When streaming platforms serve as cheaper and more convenient alternatives for viewing content, they become the go-to solution to remedy costly TV subscriptions. Now that streaming services have established itself as a reasonable substitute, we’ll have to tackle the options presented to us. In the UK, there’s NowTV, and then there’s Amazon Prime Video. Both provide a wide assortment of content to suffice any viewer’s diverse taste in entertainment, but which one offers greater value and a much better viewing experience?
Amazon Prime UK vs NowTV
The way we consume entertainment today would be hard to imagine decades ago. There used to be a time when people’s access to content and the means to watch them was so limited. Sure cable television or satellite broadcast was available, but even our wildest dreams couldn’t have predicted what would come next. Now anyone can catch the latest episodes of their favourite shows while stuck on a train station, all with the introduction of streaming TV.
In the UK, two streaming providers offer all the good stuff: Amazon and NowTV. Both deliver an extensive library of shows and movies, compatibility to dozens of devices, and reasonable monthly fees. Nonetheless, there has to be one that offers more in terms of value and quality of service. In the end, it comes down to the most crucial points — content, ease of use, device compatibility, and cost. Let’s find out which of these streaming providers deserve your hard-earned money?
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What Unique Content does Amazon Offer?
Launched in 2006 as Amazon Unbox in the US, Amazon’s video-on-demand service grew with its growing library, consequently adding the Prime Video membership with the development of Prime. In 2014, Prime Video was added to Prime in the UK after the acquisition of the local streaming and DVD-by-mail service LoveFilm. Amazon’s main difference from NowTV is that aside from providing licensed acquisitions of TV shows, the former also offers a selection of Amazon Studios original content. These include exclusive offerings such as Bosch, The Man in the High Castle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Boys, Sneaky Pete, Goliath, Good Omens, Homecoming, and The Grand Tour, among others. Apart from Amazon’s exclusive offerings of acclaimed shows, it also houses some of the best shows on TV, including Downton Abbey, Vikings, Outlander, and New Amsterdam.
UK Content from Amazon
UK content available for streaming on Amazon includes Downton Abbey, Salvage Hunters, Catastrophe, and Fleabag. Amazon also offers some of TV’s classics like Twin Peaks and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and award-winning HBO programmes such as The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, and Six Feet Under. Plus FX’s acclaimed spy thriller The Americans and the sci-fi hit The Expanse.
Fancy some movies to watch this coming weekend? Amazon offers exciting titles, which include the Amazon Studios original Life Itself, Iron Man 2, Baywatch, The Haunting of Sharon Tate, Arctic, Daddy’s Home 2, and Acrimony, plus the recently released Serenity reuniting Interstellar co-stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway.
What Unique Content does NowTV Offer?
Offering subscription-based internet television and video-on-demand service, Now TV currently doesn’t offer any exclusive shows. Now TV delivers a much cheaper alternative to those who don’t want to be tied down to an 18-month commitment with Sky but still get Sky’s complete catalogue and with no lock-in contract. Hence, NowTV mostly provides Sky originals like Riviera, as well as dozens of other TV shows straight from the US, including HBO’s Big Little Lies and Chernobyl.
Amazon vs NowTV: The Libraries
Content-wise, Amazon offers more. Apart from dozens of Amazon original titles, there’s also licensed content from the UK, US, and other parts of the world. Amazon’s offerings aren’t only abundant; they’re also diverse. Although, in the end, it depends on the viewer’s preference.
NowTV, as part of Sky, does provide some HBO shows and many other TV series straight from the US. There are crime and police thrillers like The Blacklist and S.W.A.T., and there’s the highly praised Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale. Long-time comedy series Modern Family is also available on NowTV and Cinemax’s Warrior is another welcome addition.
The bottom line is that it all comes down to what you want to watch. If you’re rooting for HBO and other popular US cable shows, NowTV is the option here. But if you specifically want access to Amazon’s original titles, then Amazon it is. However, it is essential to note that there’s a difference in how Amazon and NowTV’s content is delivered.
Signing up to Amazon gives you access to both shows and movies that are included in your Prime subscription. NowTV, on the other hand, separates movies from TV shows so if you want both, you’ll have to get the Entertainment and Sky Cinema passes, increasing your monthly fees.
Amazon vs NowTV: Devices and Apps
Amazon Prime supports multiple devices for streaming, including Smart TVs, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes (Roku, Google TV, TiVo, Nvidia Shield), Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, game consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, Wii), Android devices (Prime Video app for Android phones and tablets), iOS devices (Prime Video app for iPhone, iPad & iPod touch), Fire phone, and Fire tablets.
NowTV also lets you watch on numerous devices (up to 60), including iPad, iPhone, game consoles, selected Android devices, and your PC. Alternatively, you can stream shows and movies on NowTV devices such as the NowTV Smart Stick and NowTV Smart Box. Register up to 4 devices on your account so you can watch anytime, wherever you are.
Streaming and Video Quality
To stream SD content on Amazon Prime Video, the requirement is at least 1Mbps connection. For HD content (720p/1080p) content, you’ll need at least 3.5Mbps while at least 15Mbps is required to stream 4K Ultra HD videos.
NowTV recommends a minimum internet speed of 2.5Mbps to use their service. Anything lower may result in buffering. Currently, NowTV’s maximum available streaming quality is 720p for content on all devices except YouView, which is limited to SD. For 3G or 4G devices, the minimum required speed to view NowTV content is 450Kbps.
4K Content from Amazon and NowTV
Amazon is continuously expanding its 4K HDR offerings. To search for HDR titles, you’ll need to scroll through content. If your television supports it, it should be indicated next in the video information whether it’s HDR or Dolby Vision. Currently, among Amazon’s HDR titles are Homecoming, Bosch, Fleabag, Good Girls Revolt, Mozart in the Jungle, The Grand Tour, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Man in the High Castle, The Tick, and Transparent, among others. NowTV, as previously mentioned, doesn’t offer 4K content as of yet.
Amazon vs NowTV: Free Trials
The sign-up process for both is straightforward and won’t take you much time. However, Amazon offers a 30-day free trial to new customers, while NowTV only offers it for seven days. Trying a service for only a week may not be enough for most viewers to truly experience it. Hence, Amazon’s 30 days free subscription may be the no-brainer option for many users.
Amazon Subscription Cost
After the 30-day free trial, Amazon Prime subscription is set at £7.99/month with no lock-in contract. As a Prime subscriber, this also includes other services such as unlimited one-day delivery on millions of items, Prime Reading, and Prime Music at no extra costs. Customers who only want to subscribe to Prime Video can do so at £5.99/month — no expedited shipping and no music library. There’s also the option to subscribe for a year for a £79 annual fee, which breaks down your monthly cost to the only £6.58/month.
NowTV Subscription Cost
NowTV offers a 7 day free trial. After that’s done, you’ll start paying your subscription depending on your chosen TV pass. NowTV’s passes start from £3.99/month for Kids and hayu, £7.99/month for Entertainment, and £11.99/month for Sky Cinema.
Sports fans can get NowTV’s Sky Sports Pass from only £5.99/month for a Mobile Month Pass. However, this only covers a month of 5 sports channels on your mobile. For more sports, the Sky Sports Month Pass delivers 11 sports channels available for streaming on multiple devices at £33.99/month. There’s also Sky Sports Day Pass and Week Pass (pay as you go) offered at £8.99 and £14.99 each month, respectively.
New customers, meanwhile, can get up to 52% off on monthly fees when they stay with NowTV for longer. For instance, six months of Sky Cinema Pass is just priced at £42.99 while 6 months of Entertainment Pass is only £27.99.
Comparing Customer Service
NowTV offers customer support through top articles on its website. You just type in your enquiry, and you’ll find articles that can help you address your concerns. Besides, the NowTV Community has over a thousand answers to common issues from other NowTV customers. If you can’t find what you need in any of the articles, NowTV has a Get in touch button on any article page you can use to contact them by Live Chat.
Amazon also offers dozens of helpful articles for the most common concerns. Simply log in to your account and browse help topics to get you started. Usually, you’ll find the answers to your questions this way. If your concerns are more involved, you can choose to contact Amazon UK directly by phone.
Amazon vs NowTV: Key Features
Just like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video lets you download videos to your PC or mobile so you can continue watching shows and movies even without an internet connection. Parental controls and closed captioning are also present, among other expected features. And because Amazon owns IMDb, viewers can make use of the X-Ray feature, which feeds a stream of info about actors, filmmakers, music, and assorted trivia in every scene.
For a more convenient viewing experience, users can also customise how captions look and turn off autopay if needed. Users can also explore other content outside Amazon with Amazon Channels. This feature allows you to add subscriptions to other streaming services to your Amazon account, from StarzPlay and Discovery to ITV Hub and hayu.
NowTV also allows users to download videos for offline streaming, but the feature doesn’t apply to all videos. Still, you can download most shows and movies on the Entertainment Pass, Cinema Pass, Kids Pass, and hayu Pass to watch later when you’re offline. Subtitles are available on NowTV, but again, only on selected on-demand movies and shows. You’ll know if it’s available if you see an S symbol in the show/movie information. Meanwhile, if you use any NowTV devices, you can pause and rewind live TV channels for up to 30 minutes.
Summary: Do you want TV Now or in the Amazon?
Amazon Prime Video and NowTV offer appealing features and content to want you to try both. With Amazon, there’s a wide variety of content to choose from — from Amazon originals to TV’s hottest shows and blockbuster films to reality shows — the list is endless. More importantly, Prime Video is part of your Amazon Prime subscription.
Not only do you have access to hundreds of titles of shows and films, but you also enjoy the benefits of being a Prime user. This includes free one-day delivery on millions of items, ad-free music streaming with Prime Music, unlimited photo storage, and so much more. Bundling all these services for only £7.99/month after your 30-day free trial, that’s just simply fantastic.
NowTV, on the other hand, gets its appeal from housing Sky TV’s content sans the high costs and lengthy contracts. Here, you’ll find Sky originals, HBO shows, and more for only £7.99 per month after your 7-day free trial. However, NowTV’s offerings are segregated into different TV passes so that you’ll have to sign up for two passes if you want to access both TV shows and movies.
Finding it hard to choose? Try both instead!
Both offer a free trial period — Amazon for 30 days and NowTV for seven days. In terms of commitments, Amazon and NowTV are on month-to-month plans with no lock-in contracts. Since you can cancel anytime, it’s possible for you to experience both services without much trouble.