Netflix UK review: Netflix UK

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good

Average User Rating

3 stars 45 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Instant streaming access to thousands of films and TV shows; Low monthly cost; Some HD content.

The Bad Picture quality and playback stability suffers on slower connections; Limited selection of content.

The Bottom Line The video selection on Netflix is quite limited at present, and you'll need a reliable Internet connection to make the most of it, but it's an impressive alternative to traditional DVD rental services.

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Netflix, the much adored American movie rental service, has finally touched down on UK soil . Like the US service on which it's based, it provides film fans with an opportunity to gorge themselves silly on an unlimited supply of streamed movies and TV for a set monthly fee.

It sounds like the greatest thing since Blockbuster, but we decided to see for ourselves how it compares with established UK-based services such as Lovefilm and alternatives like Virgin Media, Sky or the tried and tested favourite of yesteryear -- getting up off your backside and going to the cinema. Let's see how it fared.

Streaming

Unlike Netflix in America, which will post DVDs to your house, Netflix UK only allows you to watch content via the Internet. You can enjoy movies and TV programmes via your laptop or desktop as well as Wii, PS3 or Xbox 360 games consoles. It'll work on portable devices, too -- both Android and iOS apps are available -- so you can enjoy content on the move using Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.

Netflix streaming
Netflix UK is all about streaming -- on your games console, your laptop, your phone -- so you no longer have to pause to go to the toilet. Yuk.

Content

Netflix doesn't divulge exactly how much content is available on the service, but states it has 'thousands' of films and TV episodes in its library. There's certainly a fair amount of choice, including popular UK shows such as The Inbetweeners, Skins and The IT Crowd. The choice of films spans most of the genres we can think of.

However, it's sorely lacking in new releases. We couldn't find a single currently best-selling DVD at the time of writing. In fact, we struggled to unearth anything released in 2011 that wasn't either incredibly obscure or utterly pants. The first three movies in the action and adventure section, as presented to us, were Apocalypto (2006), Battle Royale (2001) and Robocop (1373 BC), which really made us doubt the breadth of the Netflix library. 

Netflix image content
The selection of new movies is threadbare -- you might still have most of these on VHS.

Pricing structure

The pricing structure is very basic. Customers pay £5.99 per month and receive unlimited streaming access to every single movie in the Netflix library. What's more, you can watch those movies as many times as you want. Plus it's possible to watch multiple films simultaneously using the same account.

If you and your loved one can't decide what to watch, there's nothing stopping you -- at the moment, at least -- from watching both of your programmes at the same time using a separate gadget. Attempting to watch a third causes an error message that states you're trying to access Netflix on too many concurrent devices.

Ease of use

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Where to Buy

Netflix UK

Part Number: CNETNetflix UK

Typical Price: £5.99

See manufacturer website for availability.