How to watch on demand TV

From Netflix to Apple TV+, Sky On Demand to BritBox, the ultimate guide to watching on demand TV on your smart TV, laptop, tablet or smartphone

If you’re confused about the ever-changing landscape of on demand and catch-up TV, you’re not alone. With new streaming services launching every couple of months, Event magazine has launched Britain’s biggest on demand guide to help readers navigate a path through the maze of new shows, which can be watched at any time of day. 

Some services have free trial periods so you can see what works best for you. Others offer a pay-as-you-go or pay-by-the-day option. New smart TVs already provide these services, or you can view them using an internet-connected device, such as a laptop, tablet, PC or smartphone.

Free streaming and catch-up servicesBBC iPlayer (, free with the licence fee), ITV Hub (, All 4 ( and My5 ( – allow you to watch programmes and films that have already aired and are generally available for 30 days after broadcast.


The subscription service offers a vast library of TV box sets to stream, much of which is original programming, plus an extensive selection of movies ( From £5.99 per month

Amazon Prime Video 

Available as part of its next-day shopping delivery package, the TV and film service offers original programming as well as movies, box sets, live sport and music ( From £7.99 per month (or £79 per year) 

Under the Amazon umbrella, Starzplay also shows original content from the US Starz network. Seven-day free trial, then £4.99 per month (Prime members only)

Sky On Demand 

A huge selection of shows, movies and sport come with a varying range of subscription packages ( From £22 per month 

If you don’t want to sign up to a Sky contract, NOW TV offers ‘passes’ to watch Sky’s movies, entertainment or sport channels ( Seven-day free trial, then from £5.99 per month


Archive subscription service created by the BBC and ITV featuring British programming stretching as far back as the Forties. The service houses the largest collection of British content (including shows from Channel 4, Channel 5 and Comedy Central) available on any streaming service ( Thirty days free, then £5.99 per month

Apple TV+ 

Original content plus an extensive back catalogue of TV shows and movies, available via your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV, as well as a smart TV app ( Seven days free, then £4.99 per month


The place to go for all things Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. Content includes movies, TV shows and documentaries ( £59.99 per year, or £5.99 per month

Facebook Watch

Original content includes drama, comedy and news ( Free, requires a Facebook account

Rakuten TV 

New movie releases, plus Hollywood classics, TV shows and documentaries ( No monthly fee, pay for what you watch


New movies and classic TV series ( No monthly fee, pay for what you watch

Google Play 

Movies, TV shows, apps, music and games ( No monthly fee, pay as you go