to add DVDs and games.

In fact for £7.99 (just £2 more than Netflix) you can rent from thousands of titles on DVD and Blu-ray. Games can be added for a little more.

LOVEFiLM offers more options for subscribers who wish to receive more discs in one go — meaning that you won't have to wait for the second half of a series when you've just finished the first part.

Feature Round-up

LOVEFiLM Netflix
Streaming TV and movies Yes Yes
Smart TV connection Yes Yes
Postal service for DVD and Blu-Ray Yes No
Postal service for video games Yes No
Payment holidays Yes No
Free trial period 1 month 1 month
Starting price (per month) £5.99 £5.99

The Final Verdict

I found that LOVEFiLM offers key benefits that you won't get on Netflix.

Whilst both services offer unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows through a PC, games console, tablet or Smart TV, LOVEFiLM also offers movie and video game rentals by post, giving it the edge over Netflix in my opinion.

give it a go yourself!

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