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Pricing & Verdict

Gordon Kelly

By Gordon Kelly



Our Score:


In addition to its launch partners Momentum, Pixar, Warner Brothers and Disney, DSG claims it will make significant deals in the coming months with no studios off limits. What makes DSG confident of succeeding where others have so far failed is its physical retail presence where, for example, Sony Pictures movies can be bundled with Sony TVs using KnowHow Movies or free vouchers. This is a real differentiator and DSG claims it is a significant attraction to film studios.

Much like online music stores finally securing all four major music labels, we would hope for a breakthrough as it would obviously set a precedent for everyone else. Furthermore to show its commitment to the service DSG has pre-installed KnowHow's download client on all computers sold through Dixons and PC World. As these stores tend to attract mainstream customers it could be a major step in attaining widespread user recognition both for it and other services of its ilk.


On the flip side where KnowHow movies is not breaking any new ground though is price. New titles rent for a reasonable £3.99 in SD and £4.99 in HD (viewable over a 48 hour period), but purchasing titles is still a DVD/Blu-ray rivalling eye watering £12.99 and £17.98 respectively. Obviously the studios enforce these prices, but downloads stand no chance until prices fall dramatically. Older movies meanwhile come in from £2.99 to rent and £5.99 to buy with TV shows £1.99 per episode.

Where KnowHow does offer something different to its rivals is in not requiring a subscription (no option is even available). This will dissuade heavy users who will find unlimited NetFlix UK (£5.99pm) or LoveFilm (£4.99pm on promotion) packages cheaper, but is it clear KnowHow is targeting the mainstream and this no strings approach could be key.


As if to hammer home this technophobe priority KnowHow also currently lacks apps. Its registration of up to five devices for user account is certainly a big step forward, but this will be limited to PCs (rental and download) and Macs (rental only right now) until Android, iOS and smart TV apps arrive "within the next six months". The good news is streaming progress will sync between devices so where you left off on one can be resumed from that point on any other.


Ultimately we would call KnowHow Movies a work in progress, a label we're sure DSG not only accepts but, given its lack of subscription options, actively promotes. As such its initial role will be as a pay-as-you-go-style service for casual users lured by its new titles as opposed to a vast library. Credit must go to KnowHow's business model: five registered devices on a single account is generous and its adaptive streaming technology makes viewing more reliable on slow connections. In reality the time to judge KnowHow Movies will come in six to 12 months when more deals are inked and apps are out. We can't give a Recommended Award on potential alone, but we do like the beginnings of what we see.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design 7
  • Features 5
  • Performance 8
  • Usability 8
  • Value 6

Jonathan Hackford

March 9, 2012, 1:55 pm

Sounds good in principal, however there are two things I would consider. Firstly is it as good as the Sony Qriocity service, which on the whole is excellent if you have enough bandwidth.
Secondly, I read recently that the internet is simply not set up to handle so much online streaming. The article mentioned that South Korea, which has one of the fastest broadband services in the world, is now capping/restricting bandwidth for streaming services in order to ease the pressure on their networks.

I guess time will tell, but I really doubt we will see the end of physical media any time soon.


March 9, 2012, 7:23 pm

I didn't put it head to head with Qriocity for the review as it principally targets Netflix and LoveFilm, but since it is very good with slow speeds it is extremely smooth with a fast connection (10Mbit+).

Overall bandwidth is another question entirely, but a valid one. There are contrast arguments with this. One side agrees with your article, but by contrast Virgin has so much bandwidth in the UK is it doubling 50Mbit customer's speeds for free. Its principle problem is coverage.

It will be an interesting sector to monitor, but as the long term future is on-demand obstacles will have to be overcome.


March 9, 2012, 8:52 pm

Why on earth would I want to pay £3.99 to download a movie in average quality onto my crappy computer screen to watch once when I can pick up a dvd copy for keeps for £3 or less? When the price halves, I might get interested.


March 9, 2012, 8:52 pm

With that pricing structure and those ridiculous hardware restrictions I can't see this horse getting out of the gate before it's pronounced lame and shot dead. Always look on the bright side of life... :)

Jonathan Hackford

March 12, 2012, 6:04 pm

@Gordon394 - thanks for your reply and clarification.

When it comes to streaming services bandwidth is important but I think providers need to consider more than this alone. They need to take into account the buffer sizes for their data and the latency of the connection. I would be happy to wait a few minutes for a film to buffer enough to have quality playback and not stutter or pause.

Regarding bandwidth, I wonder how mobile broadband will fair, especially with LTE coming along in the next couple of years. I am currently using Three with HSPA+ and bandwidth is fantastic at around 4Mbps and even latency sits at around 85ms, which I feel is good for a mobile network. I find it better than the Orange broadband I used to have where I got around 3Mbps and 55ms latency.

That said I am seriously considering signing up to one of Virgin Media's packages in the next month or so.

Craig Clackett

August 5, 2013, 12:28 pm

The site is rubbish, too many problems with DVIX player, never works. I have given up with them and gone elsewhere


August 15, 2013, 7:37 pm

Got a £10 Knowhow movies gift card with a brand new Samsung galaxy tab 2 from Curry's in Newry - it does'nt work.
It's a con!


August 27, 2013, 8:48 am

Worked for me. It took a while. The main gift card redemption option didn't work - kept saying code wrong format. After a while I found an option next to the movies that accepted the code

Martin Graham

August 28, 2013, 1:44 am

I too experience frequent crashes, stutters and jitters with the divx player. Simply not a good enough service for the prices they are charging. I would rather stick with lovefilm or Netflix.

Andy j

September 22, 2013, 7:15 pm

What a load of rubbish keeps stopping

' TONE '

September 23, 2013, 7:36 pm

Do not bother, given 3 gift cards with the latest 55 lg tv, gave up trying to get a film after an hour half, were going round in circles. How many codes DO they want, could have got a DVD from eBay quicker, LOAD OF C**P, don't waste your time, there dead in the water or will be soon,


November 3, 2013, 9:45 pm

Knowhow is absolutely shocking in all departments. I've had terrible service with their delivery of items in the past and now this shocking movie service. Got a free £10 voucher with a Samsung TV from Currys. Loaded the voucher fine, but their movie streaming service is very poor. Keeps reporting my Internet connection speed isn't good enough (it's a Virgin Media 60Mbps - works fine for everything else). At first I thought it's probably my wifi, so I wired it in, same problem, connection speed isn't good enough. More like Knowhows server speed isn't good enough.

So the free £10 gift card has proven one thing for me, it's crap.


November 18, 2013, 1:08 pm

Bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 from the local Currys PC World and received the £10 KnowHow voucher. Downloaded a free Movie and then the KnowHow APP for free. The APP will not run on this tablet. emailed Knowhow and they confirmed the problem.

pea doff

April 5, 2014, 9:48 pm

Absolute crap, accepted payment ok then couldn't watch film, kept going round in circles, my library option disappeared too so couldn't re select film. Gave up trying to watch the film.

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