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Lovefilm, NetFlix, BlinkBox etc

SketchleySketchley Posts: 4,235
edited January 2013 in Commuting chat
At home I have virgin media with a TiVo, a PS3, a PC, an Android Phone (S3) and an iPad2. I don't have Sky movies or any other movie subscription on Virginmedia. There are several American TV shows I like and would rather not wait for or download illegally. I also have a nice surround system that can play DTS Master Audio and Dolby Digital HD which I think means only blueray disc as downloads don't support HD audio as far as I know. HD Audio is not an issue for TV series where download would be fine, but films are a different thing. I think limites me to LoveFilm subcriptions only in order to get films on blueray and downloads. Anyone got any opions or expierience of these or any other similar services?
--
Chris

Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5

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  • mudcow007mudcow007 Posts: 3,861
    i had netflixs, was really good for tv series, but for films it was pants...unless you a fan of 80's stuff
    Keeping it classy since '83
  • I have Lovefilm... it works fine, but like all these people they constantly try to mug you by "upgrading" your account so that you can receive more DVD at a time... of course they don't mention this will cost you extra, they do it automatically as if they were doing you a favour... you only find out a few months later, when you bother to check your bank account.
    Apart for that, the turnaround is pretty quick and they don't make a fuss if DVDs get lost in the mail or you return faulty ones. All the postage is free and the return envelopes included... kind of hassle free
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    Sketchley wrote:
    At home I have virgin media with a TiVo, a PS3, a PC, an Android Phone (S3) and an iPad2. I don't have Sky movies or any other movie subscription on Virginmedia. There are several American TV shows I like and would rather not wait for or download illegally. I also have a nice surround system that can play DTS Master Audio and Dolby Digital HD which I think means only blueray disc as downloads don't support HD audio as far as I know. HD Audio is not an issue for TV series where download would be fine, but films are a different thing. I think limites me to LoveFilm subcriptions only in order to get films on blueray and downloads. Anyone got any opions or expierience of these or any other similar services?

    Can I just ask why you are squeamish re downloading TV shows illegally? I have SKY & pay my TV licence, figure that if a show I like - Boardwalk Empire, Walking Dead is available online before it is in the UK, then there's no harm in downloading it. For example, I have FX but was able to download and watch Walking Dead and Braquo (in HD) before they were shown in the UK - can't really see the harm in that.

    What does annoy me is when US Shows take ages to be picked up in the UK - i.e Justified, and the forthcoming The Americans which hasn't been picked up at all. If the broadcasters/rights holders don't make these shows available to UK viewers, then I have little sympathy when people download them illegally.

    I hope that one day the industry will cotton on and allow us to just stream content as soon as it's released (for a small fee of course).
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  • Its a minefield for the consumer (looking at the legal options) since all the different distributors set up exclusive deals with different providers,meaning that if you don't have iTunes, Netflix, Lovefilm & Sky - then you are likely to miss out on something along the way, or wait longer to get it at least.

    I'm not a fan of downloading movies, but share IP's view on TV shows, Breaking Bad being my example of a show that was not picked up in the UK. You can get HD audio on downloaded shows, but not sure how good or consistent it is - unlikely to be as straight forward as sticking a blu-ray into your BD player?

    I have been looking at the Androud based MK809 devices for making the viewing of digital media that bit easier, they cost about £50 and are so small you can hide them behind your TV, they also offer Netflix and others I think.

    Depending on what you want to watch, i.e. which films, TV Shows and how soon after release, will probably be the critical factor in choosing the best service. IMO ...

    - Jon
    Commuting between Twickenham <---> Barbican on my trusty Ridgeback Hybrid - url=http://strava.com/athletes/125938/badge]strava[/url
  • lastantlastant Posts: 526
    Netflix subscription plus monthly payment to US-Unblock is what does us.

    Gives you access to the much better populated American Netflix (both movies and TV shows, movies in particular come up far sooner than in the UK) - run it throughthe PS3 so it's only that that has its DNS settings changed, still able to access everything else as per usual.

    Comes in at just under a tenner a month.
    One Man and LEJOG : End-to-End on Two Wheels in Two Weeks (Buy the book; or Kindle it!)
  • Can I just ask why you are squeamish re downloading TV shows illegally?
    ...

    I hope that one day the industry will cotton on and allow us to just stream content as soon as it's released (for a small fee of course).

    Something that I do occasionally - e.g. Sky+ box crashed taking a series of something with it, I feel OK about downloading that series. And maybe ones I forgot to record but would have if I'd known they were on ...

    The thing the big companies don't get currently is that the "free" (illegal) product is so much better than the product you pay for. There are services like Netflix where you get a very limited range for a small-ish fee. Or then you can pay £15 for one film on DVD which forces you to watch the anti-piracy censored and a bunch of trailers and you can't make a backup copy of in case you scratch the disk. Or you can pay £0 for the film with no adverts and the ability to make as many backups as you want.
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  • davisdavis Posts: 2,566
    I hope that one day the industry will cotton on and allow us to just stream content as soon as it's released (for a small fee of course).

    This. iTunes won (sort of, YKWIM) because it got [nearly] all the content, legally, and cheaply enough that a critical mass of people said "feh", switched over to an easy, legal, pay-per-download system.

    If TV/films started doing that, where I could avoid ads, watch whatever I like, whenever, how, and where I like, I'd flip to that system straight away (obviously if cost was ok). Until the content producers realise that, I'll carry on as I am, thanks.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • SewinmanSewinman Posts: 2,131

    What does annoy me is when US Shows take ages to be picked up in the UK - i.e Justified, and the forthcoming The Americans which hasn't been picked up at all. If the broadcasters/rights holders don't make these shows available to UK viewers, then I have little sympathy when people download them illegally.

    I hope that one day the industry will cotton on and allow us to just stream content as soon as it's released (for a small fee of course).

    Perhaps they take ages because people have downloaded them illegally, watched them, don't bother tuning in to the release on TV, deflate the viewing figures, reduce the advertising revenue, and remove the incentive to get shows to market in the UK.....
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    Sewinman wrote:

    What does annoy me is when US Shows take ages to be picked up in the UK - i.e Justified, and the forthcoming The Americans which hasn't been picked up at all. If the broadcasters/rights holders don't make these shows available to UK viewers, then I have little sympathy when people download them illegally.

    I hope that one day the industry will cotton on and allow us to just stream content as soon as it's released (for a small fee of course).

    Perhaps they take ages because people have downloaded them illegally, watched them, don't bother tuning in to the release on TV, deflate the viewing figures, reduce the advertising revenue, and remove the incentive to get shows to market in the UK.....

    Rubbish. Look at the figures Homeland managed in the UK. The fact is that only a tiny % of people bother with illegal downloading, it's often not that straightforward. The problem is that the industry have their heads in the sand. It took Apple to revolutionise music. Sony had a record company and the ability to produce hardware, but failed to meld the two into a coherent offering. The music industry resisted mp3 for ages and has been playing catchup ever since, they spend too long worrying about piracy and not enough time thinking about why most people pirate - if Film/TV removed some of the barriers they put in the way of accessing content they'd probably see a reduction in piracy.
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  • SewinmanSewinman Posts: 2,131
    I think you are right on the solution, the TV companies and Netflix of this world need to compete with piracy. I am sure most people would prefer to pay a little bit rather than break the law for the same service.

    Clearly piracy is going to hurt the industry, you can't deny you are doing that when you download.
  • verminvermin Posts: 1,739
    Sketchley wrote:
    I have virgin media with a TiVo, a PS3, a PC, an Android Phone (S3) and an iPad2.

    Tart.

    The solution is easy. All American TV is boring, repetitive, formulaic BS. As soon as you realise this, your problem will be solved. :mrgreen:
  • SketchleySketchley Posts: 4,235
    lastant wrote:
    Netflix subscription plus monthly payment to US-Unblock is what does us.

    Gives you access to the much better populated American Netflix (both movies and TV shows, movies in particular come up far sooner than in the UK) - run it throughthe PS3 so it's only that that has its DNS settings changed, still able to access everything else as per usual.

    Comes in at just under a tenner a month.

    Nice suggestion, but that's just as illegal as downloading it in the first place. Plus I'd be paying for it. Not really a win / win that.
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • SketchleySketchley Posts: 4,235
    Can I just ask why you are squeamish re downloading TV shows illegally?

    Because it's illegal, and as much as I wouldn't walk in to Cycle shop and take bike, I would not want to download the film. I get the "It's not available in the uk argument" I really do. But I'm trying to look for legal alternatives even if that means a small compremise.
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    vermin wrote:
    Sketchley wrote:
    I have virgin media with a TiVo, a PS3, a PC, an Android Phone (S3) and an iPad2.

    Tart.

    The solution is easy. All American TV is boring, repetitive, formulaic BS. As soon as you realise this, your problem will be solved. :mrgreen:

    It's a lot better than British TV though (certainly as far as Drama is concerned) - The Wire, Breaking Bad, Homeland, Justified, The West Wing etc etc. It's pretty rare that we get a decent British made series. In fact the Scandi output over the last few years has been far better than ours.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • SketchleySketchley Posts: 4,235
    Sewinman wrote:
    I think you are right on the solution, the TV companies and Netflix of this world need to compete with piracy. I am sure most people would prefer to pay a little bit rather than break the law for the same service.

    Clearly piracy is going to hurt the industry, you can't deny you are doing that when you download.


    this ^^^^. I'm happy to pay, now who do I go with....
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • verminvermin Posts: 1,739
    vermin wrote:
    Sketchley wrote:
    I have virgin media with a TiVo, a PS3, a PC, an Android Phone (S3) and an iPad2.

    Tart.

    The solution is easy. All American TV is boring, repetitive, formulaic BS. As soon as you realise this, your problem will be solved. :mrgreen:

    It's a lot better than British TV though (certainly as far as Drama is concerned) - The Wire, Breaking Bad, Homeland, Justified, The West Wing etc etc. It's pretty rare that we get a decent British made series. In fact the Scandi output over the last few years has been far better than ours.

    By consensus, you're probably right. On reflection, I'd be happy removing the word "American" from my comment.
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    I have Lovefilm... it works fine, but like all these people they constantly try to mug you by "upgrading" your account so that you can receive more DVD at a time... of course they don't mention this will cost you extra, they do it automatically as if they were doing you a favour... you only find out a few months later, when you bother to check your bank account.
    Apart for that, the turnaround is pretty quick and they don't make a fuss if DVDs get lost in the mail or you return faulty ones. All the postage is free and the return envelopes included... kind of hassle free

    Strange, that hasn't happened once to me. Very happy with it. We have a list for films and one for series and get a disc from each silmutaneously. A very good selection too I've found.

    Currently starting Boardwalk Empire to give us a break before we go for the 4th season of Breaking Bad. Awesome series.
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  • SketchleySketchley Posts: 4,235
    MrSweary wrote:
    I have Lovefilm... it works fine, but like all these people they constantly try to mug you by "upgrading" your account so that you can receive more DVD at a time... of course they don't mention this will cost you extra, they do it automatically as if they were doing you a favour... you only find out a few months later, when you bother to check your bank account.
    Apart for that, the turnaround is pretty quick and they don't make a fuss if DVDs get lost in the mail or you return faulty ones. All the postage is free and the return envelopes included... kind of hassle free

    Strange, that hasn't happened once to me. Very happy with it. We have a list for films and one for series and get a disc from each silmutaneously. A very good selection too I've found.

    Currently starting Boardwalk Empire to give us a break before we go for the 4th season of Breaking Bad. Awesome series.

    How good is LoveFilm as download / streaming? What's the quality like?
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,566
    Sketchley wrote:
    MrSweary wrote:
    I have Lovefilm... it works fine, but like all these people they constantly try to mug you by "upgrading" your account so that you can receive more DVD at a time... of course they don't mention this will cost you extra, they do it automatically as if they were doing you a favour... you only find out a few months later, when you bother to check your bank account.
    Apart for that, the turnaround is pretty quick and they don't make a fuss if DVDs get lost in the mail or you return faulty ones. All the postage is free and the return envelopes included... kind of hassle free

    Strange, that hasn't happened once to me. Very happy with it. We have a list for films and one for series and get a disc from each silmutaneously. A very good selection too I've found.

    Currently starting Boardwalk Empire to give us a break before we go for the 4th season of Breaking Bad. Awesome series.

    How good is LoveFilm as download / streaming? What's the quality like?

    I'd say the HD downloads are pretty much on a par with Bluray. Well, not quite there, but pretty damn close. I have experienced some problems with stuttering playback that definitely wasn't due to my t'internet bandwidth, and I thought the selection on "Lovefilm Instant" was pretty kack, so I stopped it.

    Give the free trial a go for a month.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • lastantlastant Posts: 526
    Sketchley wrote:
    lastant wrote:
    Netflix subscription plus monthly payment to US-Unblock is what does us.

    Gives you access to the much better populated American Netflix (both movies and TV shows, movies in particular come up far sooner than in the UK) - run it throughthe PS3 so it's only that that has its DNS settings changed, still able to access everything else as per usual.

    Comes in at just under a tenner a month.

    Nice suggestion, but that's just as illegal as downloading it in the first place. Plus I'd be paying for it. Not really a win / win that.

    Pretty certain VPN'ing isn't illegal in the U.K. - for the second point, yes we are paying...but c.30p a day for the content we're getting is more than worth it in our opinion.
    One Man and LEJOG : End-to-End on Two Wheels in Two Weeks (Buy the book; or Kindle it!)
  • lastant wrote:
    Pretty certain VPN'ing isn't illegal in the U.K. - for the second point, yes we are paying...but c.30p a day for the content we're getting is more than worth it in our opinion.
    It isn't illegal but it may be against Netflix's terms of service.

    Come to that, downloading movies isn't illegal and "making them available" (through the torrent client) isn't actually a criminal offence - it's a civil matter between you and the copyright owner. They would like to make it a criminal offence though.

    If there were something like the Amazon MP3 setup for movies then that would be more like it. I can go on there, pay £5, download the whole CD and copy it to my phone, PC etc.
    mroli wrote:
    (Michel) Roux has the scary eyes of an inner Begbie...
  • SketchleySketchley Posts: 4,235
    It maybe well be illegal. You are not authorised to use Netflix (US) in the UK therefore accessing it via a VPN could be considered unauthorised access and a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Misuse_Act_1990
    The Computer Misuse ActBased on the ELC's recommendations, a Private Member's Bill was introduced by Conservative MP Michael Colvin. The bill, supported by the government, came into effect in 1990. Sections 1-3 of the Act introduced three criminal offences:[4]

    1.unauthorised access to computer material, punishable by 6 months' imprisonment or a fine "not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale" (currently £5000);
    ....

    edit: the above I think had been extended to 2 years to comply with EU law.
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
  • Hmm. Not sure if the CMA would apply when the "offence" is happening outside the UK/EU (see Gary McKinnon).

    I've been known to use a proxy to get US content - like when The Daily Show wasn't on in the UK. I suppose technically it's "unauthorised access" but geographical IP addresses as a mechanism are a bit ... flaky anyway.
    mroli wrote:
    (Michel) Roux has the scary eyes of an inner Begbie...
  • SketchleySketchley Posts: 4,235
    You miss the point. The terms and conditions do not allow access outside of region. Therefore accessing outside of the reason (even if no security in place) or your ip allows it is stil unauthorised. (If you leave your bike unlocked and someone nicks it it stil theft) If the CMA applies or not I don't know; IANAL. Although you are assuming Netflix servers, specifically the ones providing US content are not in the EU. A quick web serach shows netflix content maybe on Amazon servers and data centre's so the conent is probabally replicated and streamed from any one of a number of locations.....
    --
    Chris

    Genesis Equilibrium - FCN 3/4/5
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