What are you most looking forward to at Christmas? The presents? A blow out dinner? Or maybe the chance to watch some of the best movies of the moment along with a few Christmas classics?
If it’s the latter then you’ve come to the right place, as I run down our favourite festive flicks on satellite and terrestrial TV or via your home cinema system.
And, as you’d expect from PluggedIn, this isn’t any old film guide – as I will also take you through the best ways to get the most out of your technology.
So whether you’re at home, on the move or even on the loo, you’ll be tuned in. Merry Christmas!
Ways to watch
If you’re a film buff, then Sky Movies really is the place to start. There are 11 different channels in the line-up – including one dedicated to Christmas – and new flicks every day, many appearing months or even years before they hit regular TV.
To start you’ll need to get a Sky box and monthly subscription, choosing between the regular and HD versions – with HD costing a little extra but providing pictures and sound that is five times better, as well as 3D options.
Shop around before signing up as there are always offers to be had, such as this one from Comet which gives £50 cashback and a free Sky+HD box when you buy any HD or 3D ready TV and add a Sky+HD Starter Kit.
It’s once you’re signed up that things start getting really interesting, thanks to Sky Go – a new innovation from the satellite broadcaster that lets you take your subscription EVERYWHERE with you.
Just register and log in on your laptop, iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch and you’ll have live access to all 11 Sky Movies channels, as well as more than 500 films on demand, to watch in bed, on the train, at a friend’s house and anywhere else you can get a WiFi connection.
Favourite five Sky Christmas flicks
- Little Fockers (Sky Movies Comedy, December 22, 10pm)
- It’s A Wonderful Life (Sky Movies Christmas Channel, December 25, 2pm)
- The King’s Speech (Sky Movies Premiere, December 25, 8pm)
- Inception (Sky Movies Christmas Channel, December 27, 9.35pm)
- Gulliver’s Travels (Sky Movies Premiere, December 30, 6.30pm)
Ways to watch
With the digital switchover upon us, every home in the country will soon have access to more than 50 free channels – whether via the telly itself or a set-top box.
These include numerous offerings from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 – including dedicated movie channel Film4 – as well as more specialist options such as Dave and Challenge TV.
Our in-depth guide tells you more about the switchover, different aspects of Freeview and the best equipment on the market.
The great news for film fans is that, as with Sky, your favourite channels no longer need to be confined to the screen in your front room. This week saw the launch of an iPlayer app for the iPhone – offering all BBC channels live and on catch-up – which is perfect for watching in the loo if you’re avoiding family board games and sing-alongs. You can download it from
here the Apple site.
There are similar offerings from all the major terrestrial broadcasters and a few third party sites such as TV Catchup that give access to all the Freeview channels over the net. For more on watching TV on an iPad and other Apple devices go to our iPad TV guide
Favourite five Freeview Christmas flicks
- Bad Santa (Channel 5, December 21, 9pm)
- Polar Express (ITV1, December 24, 1.45pm)
- Son of Rambow (BBC3, December 24, 9.20pm)
- Eragon (Film4, December 25, 6.55pm)
- Tropic Thunder (BBC1, December 27, 10.45pm)
The best way to watch what you want, when you want and at cinema-level quality is to invest in a Home Cinema system… or put one on your list for Santa.
A Home Cinema is made up of a DVD or Blu-ray player and various configurations of speakers to give multiplex style surround sound. With most Blu-ray players now having 3D capabilities, it’s worth paying the extra to futureproof your system and give yourself the best experience possible.
Then it’s just a matter of heading to your favourite movie retailer or signing up for a rental service such as LoveFILM and ordering some discs.
Just please do us one favour and find some time between watching films to talk to your family this Christmas…