Netflix vs. HuluPlus vs. Amazon (Prime) Instant Video

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Netflix has the largest library by far of the 3 main streaming services. I have had Netflix for a few years, and I am reasonably happy with device availability: on my Wii, on my Samsung SmartTV and also on my BlackBerry Z10, as an android side-load:

http://pfcsystems.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/older-android-version-of-netflix-available-for-blackberry-z10/

I like the size and variety of the library. It includes international films, gritty independent dramas, along side the usual USA fair, both from film and television. There is the usual variety of genres: comedy, drama, suspense, action, and documentaries. There is original content that is worth watching, with the latest offerings such as “Orange is The New Black”, “House of Cards” and the continuation of  “Arrested Development”.  I like being able to watch past series I missed and being able to do so in marathon watches, one or a few a day until I see them all, before watching another series.  Like Amazon Instant Video, I like that there are no commercials during my viewing unlike HuluPlus.

I have had HuluPlus for a few weeks, and I have already decided to cancel.  I cannot stand having to wait through commercials for content I have paid for; it is like going to the movies and having to watch product placement ads.  The library is smaller then Netfflix, but, allegedly bigger than Amazon.  Although HuluPlus is supposed to offer current series playback, I don’t find that to be true for most shows I want to see, like “Dexter” (exclusive to Showtime, CBS), “Hannibal” (on NBC).  In my book this is false advertising! Some of the current shows are only available on the web, which means that I have to watch them on my PC, as my PlayBook cannot have access to the web streaming, as it is blocked by HuluPlus. I got HuluPlus  to watch the “Downton Abbey” series on my Wii and Samsung TV.  I have subsequently purchased a micro-HDMI to HDMI cable to hook up my BlackBerry PlayBook to the large TV, and now I have Amazon Instant Video available by streaming it to my TV from the PlayBook web browser.  Amazon Video has all three seasons of  “Downton Abbey”, whereas HuluPlus had only the first two seasons. Netflix lost the rights to streaming this show, before I could get through season 1.  I have found that Amazon Video and Netflix together allow me to watch what I want, commercial free, on demand and Amazon Instant Video will let me purchase the most recent series content, not yet available on Netflix or even HuluPlus. Subscribing to Amazon Prime offers many free series, movies and documentaries on demand, on Amazon Instant Video. One can also purchase or rent series and movies on Amazon Instant Video.

Both HuluPLus and Netflix block the PlayBook web browser, but the TV has apps for those two services as does the Wii.  On my Wii I hate the resolution of text and other content displayed by the HuluPlus app, although it is fine on my 46″ Samsung SmartTV.  The Amazon Instant Video is also available as an app on the Wii, as is Netflix, both of which have better resolution and text entry when it comes to filtering through the available content. Amazon Instant Video does not have an app on my Samusng TV, so I use the PlayBook browser, as mentioned above.

I am about to get rid of cable to save money, as I really do not seem to have the time or patience for the content available.  With all the channels, I still find myself being bored with the viewing options, at any given time.  Even with the “Prime” cable channels,  that play the same movies endlessly on multiple channels. All I want is a solid internet provider, and if FIOS insists that I need the cable, I will discontinue it and get a T-Mobile dedicated hotspot at 4G or the “Clear” service.  I will keep Netflix and Amazon Prime/Instant Video  for my “TV” viewing and movie viewing as well.  I can also watch movies on CinemaNow and/or Vudu that may be available at higher HD resolution or not on either Netflix or Amazon Instant Video.  I will get a HD converter box and antenna to get my local stations for free to watch the news and sports.  I need to make a better effort on this front.  Comment below if you have any suggestions for getting the “free” local stations, old school, over the air, and a good internet provider not obligating one to purchase anything else!

4 thoughts on “Netflix vs. HuluPlus vs. Amazon (Prime) Instant Video

  1. I have cut my cable, but I still have internet thru suddenlink. Right now I subscribe to hulu plus and netflix. I don’t mind the commericials on hulu, but I am thinking of canceling becasue it doesn’t let you stream on more than one device at a time and we have 3 roku’s in my house. As for as getting local channels we have digital antennas. Right now it is working fine. I went from paying 250 a month for cable, internet, and phone to just under a hundred dollars. That may change just a little since I am thinking of getting amazon instant for a while to compare it to hulu plus and then decide on one of the two.

  2. Pingback: Live Streaming or Cable? BlackBerry Listen Up–We Need a PBS Live Streaming App! | pfcsystems

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