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Viaplay (SE)

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These days, finding a movie streaming site that offers something a little bit different is no easy task. Of course, there is no shortage of streaming sites on the market to choose from. And each one, naturally, offers a slightly different library of titles and features. Still, though, doesn’t it sometimes feel like, at their core, every movie streaming site offers essentially the same thing as the next?

Whether you are looking at the best movie streaming sites of all time – you know, the usual suspects: Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, etc. – or the newest heavy hitters like HBO Max and Disney Plus, more or less, what you can expect to get in exchange for your monthly subscription fee is pretty much the same. On-demand access to a library of original and syndicated shows and movies. But what if that’s not enough? What if you require a movie streaming site that does more than just OTT video streaming of movies and pre-recorded TV series?

If you feel even the slightest disillusioned by your current lineup of movie streaming subscriptions, I just might have the solution, a movie streaming site that is currently making a comeback in a big way: ViaPlay. ViaPlay is the perfect answer, I think, to many of the problems inherent in even the best movie streaming sites on the market today. It is diverse, versatile, has tons of unparalleled and previously unheard-of streaming rights (more on this in a bit), and provides users multiple ways to enjoy content.

People are complex. We are eccentric. We all have a wide array of interests and hobbies. Why, then, should our movie streaming sites not reflect that? Why should they be so one-dimensional? ViaPlay speaks to this better than many of the streaming sites that I have reviewed over the years. Instead of simply providing an archive of movies and TV series to stream whenever you want, ViaPlay believes in providing its users with options.

For instance, you don’t even have to register for a monthly subscription plan in order to begin using ViaPlay today. You can, if you so desire, choose to register for a free account and stream pay-per-view movies. In other words, if you don’t want to add yet another bill to your growing stack, just rent or buy individual movies on an as-needed basis. ViaPlay enables you to rent the hottest, newest films, one at a time and at your own convenience.

Or if you do find that ViaPlay is, indeed, the best movie streaming site for you, there are 2 levels of commitment offered. Use ViaPlay, if you prefer, as a more traditional movie streamer thanks to its Movies & Series plan and it will be a formidable Netflix alternative. Or, if you are able and willing to pay a little bit more, you can opt into ViaPlay Total, which also opens the doors to live sporting events, access to UFC and other big fights, and everything else that ViaPlay has to offer.

There truly is no other movie streaming site out there that is quite like ViaPlay. But is it the best movie streaming site option for you? Well, there is a lot to unpack with this one, so let’s dive right in and find out, shall we?

History

ViaPlay is owned by the Nordic Entertainment Group and it originally launched in 2007. Back then it used the name ViaSat On Demand. It wasn’t until March of 2011 that the company officially became known as ViaPlay – a much catchier and more memorable name, if I do say so myself. In 2016, ViaPlay underwent some more changes, expanding its reach to the Baltics (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia). The following year, ViaPlay sold the Baltic versions of the site to All Media Baltics.

2021, though, is slated to be a huge year for ViaPlay. For one thing, the service has already undergone a relaunch and rebranding in the Baltics. In August, ViaPlay will become available in Poland. And at the end of the year, the movie streaming site is set to be launched in the United States. Its sports coverage will almost certainly make it one of the most competitive streaming services in the US next year, and you can quote me on that.

So, unlike some of the best movie streaming sites on the web, ViaPlay has less history than it does a glimmering future. I, for one, can’t wait to see what ViaPlay does in the months and years to come.

Design

I tend to expect great things from the best movie streaming sites when it comes to design. After all, the bar has been set very high. ViaPlay, I am happy to report, meets this bar with ease, if it doesn’t surpass it. The ViaPlay user interface is intuitive, user-friendly, dynamic, responsive, and – in a word – visually stunning. There are quite a few movie streaming sites out there that I think could stand to take a few pointers from the way this site is designed.

Generally speaking, ViaPlay’s layout is, more or less, similar to that of your typical movie streaming site. You will find an extra-large banner promoting featured films and series, alternating suggestions on a loop. Below that, as is to be expected, comes a series of horizontally situated, side-scrolling menus that are separated by category. Easily and smoothly browse by New releases, Top movies, curated collections, or genre.

The differences between ViaPlay’s design and that of other movie streaming sites, however, lies in the little details. For instance, unlike, say, Netflix, as you browse ViaPlay’s libraries of content, the site is far from visually static. You will find various tile sizes, shapes, and ways to browse. There are a few additional featured films and series, for instance, peppered in alongside lists and menus that you will cross sporadically as you scroll down the page.

Another design quirk worth mentioning that you’ll notice as you scroll down the page is a category filter. Once you scroll down below the site menu bar, a dropdown tab appears in the

left-hand corner of the screen. Hover your cursor over this for immediate access to any and every category and genre distinction that the site has to offer. I have never seen this done before, but I suddenly want every other movie streaming site I use to incorporate it.

ViaPlay has everything you expect from one of the best movie streaming sites. The user experience is equal parts effective and enjoyable. Who said browsing for movies can’t be part of the fun, too?

Content and Features

ViaPlay has contracts with some of the most coveted studios, networks, and sports leagues in the world. In fact, the range and quality of the content available on ViaPlay alone is enough to warrant including it in the discussion of the best movie streaming sites of all time. You would be hard pressed to find a streaming service that comes anywhere near the breadth of movies, shows, and ways to watch as this one.

Let’s start with the site’s movies. Whether you want to rent, buy, or stream on-demand, the library here will astound you. ViaPlay has everything from the hottest Disney movies and current blockbuster smashes to favorite classics and Netflix and Hulu originals (how they pulled that one off is beyond me).

Now we can move onto television. Unlike most movie streaming sites, ViaPlay has live TV streaming. Channel selection will differ by region, but in Sweden, you can tune into channels 3, 6, 8, and 10 any time of the day or night. And this doesn’t even take into account the myriad popular TV series that you can rent, buy, or stream on-demand with your subscription on ViaPlay.

Lastly, sports. Usually in order to attain decent sports coverage, you have to subscribe to a premium sports streaming site. ViaPlay is determined to prove, though, that you can have it all in one site. Enjoy live coverage of the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, NHL, European Tour, Bundesliga, UFC, and NFL.

I am speechless … ViaPlay is starting to sound too good to be true.

Mobile and Desktop Experience

Well, we have yet another box to tick … ViaPlay is also one of the most accessible movie streaming services there is. Available on Android and iOS mobile devices, ChromeCast, Apple TV, Samsung/Panasonic/LG Smart TVs, Android TV, PS3/4, Xbox One, and even Google Home, you will never be without a stream.

Pricings and Plans

Renting movie streams does not require a subscription. However, if you do wish to take full advantage of what might just be the best movie streaming site on the market today, there are 2 plans to choose from.

The basic plan grants you access to all on-demand movies and series for SEK109 (about $13 USD) per month. So, it is not the cheapest movie streaming site on the block, but it is arguably well worth it.

If you want access to live TV, sports, and PPV fights (at an extra charge), however, ViaPlay will run you SEK 449/month (about $53 USD).

Likes & Hates:
Rent, buy, or subscribe
Live TV streaming
Unrivaled live sports streaming
Cross-platform compatibility
Amazing selection of movies, shows, and sports
Plans are on the pricier side