Netflix's pricing is as simple as you can get. You pay £5.99 a month - with a month's trial currently available - and you get access to everything on its books. There's no extra charge for HD or surround sound and there are no special paid-for films or series. This one-for-all approach is refreshingly simple.
LoveFilm's heritage guarantees its plans are not quite so straightforward. However, if you forget all the other options on its website, there's a comparable service called Instant that's a pound less. £4.99 a month for all the streaming you like. Again, there's a one-month free trial available.
Neither service comes with a 12-month commitment - you can leave whenever you like. And both make it easy to do so, letting you cancel your membership online without having to deal with overseas phone lines, disappointed-sounding operators or automated voice systems. Thank god.
LoveFilm also offers a host of other packages, for those interested in its physical media rental service too. £7.99 lets you get one disc at a time, without games, £11.22 gets you two at a time with games (£9.99 without) and £14.99 lets you hoard three titles at once (£13.27 without games). Lighter-use plans were also previously available, giving you limited access to the streaming service and a cap on the number of DVDs you can rent a month, but these appear to have disappeared from the website.
- has more movies
- is slightly cheaper
- has better website navigation
- offers movie rentals plus streaming for £2 more than Netflix
- offers much better video/audio quality in 700-plus films
- has much more TV, especially US TV
- may benefit from piggy-backing off US content contracts in time
- is best used with a game console/SmartTV rather than a computer