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Freeview vs on-demand – the best place to watch festive films

Is Netflix, Amazon Video or Now TV your best bet for Christmas favourites, or can good old Freeview serve up a perfect feast of films?

It’s fair to say that the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and ITV up their game over Christmas, showing popular movies that ensure everyone has something to watch once the whole family is fed up of trying to ‘guess a film: four words, fourth word – wind’.

When it comes to Yuletide movies, can the channels you’d find on Freeview really compete with the enormous libraries, or convenience, of Netflix, Amazon Video and Now TV?

The amount of movies you could access by signing up for all three streaming services over the Christmas break would make your head spin. Instead, we’ve looked at the top-rated festive flicks on aggregate site rotten tomatoes, and thrown in a few family favourites, to see which streamer gives you the the highest-rated films that are guaranteed to bring some Christmas cheer.

Get access to tonnes of streaming apps and easily navigate the enormous movie libraries with a Best Buy TV streamer.

Which service should you subscribe to?

Have a browse through our list of favourite flicks to see if yours features, and where it’s showing this Christmas.

There are some obscure films on that list and kudos to you if you’ve seen The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, but even so, an average of 8 films out of 32 isn’t great.

The good news is that 12 of the films are available on Freeview channels and you can still get some exclusive movies that you won’t see on Freeview by subscribing to one of the streaming services.

Both Now TV and Amazon Video have seven of the 32 films, while Netflix only has five, but if we had to recommend one, we’d say Now TV because it has more Christmas films that aren’t available on Freeview.

Still, if your favourites aren’t available on Now TV, then look through our list and pick the service that has more of what you want to watch this Christmas and mourn the fact that you can’t watch Die Hard on any of them.

You can find Die Hard and a lot more on our Film Finder. It’ll show you where movies are available and how much, if anything, you’ll need to pay.

Watch Christmas movies on the best TV

Whether it’s to avoid a family squabble, or a third successive game of Scrabble, many of us watch a fair bit of TV at Christmas, and if you’re sat in your living room thinking the colours on Santa’s red clothes aren’t very vibrant and the crisp snow swirling around his sleigh looks more like grey sludge smearing across your screen, then it may be time to upgrade.

With a few discounts lingering from Black Friday and the January Sales just around the corner, the festive period is a good time to buy a new TV. We’ve picked three popular sets that have been, or are likely to be, discounted, so you can see whether they are worth picking up.

Samsung UE50MU6120

This 6 Series Samsung was a big hit over Black Friday. More people looked at our review of this 4K TV than any other and it’s easy to see why with its price dropping close to £400.

The price is still low at £449 and it may even drop again in the new year as Samsung gets ready to unveil its latest TVs at CES in January.

The 4K panel means you’ll be able to watch content in the highest resolution currently offered by Netflix and other streaming services. Even if you do most of your viewing on Freeview channels, it’s only a matter of time before BBC HD becomes BBC 4K and the low price of some 4K sets means its a good time to buy one.

In the meantime, you can use the built-in smart menu to watch 4K content on Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube.

Does this TV do 4K justice or has the price been plummeting because there are better TVs available? Find out in our Samsung UE50MU6120 review.

LG 43UJ635V

If you need something a little smaller, then this 43-inch LG TV is good value. Although, at £399, it’s not much cheaper than the Samsung UE50MU6120, which further highlights what a bargain that TV is.

It’s a 4K TV with HDR, so you’ll be able to enjoy the highest resolution content available and it has Freeview Play, something Samsung TVs don’t. This useful piece of software combines an electronic programme guide with catch-up TV services so you can easily see what shows are coming up and watch what you’ve missed.

There’s separate catch-up apps, including BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub, too.

With TV manufacturers devoting more of their time and resources to larger TVs, have smaller models been left behind? Read our LG 43UJ635V review to see if this 43-inch TV is a match for its larger counterparts.

Panasonic TX-65EX600B

Speaking of big-screen TVs, this one from Panasonic will dominate whatever room it’s in with its 65-inch screen.

Bigger TVs are available, but the prohibitive cost of making screens larger than 65 inches mean prices rise steeply once you get past this size.

With prices at £1,099 after Black Friday, this 4K TV is on the cheaper end of the 65-inch spectrum and has all the smart features you’d expect from a 2017 TV, including Freeview Play.

Spending over £1,000 on a TV is not decision that should be taken lightly. To see if Panasonic’s enormous TV is worth your money then head to our Panasonic TX-65EX600B review.

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