Video Streaming Services

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It’s important to switch off now and then – and what better way to do so with a movie or a TV show?

A December 2017 Irish Times article reports that the video streaming service market will overtake the physical media market in Ireland by 2019.

This is great news for college students, as they can see the latest hit movies without having to leave their house, but there a now quite a few contenders vying for your hard-earned dosh.

We’re here to run you through the various streaming services available to Irish students and pick out which one is the best for your individual needs!

Netflix

Probably the most ubiquitous of the lot, Netflix has become a cultural and financial juggernaut in recent years, with shows and movies being added daily.

The secret to their success is their wildly successful Netflix Originals such as Stranger Things and Orange Is The New Black, meaning that they don’t have to rely on other studios’ properties for content.

There have been some clunkers in recent years (Gypsy, anyone?) but they’re mostly solid.

They have also started to branch out into feature films, meaning you can see the latest Paul Greengrass, Alfonso Cuaron or Coen Brothers movie from the comfort of your own home.

Their user interface is also stupidly easy to use, and as such has been adapted to platforms as diverse to Smart TV’s to PlayStation to mobile.

Plans start at 7.99 a month for one screen, 10.99 for two screens at once, and 13.99 for four screens at once, and of course, there’s a 30 day free trial.

Now TV

If you’re the non-committal type and want to watch stuff online without any of the hassle of contracts, Now TV has you covered.

Now TV is integrated with Sky and as such has integration with Sky Atlantic, meaning that their selection of boxsets is quite simply, astonishing.

From the likes of Game Of Thrones, The Handmaids Tale, all the way down the ladder to Geordie Shore (hey, we’re not here to judge), there is quite literally something for everyone.

The prices are quite competitive too, with the hot offer at time of writing offering either the Entertainment package with all the boxsets or Sky Movies for just 7.50 for 2 months.

And for those of you who are sports-inclined, there’s also a Sky Sports package on offer too, with 10 euro pass currently on offer.

There is currently a 14-day free trial period on offer too, giving you plenty of time to get used to the layout and program selection.

Simply put, if you can’t be bothered committing to a year-long contract with yet another media company and want to cut the cord whenever you want, give Now TV a go.

Amazon Prime Video

Quickly becoming the contender to Netflix’s foothold on the streaming industry, the shopping conglomerate has seen mixed success in their adventures in streaming so far, but there are indications that they may one day be the world’s foremost streaming service.

Amazon’s roster of original shows have been decidedly hit and miss so far (For every Grand Tour or Man In The High Castle, there’s at least 5 Last Tycoon’s) but at time of writing the John Krasinski starring Jack Ryan series has just been released, and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner’s new series The Romanoffs looks primed to be the hit show of the winter.

Amazon’s killer app is their IMDB integration called Amazon X-Ray, where if enabled, the IMDB page for your selected movie or show will feed you information in real time.

Can’t name the actor or actresses in a given scene? Or what song is playing in the background?

Amazon X-Ray solves those age old conundrums, and frankly is a fantastic feature that’s nearly worth the membership price alone.

With that said, Amazon’s movie selection is for lack of a better word, laughable.

There are some legitimately great films in there (mostly from Universal Studios, the big Netflix holdout) but for every great film like Shaun Of The Dead there’s at least 20 conspiracy theory documentaries or unauthorised rock band biographies.

Luckily, Amazon seems to be aware of this massive gulf of quality between their admittedly pretty stellar originals and car boot sale movie collection, and to that end students will be glad to know the service only costs 5.99 a month, with a 7-day free trial.

Hayu

We’ve mentioned all these high-brow prestige award dramas so far, but what about those Kardashians or the Made In Chelsea gang?

Sometimes after a stressful day in the library or class, you just want to turn off your brain and get caught up in the scripted lives of glamorous people, and that’s where Hayu comes in.

Hayu is a streaming service especially for those of you who enjoy reality TV, and Hayu will have the latest episode of your favourite reality show the same day they air in the United States!

The cheapest of the services offered so far, Hayu is available for just 4.99 a month, with a free 30-day trial.

By  Mike Finnerty

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