I have never really used LoveFilm, though a friend of mine does get sent the DVDs. I have never used their streaming service, however, so I will not be comparing the two.
I stream a lot of TV and films over the internet already, although I watch these either alone or with the boyfriend. DVD watching has always been a much more sociable activity as lots of people can crowd around a television and enjoy the film.
I decided to sign up for the Netflix free trial to watch Breaking Bad, since I knew the show had good reviews and all of my favourite shows were currently off the air.
I don’t think I would ever have become a regular Netflix user, and I possibly still won’t be with the £5.99 a month price tag attached. However, I got a Nintendo Wii at Christmas and it turns out that I can use Netflix on it. And suddenly, streaming films and TV shows has become a sociable activity, since I can use the Wii to display films on the TV.
There is still, I feel, a limited collection on Netflix. It has not got the full four seasons of Breaking Bad, though it does have the complete season of Prison Break. It has a few BBC and ITV programmes I perhaps would watch, and a few documentaries I’d never have heard of and would find interesting.
Its film collection is sadly very limited. It has a couple of films I really like (Philadelphia, Kill Bill, Stigmata), a few I’d never heard of but think could be interesting (Once, Black Book) and a few I know I definitely do not want to see (Top Gun, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). Popular mainstream films are in limited supply on Netflix. Currently, anyway. There’s no Star Wars, no Lord of the Rings, no Matrix. There are a few interesting independent films, a lot of children films (though no Disney or Pixar) and quite a lot of Quentin Tarantino.
I wouldn’t pay for the service now. I think its collection of TV shows are too limited. I’m currently making my way through The West Wing, which aired in 1999, and that isn’t present on the Netflix service. Potentially though, if they are able to add new shows as they are released it could be a much more desirable service. Boardwalk Empire, for example, was recently released on DVD and would be very welcome on Netflix.
Potentially, Netflix will be an excellent service in the UK. I don’t know how many more films it has in the USA, where it is already very popular, but I presume its library is much more substantial. I would wait a little bit longer to sign up for a paid subscription, but I wouldn’t rule it out.