VIDEO STREAMING services are increasingly popular, and many TV shows and films are being released today exclusively on certain platforms.
To help you choose the right one for you, we have selected the best streaming services available in the UK right now, together with prices and additional information.
There are several different streaming services available in the UK, and they all come with different programs and films.
Some of them also offer extra features, like 4K streaming and offline downloads, and can be bundled up with broadband services.
In addition, some streaming services require their own dongle or device to work, while others simply need an internet connection and internet-enabled smart devices (TV, smartphones or laptops.)
Without further ado, here are the best streaming services available in the UK right now.
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1. Amazon Prime Video
- (AD) Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD, £49.99 on Amazon – buy here
- (AD) Amazon Prime + Video, £7.99 per month – buy here
Prime Video is Amazon's take on online streaming services and is part of the wide array of services that come with a Prime subscription, including free delivery on many products, and more.
In terms of the streaming service's quality, Prime Video thrives on a few, highly-anticipated original shows, including American Gods, The Grand Tour, and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.
Beyond those, Prime Video also allows you to add (for additional fees) subscriptions to a mix of demand content and traditional ‘live’ channels.
You can view Prime Video content on any smart device, but if you fancy full Alexa integration and 4K capabilities, you can purchase the Fire TV Stick.
- (AD) Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD, £39.99 – buy here
- Disney+, £7.99 per month – buy here
It may be one of the youngest contenders in the streaming services' arena, but Disney+ has already made a name for itself.
With a great family-friendly catalogue, a basic Disney+ subscription gives you access to four simultaneous streams and offline downloads.
The streaming service does not offer much original content at the moment, but it encompasses films and TV shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.
Disney+ works on most web browsers, iOS and Android devices and the majority of smart TVs and dongles.
The service currently costs £7.99 a month, but Disney also offers an annual payment option for £79.90 that will save you more than 15% on the monthly price.
3. Now TV
- NOW TV Box with 2 Month Sky Cinema Pass, £109.99 on Amazon – buy here
- NOW TV, £9.99 per month – buy here
NOW TV offers up to 11 channels, depending on your chosen membership, and essentially provides access to some Sky channels without the need for a satellite dish.
The service comes in five different flavours: Entertainment, Sky Cinema, Kids, and Hayu (giving you access to the latest reality shows from the US.)
Now TV does not require a NOW TV Smart Box or Smart Stick to work, and after subscribing, you'll be able to use the service on any smart device.
However, by purchasing a NOW TV Stick (powered by Roku), you will be able to pause and rewind live TV, as well as turning your regular TV into a smart one supporting additional streaming services.
The basic price for the NOW TV Entertainment subscription is £9.99, which includes channels like Sky One, Comedy Central and HBO.
4. Apple TV+
- (AD) Apple TV 4K (32GB), £169 on Amazon – buy here
- Apple TV+, £4.99 per month – buy here
Apple TV+ launched towards the end of 2019 and aims to provide an ad-free service with high-quality original content.
The service offers a few interesting shows, but its catalogue is still somewhat limited when compared with more established streaming service providers.
It also costs less, however, and you can get a 7-day free trial, so if you absolutely love the whole catalogue, it could be the right option for you.
An Apple TV box is not needed to watch Apple TV+, but the streaming device (especially the 4K version) is truly excellent, offering both HDR video and Dolby Atmos sound.
- Hayu, £4.99 per month – buy here
Hayu is a strange beast in the world of online streaming services.
The platform is specifically designed to provide access to US-based reality TV programs.
Hayu offers a remarkable catalogue of more than 6,500 episodes from 250 reality TV shows, and enables access to new ones on the same day as the US.
The service is available with a 30-day trial, then costs £4.99 when purchased from Hayu's website, but you can save £1 per month if you get Hayu as an add-on for NowTV or Amazon Prime Video.
- Netflix, £5.99 per month – buy here
Being the most widely used streaming service in the western world, Netflix needs no introduction.
The streaming service constantly produces a steady stream of original films and TV shows, together with expanding its catalogue by adding already existing content.
The basic Netflix subscription in the UK costs £5.99 and offers video streaming at 480p, but you'll probably be better off paying £9.99 to upgrade your picture quality to full HD at 1080p.
And if you have a 4K TV or screen, you can subscribe to Netflix Premium for £13.99, which allows up to four devices to view in 4K, as well as allowing programmes to be downloaded to mobile devices.
- BritBox, £5.99 per month – buy here
Created by the BBC and ITV, Britbox is a streaming service focusing exclusively on the most popular shows and movies from British TV.
The service does not offer offline downloads or original content, but it's not supposed to.
BritBox is essentially a catalogue of over 300 British comedies, dramas, and soap operas, and as such, it's very comprehensive.
The streaming service is supported on most streaming devices and smart TVs and includes content from the BBC, Channel 4, Film4, ITV, and ViacomCBS.
8. Sky Q
- Sky basic package, £26 per month – buy here
While Sky channels can be accessed via the internet if you have a subscription, the service still requires a satellite dish to function.
If that is not an obstacle to you, Sky arguably offers one of the largest catalogues of channels on this list.
The TV provider also counts over 200 original shows and highly customisable options for Sport, Entertainment, and Films.
And if you get any Sky subscription, Netflix's basic offer is also included in the price.
For additional information about Sky and the best Sky deals, you can have a look at our dedicated guide here.
What is the best streaming service in the UK?
Netflix is the undisputed king of streaming services in the UK.
According to recent data from Statista, a whopping 84% of Britons said they were using Netflix in the last quarter of 2020.
Amazon Prime was second on the list, with 67% of respondents who said they were using it, followed by 62% who said BBC iPlayer was their first option.
Only 26% said they were using Disney+, and a meagre 12% picked Now TV as their primary streaming service.
How to choose the best streaming services for you
Price is of course a determining factor when picking the best streaming service for yourself, but that aside, the platform's catalogue is what you want to look at.
If you are looking for a family-oriented streaming service, then there's no doubt Disney+ is the best one for you.
If, on the other hand, you're in love with British TV shows, BrtiBox could be the best option for you.
Generally speaking, if you are undecided, Netflix has the largest catalogue of TV shows and films, so you may find what you're looking for there.
Which streaming service has Harry Potter?
Regrettably, Harry Potter films are not available on Netflix UK (though they are in Netflix Portugal and Canada), or on any other service as part of your basic subscription.
However, if you are a real Harry Potter fan and need to have access to the films at all times, they are available on Prime Video to purchase.
Once added to your library, you'll be able to stream at any time.
Are TV streaming services worth it?
Yes. Streaming services are generally cheaper than TV subscription services, and still offer a lot of value.
It is ultimately up to you whether any of the above services satisfy your entertainment needs, but it is certain that more and more companies are investing in online streaming services.
In addition, with streaming services, you can always mix and match, picking the ones with the content you like, without spending too much.
How much are TV streaming services?
The basic cost of most streaming services is between £5 and £7 per month.
Some of them also offer options to watch on multiple screens or at a higher resolution for an extra price.
For instance, a Netflix Premium subscription costs £13.99 and allows up to four devices to watch simultaneously in 4K, as well as including the ability to download programmes onto mobile devices.
Did you enjoy our roundup of the best streaming services? Then make sure to check out our pick of best broadband providers in the UK.
Looking for a new, 4K TV to stream your favourite shows and films? Here are a few to check out.
For more tech recommendations, have a look at our Sun Selects Technology page.
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