With the winter nights at their longest, it’s the perfect time of year to stay in and watch a movie. These days all you need to watch the latest releases is a broadband connection and a tiny set-top box.
If you have an Apple iPad or iPhone, then the obvious choice is the Apple TV. This little black box costs £99 and connects to the Internet by wi-fi. Movies from Apple are a little bit pricey, but there is a good selection and you only pay for what you watch. There are also other TV services such as Netflix available on a subscription basis.
If you’re not an Apple person, then a better option might be Roku. These set-top boxes start at £50 and, in addition to Netflix and BBC iPlayer, offer Sky Movies for £9 a month with the Sky Sports channels on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Both Apple and Roku also let you play your own music, photos and home movies on your TV from your phone or tablet. However, if that sounds like a feature you’ll never use, then the best deal of all is Sky’s own Now TV box. This is actually last year’s Roku box with a few features stripped out. Unlike its rivals it’s not full HD, but it only costs £10, so you could have an Apple TV and a Now TV for the ultimate choice of movies.
All of these options only stream content from the Internet. If you want to record your own programmes then you’ll need a bigger, more expensive set-top box such as YouView, which also gives you access to BT Sport.