The best ways to stream your Christmas movies
Top off the 2012 on-demand trend by doing things a touch different with your Christmas movies. This year, rather than being bound to the television at certain times of the day, why not stream your Christmas entertainment whenever you have time?
There are plenty of different ways to stream your Christmas but not all will result in the right kind of yule-satisfaction. Below is our list of the best streaming solutions for your Christmas movies.
Netflix runs on pretty much any device you can think of. It also has a one month free trial option, meaning you don't even need to subscribe to it to get your movie fix over December. If you do sign up proper, it is £5.99 a month
When you first boot up Netflix, the app will give you the option to open a "just for kids" mode. Opt for this and you eliminate any chances of your little ones watching something scary by accident. This way you can leave them to it and get on with the things adults like to do at Christmas, like drinking.
As for Christmas content itself, there are a lot of movies to play with on Netflix - from kids classics such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to movies like Drive and Mission Impossible 3 for the grown-ups. The newer films also stream in 1080p with 5.1 audio, great to show off that new telly you might have got in for Christmas.
Sky's on-demand offering is all about bringing the latest movies a touch earlier than Netflix. There is another 30-day trial offering so you can test out whether you like it, or just pile it on top of a Netflix trial.
Now TV works on your PC, Mac, Mobile and most tablets as well as on your Xbox 360 or YouView. After your trial ends, the price goes up to £8.99 a month for three months and then £15 after that. It is pricey, but the movies on offer are a lot more box office than Netflix.
iTunes and Apple TV
A slightly more costly option is to fork out £99 for an Apple TV and hook it up to your television for Christmas. Once connected, you have access to the vast number of movies and TV shows available to rent on the iTunes store, including major Disney and Pixar titles, ideal for kids.
Being able to rent or buy movies also helps keep cost down and Apple TV does include a Netflix app, so you can bolster your movie selection with a month's free trial over Christmas. It is also possible to stream movies from your iPad to Apple TV over AirPlay, ideal should you be wanting to show off some Christmas family videos taken with the tablet.
Another way of sorting televisual entertainment over Christmas is with Lovefilm. The service comes with both a streaming app for multiple devices and the option to have discs delivered to your door. The latter can be particularly handy for those lacking in a decent media streamer or who simply prefer to do things the disc method.
Rentals are also much more blockbuster and premium movies and tend to match what has been released in stores. You could for example rent the Dark Knight Rises through Lovefilm and have it delivered to your door for Christmas. The service starts at £4.99 per month.
Google's streaming option is all tied into Google Play, so can only really be viewed on either Google TV, an Android tablet or on desktops. If you have any of those however, expect an iTunes-like rental and download experience.
Movie selection is excellent, with plenty of titles suitable for young ones. Rental prices do vary but none is particularly expensive. A good Android alternative to the Apple TV method.