Amazon Prime UK and more: Comparing Streaming Services

TV providers

Netflix, movie streaming apps, Amazon prime - who needs DVDs anymore? With endless options for fast internet and streaming services available, certainly not us. But with so many streaming services available, how do we know which one is the best? There’s only one way to find out and that's by comparing them.

Movie Streaming Sites

Although comparing streaming sites is a lot of work, here at Selectra we have done just that. In this article we bring you the top 6 streaming services: Sky Go, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Netflix and NOW TV.

Thanks to faster internet speeds and many types of streaming devices being added to the market on a regular basis, we think it’s fair to say that cable is a thing of the past.

People want the latest and highest quality video content and they want it yesterday. They don’t want ads and they don’t want to wait a week for the next episode either.

The media landscape is changing faster than your sibling can yell “It’s on!!!” across the house as you run back from a toilet break. Media companies are being kept on their toes making sure they are adapting to customer demands and that they’re doing it better than their competitors. This has resulted in the availability of many movie streaming sites and services. Let’s take a close look at them and see which one is better for you.


Sky App and Sky Streaming

Sky Company Logo
Source:DTG

Sky is one of the UK’s biggest provider of telecommunications services. It provides internet, broadband and TV packages to over 11 million customers. Sky has been constantly upgrading its services to keep up with the times and meet customer demands. Sky now has a range of products and entertaiment services apart from its TV packages such as the Sky Go app and Sky Q.

Sky Go is Sky's superb innovative app which allows you to stream and watch video content while you are, well, on the go. Although some sites will tell you that you can get Sky Go if you are not a Sky customer, here at Selectra we have been in direct contact with Sky Experts and this is not true. Sky Go and other Sky services are ONLY available to Sky customers.

If you have a Sky TV Package (which gives you the Sky Entertainment package automatically), all you have to do is download the Sky Go app on your tablet or mobile phone. Another plus is that it’s completely free! A no-brainer for current Sky customers - the ability to watch live and on-demand content while you’re not even at home at no extra cost. If you want to take it even further, you can pay £5 extra a month to get access to Sky Go Extra which allows you to download content later for viewing offline, watch content on Xbox and PlayStation, AND watch content on two devices instead of on just one like with Sky Go.

Pros and Cons

Happy Man

An obvious con of streaming through Sky Go is that you can only do this if you are a Sky TV subscriber which is not exactly a small commitment. Sky Go is not meant to be a separate streaming service but an addition to improve the experience for current customers. This is of course great news for Sky customers.

Sky Go customers get access to over 200 channels available live and on demand, full access to Sky Sports and Sky movies and the option to be able to view this content on multiple devices as well as while you are on the go.

For current Sky customers, we really think that Sky Go is a no-brainer but if you are not a current Sky customer it might be better to look into some cheaper and simpler options.

Amazon Prime Uk and Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video Logo
Source:MediaInfoline

One of the biggest streaming services in the UK is Amazon Prime Video which started as a marketplace to buy and watch TV shows and movies but has expanded to a comprehensive streaming service. You can have access to Prime Video titles for £5.99 per month which is not too bad considering all the inclusions you will have.

As an Amazon Prime member, you get access to these titles for no extra cost. You can buy, rent and watch movies and TV shows. For content not included in the membership fee, you have the option to buy or rent it.

It’s quite simple to set-up and use as all you need is an Amazon account and a compatible device such as a Fire TV, smart TV, mobile phones, tablet, game console or streaming media player. If you don't have a compatible device, you can purchase the Amazon Fire Stick to access Prime Video. It is also available on Roku streaming devices.

Pros and Cons

Happy Man

Customers are liking the choice you get with Amazon Prime Video as well as the fact that you can have a 30 day free trial to test it before you make a decision. Other customers are saying that although there is a lot of choice, all the shows they want to watch seem to not be part of the membership access and are only available to buy or rent.

We guess this is more of a personal preference and you would have to have a look at which shows are available as part of the membership and which you have to purchase separately. Most people agree that Amazon is really catching up to Netflix with their Originals and will be putting more resources into improving them more and more.

Hulu UK

Hulu Logo
Source:KnowYourMobile

Hulu (like HBO) is another streaming service that caters to the USA but as always, there are options around that. In this case, the option is a trusty VPN. Many people are choosing to turn to a VPN as the content available to the US on Hulu (and Netflix) is better than the content available in the UK. Having blocked the use of VPNs, Netflix might have some serious competition.

To access Hulu from the UK is quite simple, you just need two things: a US Hulu account and a VPN. Hulu will cost you $7.99 a month with commercials or $11.99 a month without commercials (and of course the prices are in US dollars as it’s only “available” there). Don’t forget you will also have to pay for the VPN so the final price will end up being more than $7.99 or $11.99. If you still want more, Hulu also offers three ad-ons for extra: HBO ($14.99), Showtime ($8.99), and Cinemax ($9.99).

Hulu’s content is focused on TV shows and it offers many seasons and episodes from major networks. It also includes a few options from the international scene which is great for any fans of international shows. Hulu offers a wide range of British, Korean and Latino choices. It could also be a great option for anime fans as Hulu has more anime shows and movies than Netflix.

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Pros and Cons

Happy Man

Choosing to get your video content fix with Hulu has some obvious cons such as the need to get a VPN, which means more money and effort. Hulus content is lacking in the HD and 4K department with a lot of content just simply not being available at this higher quality. Not good news for Hulu but very good news for its competitors.

Despite these cons, people are still loving Hulu for many reasons. It provides a great choice of shows, some movies, anime, and the original series that they are constantly improving upon.

People who want even more choices for content are also happy with the options available as ad-ons. Having a solid range of anime and international options also make Hulu great for anyone looking for something more niche-specific.

HBO UK

HBO Now Logo
Source:Nerd's Magazine

HBO is an online content streaming service that offers a wide range of shows and movies, but unfortunately it’s not as easily accessible in the UK as in the USA or other parts of Europe. In saying this, some people still think it’s worth the effort of getting a VPN to be able to access it, as that’s what you need to do if you want to enjoy HBO content like Game of Thrones.

Either that, buy yourself physical copies of those programmes like the good old days or turn to more expensive options such as downloading from iTunes or Google Play. Accessing HBO from the UK is similar to accessing Hulu from the UK: you need a HBO account and a VPN. HBO will costs £11.50 a month and the VPN which could be anything from around £2 and upwards.

Pros and Cons

Happy Man

Looking at reviews about using HBO in the UK, it seems that one of the reasons people go through the hassle of accessing it is because of its impressive choice of content. HBO offers a wide range of entertainment from comedies and classics to their own HBO Originals, which seem to be quite popular. And who could forget one of the main reasons people pay for HBO: Game of Thrones.

Even though content wise, HBO is a great choice, it is lacking and lagging behind in the HD and 4K department as these features are not yet available. Then of course there is the hassle of getting a VPN to access the content and VPN’s and video streaming aren’t exactly a match made in heaven.

Another con is that you cannot download content that you want to watch later while you are offline. Everything HBO doesn’t offer like the highest quality and downloadable content, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video do so if these features are important to you, you might want to consider them instead.

Netflix offers and more

Netflix Company Logo
Source:Netflix

Netflix, as you probably already know, is one of the biggest and most popular video streaming services. You pay a monthly fee (there are three options) and you have access to their entire content library - which is very impressive. Netflix is regarded as one of the best entertainment options out there thanks to this. With their range of TV shows, movies, international options and their own originals we are not surprised.

To set up an account with Netflix, all you need to do is go to their website and follow the instructions. New customers even get to enjoy a free month of access. Month-long Netflix binge anyone? Also, don’t forget that Netflix allows you to have 5 profiles on one account. This means that if you have a family member or a friend who also wants to sign up, you can save money without foregoing entertainment.

You will both (or you and four others) get access to your own Netflix account (kind of) but you don’t pay for each person. You pay for the main account and can add the other people. Parents can also relax knowing that they can put parental locks on their child's profile to make sure they are only watching appropriate content.

Netflix Plans and Prices
Plan
Basic
Standard
Premium
Price
£5.99 per month
£7.99 per month
£9.99 a month
HD Content
 
 
 
Ultra HD Content
 
 
 
Unlimited movies and shows
 
 
 

Pros and Cons

Happy Man

Netflix has a very impressive content library that makes it stand out from other streaming services. Another thing that makes it stand out is the quality of content - it has the highest quality content of any of its competitors.

For everything you get with Netflix for your monthly fee, we really don’t consider it as being expensive. The opposite actually - we believe it’s great value for money. You will also never get bored with new titles being added every month. You can pause, rewind and download content to watch when you don’t have an internet connection. There are so many positive points to Netflix that it’s difficult to find anything bad.

We guess the only problem is that titles can be taken away and you don’t get a say in this. That and the fact that you cannot download Netflix content to watch later when you are offline. If you are travelling overseas, you might experience some disruption to your normal features. Some content may not be available, your 'My List' will probably disappear and you might find that some content is just not available overseas.

Now TV Films

Now TV Pass

Now TV is a streaming service created by Sky and gives you two simple options for streaming video content. These two options are the two best entertainment passes from Now TV: Now TV Entertainment Pass and Now TV Cinema Pass. They vary slightly and you may add both or just one of them. To get your entertainment with Now TV, you must first make an account and follow the instructions that come after. It’s simple!

Some great news is that you can trial the Now TV Passes for 7 days for free and then it’s £7.99 a month for the Now TV Entertainment Pass. For this price you will get the following: Sky 1, Sky Witness, Sky Atlantic, Gold, Comedy Central, Sky Arts, Fox, MTV, Nat Geo Wild, Discovery Channel and SyFy. You will also have access to box sets for all of these PLUS: ABC Studios, VICE, Challenge and Pick. The Entertainment Pass is the pass for you if you are a Game of Thrones fan.

If you want the biggest and best movies, you have the Now TV cinema pass which costs £9.99 per month. This pass is added to your Now account in the same way as your Entertainment Pass and includes all the main genres from Sky Cinema: family, action, comedy, thriller and more. Don't forget the free trials for both packages! If you en up choosing to get both of these packages, it will cost you £17.98.

Pros and Cons

Happy Man

Overall, customers have been very pleased with the options from Now TV, some even rating it higher than Netflix and Amazon Prime Video! The Now TV Passes are a great option for anyone who wants access to Skys content but doesn’t want to get a satellite dish.

There is a wide range of content to choose from and content is regularly updated. Now TV is a fantastic option for anyone who wants a big choice of entertainment without the need for a satellite dish or an expensive, long-term TV package. Now TV offers a pay-per-month option which is perfect for those looking to avoid long term contracts.

So far so good but those who are after top-notch quality might be put off when it comes to content quality. Like HBO, and unlike Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Now TV lags behind in the HD and 4K department, with content only being available at 720p HD.

Our Verdict: Streaming Services

Router and Mobile Phone

When considering different streaming services, it can be incredibly difficult to decide which one is best for you. No one size fits all, and sometimes the sheer amount of features and sales blurb can be confusing. However, having said this, here at Selectra we have dived deeply into the world of popular streaming services and believe we can recommend the most suitable one for your particular needs.

If you are after the highest quality content possible (HD and 4K), Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are your best options as they offer a lot of their content in HD or 4K. While these two streaming giants don't offer all titles in HD or 4K, they are still better options than NOW TV which only offers content in 720p. However, NOW TV is probably the best option for blockbusters, as these take longer to get to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video

For current Sky customers, look no further. You have everything you need and more with extras such as Sky Go and Sky Go Extra. If you do not want to bother with a VPN then we can rule out HBO and Hulu for you as both of these require one. Hulu and HBO are both lagging behind in terms of offline viewing options for their customers. It is possible to use a third party but do we really want to spend more time on this when we can just choose a service which allows offline viewing?

Another point to take advantage of are the free trials that all these streaming services have, ranging from 7 days to a month. Why not try before you by? We believe that all these streaming services have some great options to offer in terms of content. Each service has a great variety of movies and TV shows and surely, something for everyone. We recommend taking advantage of the free trials to start off with. That way you can see what exactly is available and decide which ones are of interest to you.

Streaming Services
Service
Netflix
HBO
NOW TV
Hulu
Amazon Prime Video
Sky Go
Price
£5.99 - £9.99 per month
£11.50 per month
£7.99 - £17.98
£6.20 - £9.50 per month
£5.99 per month
Free (existing customers)
Star Features
Impressive content library Netflix Original series Regular content updates
Focus on TV Shows Game of Thrones! Impressive content library
Great content selection Focus on Entertainment Highly recommended by customers
Great range of TV Shows Anime and International options Original Series
Impressive Content Library Quick to add latest blockbusters Highly recommended by customers
Perk for Sky customers Free access Stream content on the go
Compatible Devices
Phones, Tablets, Gaming consoles, DVD and Blue-ray players, Smart TVs
iPhone, iPad, Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PS3, PS4
Smartphones, Tablets, PC, Mac, Xbox One, Roku, Chromecast, LG Smart TV
Android phones and tablets, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV & Fire TV Stick, iPhones, iPads, Roku, Roku Stick, Xbox 360
Computers, Amazon Fire TV & Fire TV Stick, Echo Devices with screen, iOS devices, Android Devices, Games Consoles
Phone, tablet, Windows, Mac, Xbox One PS3 or PS4
Offline Viewing
 
 
 
 
 
 
Free Trial
 
 
 
 
 
 
HD Content