Television has changed. The emergence of Freeview has meant every home in the UK now has at least a small digital television in their home, and with the revolution of television technology and the integration of the internet connectivity into TV sets, the way we watch television has changed forever. Catch up is now the standard, and between Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV you now have the chance to watch programmes were never broadcast over the airwaves, series which are produced exclusively for the service and the ability to pick and choose your channels from various networks. With this in mind, which of the three main providers is best for you?
Netflix as a product has been around longer than you may think. Originally established in 1997 as a subscriber video service, it has developed to become a server which hosts over 100,000 individual episodes for its users to watch. It has boasted some flagship programmes which are watchable only on its network including House of Cards, Marco Polo and Orange is the New Black. Netflix benefits from being incorporated as an app onto the new breed of Smart TV’s and has become a cornerstone of Virgin Media offering a free six month trial on their satellite boxes.
Amazon Prime was launched by the internet giant as it looked to expand its portfolio and lessen its reliance upon its core business. Amazon was criticised for the way it initially offered the service, with it being initially offered as part of its sign-up process, but with a fee which was debited from a user’s account without anything other than small print at the bottom of the contract. Despite the criticism, Amazon has been offering original series which have proved to be big hits. They also recently signed up the controversial British TV show Top Gear, highlighting their continued dedication to producing original series for their platform.
Now TV is service that is owned and ran by Sky. It offers the chance to watch channels on a pay as you go method across a wide range of services. Now TV allows users to either pay a flat rate for access to their systems digitally across various platforms, or the opportunity to watch one off events, such as live sport, for a one off fee. The reliance upon Sky to provide the programming is one thing which is obviously a drawback, as it limits the potential for what you can watch.
With the rise of these three services, they have become in-built into modern smart TV’s, but there are valid, reliable alternatives on the market. If you do not have a smart TV, you could invest in a Smart TV Box, a games console, or a Fire Stick. All of these provide access to the services described above and often include added extras as well.
Photograph by Matthew Keys