TalkTalk has launched a new pay-as-you-go film and TV streaming service, which it claims is the cheapest in the UK.
But does TalkTalk’s claims to be the cheapest add up? We’ve compared what’s on offer.
TalkTalk TV Store
TalkTalk TV Store is actually an overhaul of BlinkBox, which TalkTalk bought from Tesco last year. It announced the name change in January but formally launched the new service this week.
TalkTalk says it’s updated the platform to offer more than 7,000 of the latest and greatest movies and TV shows, all available on multiple devices. Former Blinkbox customers can access their digital library as normal.
TalkTalk TV Store is available to everyone - and there’s no need for a TalkTalk set-top box. See the full list of supported devices here.
Like iTunes and Amazon Instant Video, the new platform is a pay-per-view service: you can rent or buy individual titles as opposed to paying a monthly subscription.
Existing TalkTalk customers get some extra benefits from the service. They can rent or buy a show on their home TV then switch to a mobile device to watch the same show.
The latest film releases start at £3.45 for 48 hours’ rental on TalkTalk TV Store while movie fans can buy and keep films from £8.99 per film. TV shows cost from £1.89 per episode and series packages start from £5.99.
“It’s all about choice and flexibility – you can opt for anything from Star Wars to Game of Thrones, only pay for what you watch, and switch easily between devices,” says Aleks Habdank of TalkTalk TV.
“It puts you back in control, as you can enjoy all the shows and movies you love on your own terms.”
How do prices compare to other streaming services?
TalkTalk claims its new service has Britain’s lowest prices – but it depends on what you want to watch.
For example, it charges £4.45 to rent a high definition (HD) version of The Martian, exactly the same price as Amazon Prime Video, meaning the two providers are joint cheapest.
If you’re not bothered about HD, TalkTalk appears to have a marginal edge. You’ll pay £3.45 to rent The Martian, which is 4p less than Google Play at £3.49.
It’s a similar story with other films. Renting a HD version of The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 costs £4.45 from TalkTalk, 4p less than iTunes. If you want to buy and keep the film, both Talk Talk and iTunes charge £13.99.
When it comes to watching TV series, you may well be better off with streaming service Netflix, depending on how much TV you watch.
As of next month, Netflix standard users will all be paying £7.49 a month. Premium users, who can stream movies in 4k quality and watch on four screens rather than two, will pay £8.99.
The monthly fee gives you access to Netflix’s entire library and you can watch as many shows as you like.
TalkTalk’s pay-as-you-go model will prove costly it you watch a lot of shows. For example, if you wanted to watch series one to four of law drama Suits, it would cost a total of £42.96 on TalkTalk.
Is there space in the market?
While other film and TV services all have their unique selling points, this is something TalkTalk lacks.
Dan Howdle, telecoms expert at telecoms advice site Cable.co.uk, explains: "Netflix specialises in original high-quality programming while offering a decent range of generally older movies and TV shows.
“Conversely, Amazon Prime Instant Video does the opposite, specialising in newer movies to rent, buy or stream as part of the service, while dabbling in its own original content,” he says.
“Parting those waves is Sky's Now TV, which offers the most up-to-date subscription-inclusive movies and TV of the three, but does not offer one-off rentals or movies only just out.
"When Tesco ran this service as Blinkbox, it struggled because it couldn't find a comfy spot between these heavyweight contenders. I'm not seeing anything here beyond the average rental coming in marginally cheaper. That won't be enough."