Net­flix £6-£10/month

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Awards 2018 -

Net­flix goes from strength to strength – so much so that it has top­pled last year’s win­ner, Ama­zon Prime Video, and even mus­cled its way to the front of the whole stream­ing sec­tor to wres­tle the Prod­uct of the Year Award out of Tidal’s hands.

There are sev­eral rea­sons for its suc­cess. First off, it con­tin­ues to of­fer an ex­pand­ing range of top-qual­ity new and orig­i­nal con­tent that’s more than good enough to keep the wa­ter-cooler chit-chat flow­ing at work­places across the land, much of it avail­able in 4K, from Bet­ter Call Saul to Stranger Things. In terms of con­tent – be­spoke shows in par­tic­u­lar – Net­flix strides away from any nom­i­nal com­pe­ti­tion.

And, if you have a TV that can process it, there’s some HDR con­tent avail­able too. It’s not ob­vi­ous from the search menus but if you type ‘HDR’ into the search field you’ll find a list of HDR con­tent (Blood­line, Marco Polo, Dare­devil etc). It’s all dis­played with prodi­gious de­tail, vi­brancy and sta­bil­ity, too, as colours pop and con­trasts punch.

Other feathers in Net­flix’s cap in­clude shows in Dolby Vi­sion, Dolby At­mos and finely ren­dered 5.1 au­dio. Yes, it’s more ex­pen­sive than Ama­zon Prime Video year’s win­ner) if you go for HD (£7.99) or 4K with HDR (£9.99) stream­ing, but we think it’s more than worth it, even if Prime of­ten nabs new re­leases first.

There’s good news for mo­bile users too. For a long while it wasn’t pos­si­ble to down­load any­thing from Net­flix to watch off­line. Since Novem­ber 2016, though, con­tent can be down­loaded to your phone and tablet to watch, glitch free, at your leisure. You can’t down­load lit­er­ally ev­ery­thing, but there’s plenty of choice and lots of the most pop­u­lar con­tent is there to stick on your de­vice.

Net­flix is easy to use and it’s com­pat­i­ble with the vast ma­jor­ity of for­mats. PCS, Macs, Google Chrome­cast, any smart TV worth its salt, Blu-ray play­ers from all the big brands, tablets and phones are all on the menu. Aside from the TV app’s rather ret­ro­grade A-Z key­board (rather than QWERTY) search func­tion, it’s straight­for­ward to browse and en­joy its more-hit-than-miss rec­om­men­da­tions based on your view­ing.

Easy to use, great-look­ing and great-sound­ing, Net­flix is ev­ery­thing you want from a video-stream­ing ser­vice.

Great con­tent, beau­ti­fully dis­played – which you can down­load to your phone

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