If you’ve just got a new Android tablet – be it a Nexus 7 or a Xperia Z3 Compact – you’re going to want to kick back and watch some content on it at some point.
Those gorgeous pixel-dense screens aren’t just for making websites look nice and crisp; they’re primed and ready to deliver some sexy HD video action straight to your eyeballs.
Here’s how you can load, stream and download the good stuff on your new Android tablet.
USB file transfer
The most direct way of transferring content from your desktop or laptop is to hook your new tablet up via USB and, if your device asks, select the ‘MTP’ (Media Transfer Protocol) option.
With most Android tablets, this is all you’ll need to do. Once this is enabled, you’ll notice that your tablet will appear as a new drive on your desktop. From here you’ll be able to drag and drop files into the relevant folder on your tablet.
If you’re connecting to a Windows device, you shouldn’t need to install any extra software. Mac users will need to download and install the Android File Transfer program, which is free to download from Google here.
Exactly how you’ll transfer files varies depending on the make and the model of your tablet.
If you’ve got a Sony device, you’ll need to run something called Sony Bridge in order to manage files – check out our separate guide here. This guide was written up for Sony’s phones, but the same logic applies.
Google Play TV & Movies
Google’s own Play TV & Movies service comes baked in to Google Play, the app store that comes installed on virtually every Android device.
Nothing needs to be done to start watching content on Google Play, beyond adding credit card details to your Google account, which, if you’ve already got an Android phone, you will have done already.
Some of the newest releases on Google play TV & Movies include The Inbetweeners 2 (£9.99), Planes Fire & Rescue (£3.49), Guardians of the Galaxy (£3.49), 22 Jump Street (£3.49), Hercules (£3.49) and Transformers: Age of Extinction (£3.49).
If you’re not already a Blinkbox customer, signing up with a new account will get you your very first movie for just £1.
Rental prices start at 99p, making this a great option if you’re not precious about keeping content.
A tie-up with Ultraviolet means you can also store and view digital copies of any Blu-ray purchases – essentially meaning you can watch them on your Android tablet without having to manually load them onto the device. To qualify for this, you just need to sign up for an Ultraviolet account and link it with your Blinkbox account to watch all those films you’ve already paid for on your mobile device.
Although Netflix’s main business is providing the world with exclusive TV programmes like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, it does have an extensive range of TV and movies as well.
Most of them are old classics, but it’s adding new content all the time. Netflix has exclusive streaming rights to The Hobbit series, so if you’re a fan of Middle Earth, talking animals and special effects laid on extra thick, it’s another reason to plump for the ubiquitous streaming service.
Basic streams are delivered at resolutions of 480p, which should look just fine on most tablets, with ppi (pixels per inch) counts of around 280-300. Tablets running Android 4.4 KitKat can enjoy HD streams – provided there’s enough bandwidth in the home.
Netflix subscriptions start at £5.99/month.
Amazon Prime and Amazon Instant Video
Prime Instant Video and Amazon Instant Video are available on virtually any Android tablet.
Kindle Fire HDX owners will be able to download Prime Instant Video from the Amazon Appstore but owners of non-Amazon tablets will need to head over here to get the app – check out our feature for more details.
If you haven’t already signed up to Amazon Prime, you can buy a subscription to Instant Video from £5.99/month or combine it with Lovefilm by post for watching on your DVD player for £6.99/month.
If you prefer to rent or buy titles on an per per view basis rather than subscribe, there’s loads of films to choose from including The Inbetweeners 2 in SD and HD (£3.49 or £4.49 to rent, £9.99 and £11.99 to buy).
The Dark Knight Rises (£2.49 or £3.49 to rent, £5.99 or £7.99 to buy) Argo (£2.49 or £3.49 to rent, £5.99 or £7.99 to buy) and Kick-Ass (£2.49 or £3.49 to rent, £2.99 or £3.99 to buy).
The PopcornFlix app on Android is a bit like the bargain basement section of your local garage.
It serves up a selection of some less well known films, some not-so-good, some really not good at all. That’s the price you pay for free movie content.
New films on the platform include American Courtesans, Wedding Palace, We Must Go and The Weird World of Blowfly. You can also find films recommended by PopcornFlix staff if you have no idea where to start, but there’s plenty to browse across the horror, crime, drama, thriller, romance, and comedy genres.