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blinkbox reinvents the old-fashioned video shop

We take an in-depth look at the online video service.


I’ve got to admit that I miss the days of taking a trip to the video shop and arguing with my siblings about what film to rent. Mum would tell us we could rent one movie between us and we had to agree on it. Of course this would often just turn into a heated argument in the video shop with stomping feet, raised voices and fair amount of storming off.

With the video shop pretty much gone now, even Blockbuster has gone into administration, there’s going to be a generation who don’t even understand the concept. Whilst I do mourn the loss of the video shop which was a big part of my childhood, it’s a case of moving with the times and looking to the other options out there when it comes to movies. Netflix and LoveFilm are two such services which are cornering the market offering users subscriptions for access to a streaming library of film and TV shows, or a set amount of discs by post on a monthly basis.

To me neither of those really replaces the video shop. Neither service has all the latest releases, but they are good for back catalogue content, whilst having to wait for a film to be delivered through the post just doesn’t cut it for us. What other option is there? blinkbox from Tesco is your other leading option and it’s the closest you’ll get to having that video shop feel.


Credit: blinkbox

blinkbox, unlike its rivals, isn’t a subscription-based service which is just one of the advantages it boasts. Anyone can sign-up for a free blinkbox account and movies/TV shows can be paid for on an as-and-when basis. One of the big selling points of the service is that it gets the latest blockbuster movies before anyone else. With its library of over 10,000 blinkbox offers you up-to-the-minute releases and currently is the only movie service online that offers recently hits such as World War Z, Now You See Me and Pacific Rim; surely that’s what you want from a video service?

Another selling point of blinkbox is the flexibility that the service provides you. For the majority of titles in its catalogue, blinkbox offers you a choice between renting or buying content with a choice between SD and HD. A new release film will set you back between £3.49 – £4.49 to rent and upwards of £9.99 to buy. One you rent a film you have 30 days within which to watch it but once you start watching you have 48 hours to finish it which is plenty of time.

On the TV front you only get the option to buy but price-wise it’s comparable with services such as iTunes. For example the latest season of American Horror Story: Coven will set you back £1.89 (SD) or £2.49 (HD) per episode and for older seasons or shows you can get a discount for purchasing the entire season.


Credit: blinkbox

blinkbox makes it easy for you to watch your content too giving you flexibility across a variety of devices. You can watch it on your PC or Mac, tablet device (iOS or Android), PS3, Xbox 360, a variety of smart TVs and selected set-top boxes. On tablets and games consoles blinkbox is accessed via an easy to download app and actually we found this our preferred way of watching content through the service. It’s easy to use, simple to browse and quick to purchase and watch content.

The one thing you do need to be wary of is you can’t transfer content between devices. I downloaded The Purge through my PC laptop and tried to move the file to another laptop so I could connect it to my TV and watch it on the big screen. The file auto-locks onto the computer you download it on so if you don’t have a smart TV and want to watch it on your big flatscreen just be mindful to download it on the device that you can connect to your TV.

blinkbox in my opinion is the video shop for the 21st century. Putting the latest blockbusters and TV shows, as well as a wealth of older films, at your finger tips the service gives you full control of your viewing. Price-wise it’s comparable with the old-fashioned video shop and competitive with other download and streaming services out there. If you don’t want to be tied to a subscription this is a really good choice as you can dip in and out whenever you want. If you’re an existing Tesco shopper with a clubcard, you can also redeem points for every purchase you make which is an added bonus.

Get started and find out more about blinkbox by heading over to


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