Best TV & Film Membership Sites for Students

Author: Category: Product Reviews and Comparisons Date: 27th September, 2012

As lifestyles become more and more hectic, students look for convenience when it comes to watch their favourite television programs and films. An increasing number of streaming services are now popping up – from free services like the BBC’s iPlayer, to premium services like Netflix. In this article we’ll look at the different options students have available to them when it comes to online media streaming.

Best TV sites in 2012

The best TV sites around at the moment include:

  • iPlayer – this is the TV on demand service offered by the BBC. On the iPlayer you can access most shows that have aired on BBC channels over the last week including soaps and dramas. You can also access radio shows on the iPlayer.
  • ITV Player – the ITV player is ITV’s version of the BBC iPlayer – on it you can watch all of your favourite ITV shows when you want. The shows the ITV player is host to include the X Factor.
  • 4oD (4 on Demand) – if you’ve missed your favourite program on Channel 4, this is the player on which you can catch up.
  • 5 Player – this is Channel 5’s offering in the TV on demand market. It’s simple but effective – if you need to catch up on your favourite Channel 5 show, use 5 player!
  • Sky Go – Sky Go is slightly different to the other TV players. It’s not free – you have to have a Sky subscription in order to be able to use it. Sky Go also allows you to watch live TV as it airs across the Sky network of channels – it means you can watch things like sports and movies on your tablet computer or laptop if you’re not at home to watch them on your TV.

Online movie services

There was a time when watching the latest movie releases involved a trip down to your local video rental store to pick up a VHS. Gone are those days however – watching movies now is a 21st century experience, and services like Lovefilm and Netflix are becoming increasingly popular. In a nut shell these services allow you to watch the latest movies through your TV at home – the movies are streamed via the internet.

Some TVs have these services built in – whilst other people use a laptop or PC to stream them through. You can even stream movies through a games console like an Xbox 360 or PS3 and watch them on your TV – or you can just stream movies directly to a tablet computer. The way we’re watching movies is changing and online movie services are now extremely popular.

Lovefilm and Netflix are undoubtedly the two biggest and best membership sites for watching TV series on. Don’t let this fool you into thinking that they don’t have their drawbacks, however:


This is an Amazon service – and Amazon are synonymous with giving the customer what they want. One of the most disappointing things about Lovefilm is that the picture quality isn’t really that impressive (it’s certainly not as good as Netlfix’s picture quality). Another big disappointment comes in the fact that you have a seriously limited choice of movies to watch – most of them being quite old. Lovefilm offer a postage service as well as a streaming service – the postage service alone is £5.99 – to add streaming it’ll cost an extra £2 per month. One of the annoying things about Lovefilm is the fact that you pay your money to sign up, then you’re told that in order to watch certain titles, you’ll have to pay an extra premium.

Overall there are some good titles on Lovefilm but the premium titles and limited selection of movies to go at can be pretty prohibitive. If you do end up signing up for Lovefilm, be prepared to downgrade your package after you’ve watched everything of interest to you in the digital back catalog.


Netflix offers a good stream quality and a good selection of TV shows – the movies section is a little sparse and a lot of the same movies tend to crop up in most categories. It is a little tedious browsing categories to find that Trainspotting pops up in them all. That said, Netflix offer a one month free trial, then the monthly cost is £5.99 after that. This is good value, and you can always cancel the service once you’ve watched everything that they have to offer.

The premium pay per view titles found on Lovefilm cannot be found on Netflix.

Conclusion – Which is the Best Pay-Per-View Site?

The best service of the two would definitely have to be Netflix – but don’t take that as a vote for Netflix because as it stands the service is less than impressive. Although streaming speeds are great and picture quality is right up there, the current library of movies on Netflix (and Lovefilm) is quite poor. New releases on DVD seem to take an age to make their way to streaming services.

These websites are great if you’re looking for some cheap entertainment but don’t be too disappointed when the latest BluRay and DVD releases don’t show up on them. If you’re particularly bothered about the latest releases, you’ll be better off paying a few pounds extra for the Lovefilm streaming and postage service – because you can then rent the latest movies on BluRay and DVD by post – whilst catching up on Lovefilm’s back catalog through the streaming portal.