Let's Get Digital

Your on-demand Red Dwarf options.

4 December, 2015

The landscape of digital, on-demand content is an ever shifting one - and so while we might have told you in the past where all the available places are that you can get a downloadable or streaming Red Dwarf fix, the same might not actually be true eighteen, twelve, or even six months down the line. So in the interests of keeping you as informed as possible - and ensuring you always have a supply of Dwarf available at your fingertips at all times - here's the current state of play in the digital world.

Streaming

If you're signed up to a monthly plan on one of the popular streaming services, you can get instant access to almost any episode of Red Dwarf - depending on who you're signed up with. If you're a UK-based Netflix user, then series I-VIII are available to you - although to answer a question we've been asked several times on Twitter, unfortunately we don't yet know if and when the episodes will be returning to the US version of the site! Over at Amazon, meanwhile, if you're a Prime Video subscriber you can also get those first eight series on demand at any time as part of your plan. Netflix plans start at £5.99 a month for standard definition viewing (£7.49 if you want HD), while Amazon Prime costs £79 to join for the year (but includes assorted other shopping benefits in addition to the video and music services) or you can just sign up for Amazon Prime Video for £5.99 per month. Both platforms offer a free month's trial before you commit to paying - just make sure you cancel in plenty of time if you don't want to stick around!

But what about the most recent episodes? Well, in that case, you're best covered by UKTV Play, the (relatively) new service offered by our chums at Dave. Available on the web as well as on iOS and Android mobiles and tablets, UKTV Play is entirely free to watch, and at the moment gives you access to all six episodes from Series X. Keep your eye on the service for earlier episodes, too, as they're sometimes made available for a short while after being repeated on the channel itself.

Buy-to-Keep

If you'd rather pay a one-off fee for a particular episode or series rather than relying on a monthly subscription, then there are a wider array of services and devices than ever before on which you can do so. Here's a summary of the various platforms that currently have the show available:

iTunes

Still the biggest name in on-demand video, iTunes allows you to purchase all ten series of the show directly from the Red Dwarf iTunes room. Series start at £6.99 and go up to £9.99 (for Series X in HD), while individual episodes are £1.89 in SD and £2.49 in HD. To watch video bought on iTunes you need to download it to a compatible device: either an iPhone, iPod or iPad, or a Mac or compatible PC running the iTunes software.

Also of note on iTunes is the special "Series 6-10 Plus Bonus Features" pack - which as well as giving you all 31 episodes of that run, also includes Smeg Ups, Smeg Outs, The Making of Back to Earth and We're Smegged. You can get the whole thing for £26.99, or pay £1.89 for each of the individual bonus items.

Amazon

Aside from the Prime subscription option, you can also buy the show to keep from Amazon. The same episodes are available as on iTunes (except for the bonus material), and at the same price. Amazon Video can be watched either directly through your web browser, or on a huge range of devices including Kindle Fire tablets and TV sticks, supported Android and iOS mobiles and tablets, various smart TVs and set top boxes, and even certain games consoles. The downside, however, is that downloading for offline access is only possible for certain videos and on certain devices - so for the most part you have to be connected and stream the episodes even though they're owned in your library.

Google Play

One of the biggest rivals to iTunes and Amazon, and with a range of compatible devices that rivals the latter, Google Play also has all ten series available at comparable prices. The biggest plus point here, though, is the fact that the Bonus Pack - featuring all the same content as on the iTunes version - costs just £18.99; although unlike on iTunes, you can't buy the constituent parts individually. Purchased items on Google can be downloaded for offline viewing to an Android mobile phone/tablet, or to a Chromebook - but not to a regular PC.

BBC Store

The brand new BBC on-demand service offers downloadable offline access to your computer in a similar fashion to iTunes, on a vast range of BBC content. Among that, of course, are the first eight series of Red Dwarf - in series packs that cost £7.99 for the first six, and £9.99 for VII and VIII. Individual episodes are the now-standard £1.89.

Microsoft Film & TV

Available to watch on PCs and Xbox (360 and One) consoles, Microsoft's service only offers the episodes in full-series packs - £7.99 for each of the first eight, £4.99 for Back to Earth, and Series X is £9.99 in SD and £12.99 in HD. Back when this service was called Xbox Video you couldn't download files to watch offline on your PC - but as we understand it, since the rebranding this is now possible.

PlayStation Store

Over on the other side of games console land, the key plus point of Sony's offering is the lower price of some of the individual episodes. Series I-III are just £1.19 each, while IV-VIII are £1.49. It's only on Series X that the episodes go up to £1.89. Series packs, meanwhile, are mostly priced identically to Microsoft - except that RDX is available in HD for £9.99, and Back to Earth is missing from the service entirely.

Blinkbox

Rounding things off, the TalkTalk-owned on demand service also has all ten series to buy. Series packs cost the same as on Microsoft, but individual episodes are all available for £1.89. Like Amazon and Google, Blinkbox's main advantage is its huge range of device compatibility - basically, if it has a screen and an internet connection, you can probably watch their content on it. Unlike Amazon, however, Blinkbox lets you store files on your device for offline viewing.

TV Set Top Boxes

If you're a subscriber to a TV service such as Sky, Virgin Media, BT or TalkTalk, you may be able to get the show via that provider's own On Demand service, accessible through your set top box. The availability on these services can vary dependent on both time and your own subscription plan, but at the moment we know that Series X is accessible on both Sky and Virgin thanks to the UKTV Play package.

Phew. So as you can see, you're pretty well covered if you want to see Red Dwarf on something other than shiny disc (or VHS) - so we hope the above helps you navigate the wide range of options out there! But please note that all prices and availability are subject to change - just hopefully not too often...

Keep up with all your Red Dwarf viewing options in the Watch section!

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