Blinkbox offers try before you buy streaming service, Alan Partridge, vampires and undercover cops

Blinkbox, the movie and TV show streaming service from Tesco, has launched a try before you buy scheme where pilot episodes of series can be viewed without a fee.

Unlike rivals in the streaming market, such as Netflix and Amazon's Lovefilm, Blinkbox has a simple pay for what you watch business model. You can buy or rent shows and films for a one-off fee. It's much like Apple's iTunes in that regard.

However, in order to help signed-in customers choose what TV series they'd like to invest in, the service is offering a number of key pilot episodes of shows like The Wire, True Blood, Supernatural, West Wing and Entourage as part of its Try TV on Us promotion. There are 28 series involved in total, from Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros, HBO and BBC Worldwide.

With the big screen exploits of Steve Coogan's finest creation arriving on 7 August - Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa -  you even get to view the first episode of the famed BBC mockumentary I'm Alan Partridge, still one of the greatest British comedies ever made.

"Great TV continues to be one of our biggest obsessions and the fuel for many conversations. There’s more choice than ever before thanks to services like ours and our insights told us that customers relished the opportunity to try TV before committing to purchase. After all, life’s too short to watch something that you’re just not into," said Michael Cornish, CEO of Blinkbox.

You can "Try TV on US" until 19 August at blinkbox.com/trytv. You will need to sign up for a free account with the service first.