Blinkbox app full review
Owned by Tesco, Blinkbox is a film and TV streaming service which works in a different way to Netflix and LoveFilm Instant. Instead of charging a monthly fee and letting you stream whatever you like, you only pay for what you watch. You can buy content to watch as many times as you like or rent instead.
The app is limited to the iPad and selected Android tablets but you can also watch on other devices such as games consoles, Smart TVs and set-top boxes.
It's designed very nicely and has an easy to use interface for exploring the content on Blinkbox. Dropdown menus allow you to filter the results which are displayed well on the screen and smooth animations make for a fluid experience.
Since you're buying the content to keep or rent, pricing is essential – regardless of how nice the app itself is. A lot of content is standardly priced for rental: £3.49 for a film and £1.89 for a TV episode. It is worth shopping around though, as rivals like the Google Play Store often has a better deal.
Buying an entire TV series will cost you, on average, close to £20 for SD and nearer £25 for HD; older series are more like £10. However, at these prices we'd rather have the physical box set.
Tesco customers will be pleased to hear that every pound spent on Blinkbox will collect them one Clubcard point. At the time of writing, those who sign up will get £5 of free credit to spend when £1 is deposited.
The selection is good and you'll find new releases here before they arrive on Netflix and LoveFilm. You'll need a Wi-Fi connection to stream but you can browse content with mobile data.
You can't download content for offline viewing which is a big omission for purchased content but the app does support video output to a larger display.
We find it strange that the app doesn't give the option to purchase HD versions of a TV series or film. Even though many devices are perfectly capable of displaying HD content. However, if you purchase via a console or PC, then the HD content will show up in your library in the app.
Even stranger is the fact that the iPad app doesn't allow you to purchase content at all. It is essentially a video player and is only able to show and play your library.
Blinkbox app: Specs
- iPad with iOS 5.0 or later
- Android 4.0 or later (selected tablets): 7.6MB