The days of having to tune in live to TV or buy expensive DVDs are over.
With streaming, you have a wealth of TV and films at your fingertips ready to enjoy in your own home.
But with so many streaming options out there, which one is best for you? We take a look at the top options ready for you to use right now…
Netflix offers a large selection of movies, from children’s classics to popular blockbusters.
It also has a large collection of TV series, including US series like Arrested Development, and UK shows like Doctor Who.
In addition, Netflix commissions exclusive shows of its own, including House of Cards, prison comedy Orange Is The New Black and superhero smash hits like Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
Netflix also comes with an app, so you can stream content on mobiles and tablets on the go.
To learn more about Netflix, click here.
AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
Formerly known as LOVEFiLM, Amazon Prime has a vast and immensely varied collection of films and TV shows ready to stream online.
Similar to Netflix, Prime also produces its own original shows, such as Good Omens, American Gods, The Grand Tour and Homecoming, and you can watch it anywhere thanks to the app.
With Amazon Prime Video there are two ways to watch your films and TV instantly. You can either rent or buy digital copies TV programmes and movies – from a library of more than 50,000 titles – or with a subscription you get unlimited access paying a set monthly amount.
Or, for an extra £2 a month, you can get the full Amazon Prime treatment – complete with next-day delivery on products, access to Kindle libraries, and more.
To learn more about Amazon Prime Video, click here.
Now TV works slightly differently. There’s no option to sign up to a subscription that offers both movies and TV shows.
Choose from the latest and best movies, must-see TV shows, awesome kids TV, live Sky Sports, and the freshest reality shows you won’t find on Freeview. In a variety of different packages designed to suit your viewing habits.
It can be streamed on two devices at once, and there’s no contract so you can change your deal at any point.
To learn more about Now TV, click here.
Twitch is a live streaming video platform owned by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon. What’s more, it’s completely free.
Watch everything from films to live gaming sessions and chat now with millions of other fans from around the world.
It’s unique in that millions of users come together each day to create their own entertainment with a chat built into every stream. You don’t just watch Twitch – you are a part of the show.
To learn more about Twitch, click here.
TALKTALK TV STORE
Coming from broadband provider TalkTalk, the Service Formerly Known As Blinkbox lets you rent or buy individual items on pay-as-you-go terms without a subscription.
If you rent something through TalkTalk TV, you have 30 days to start watching it. You’ve then got 48 hours to enjoy it as many times as you like, or can physically manage.
TalkTalk TV Store’s library includes brand new releases sitting next to much older classics. The price you pay for a film or TV show varies.
To learn more about TalkTalk TV Store, click here.
PictureBox lets you watch as much as you like with a subscription, though it’s only available through TalkTalk TV.
It works differently from most other online streaming services. Each month, a curated pick of seven recent films is brought in to replace by what’s currently on offer.
This means the selection is limited to 60 films per month, but also that it’s regularly refreshed.
To learn more about PictureBox, click here.
While it made its name in music for the iPod, iTunes has been offering TV and movie downloads for years now and has one of the biggest libraries around.
Films and TV shows can be bought, and downloaded to be watched indefinitely, or rented as a digital download that expires after 30 days of purchase. Once you’ve started watching a rental, however, there are only 24 hours to finish it.
ITunes isn’t compatible with Android devices – Google’s mobile operating system is the iPhone’s main rival, you see – but you don’t have to have an Apple device either. It’ll work on a Windows PC, as well as iPhones, iPads, iMacs etc.
To learn more about iTunes, click here.
Google Play’s collection of films and TV shows is smaller than Apple’s but still relatively large.
It’s a similar deal as you get with iTunes, whereby you have 30 days to start watching rented items – then once you’ve kicked it off you have 48 hours.
Alternatively, you can purchase your film or TV show and watch it offline whenever you like.
To learn more about Google Play, click here.
Like most other movie streaming services, the Sky Store gives you the option to either rent or buy all kinds of movies – only this time, when you buy one to keep, Sky will send you a copy of the DVD in the post.
You’ve also got the option to stream them through the Sky Store app on iOS or Android.
Because it’s from Sky, you’ll find some of the latest blockbusters like the ones on Sky Cinema, and there are new ones added every week.
If you’ve got Sky TV, you’ll find the Sky Store right there on your set-top box. If not, it’s easy to register for the Store online.
To learn more about Sky Store, click here.
CURZON HOME CINEMA
A small cinema chain based in London, Curzon tends to focus on less high-profile independent films, rather than box office blockbusters.
There’s a 15 per cent discount if you’re part of the Curzon membership scheme, and once you rent a movie you have seven days to watch it.
However, there’s no download option – you can only stream – so you’ll need to make sure you have a Wi-Fi connection.
To learn more about Curzon Home Cinema, click here.
Similarly to Curzon Home Cinema, MUBI specialises in indie releases.
For a small monthly fee, it gives you access to 30 new films a month.
One film is added and one taken away every day to keep the offerings fresh. You can also enjoy MUBI both online and offline, and on a variety of different devices.
To learn more about MUBI, click here.