Netflix vs Amazon Prime Movies : Which one is the Best Online Movie Streaming Service? Let’s take a look..
Maybe you didn’t know that Amazon.com offers instant video similar to Netflix. Maybe you did know, but you didn’t understand how one is different than the other.
I’d like to take a closer look at the two website’s and how they offer streaming online TV and movies. Are you old enough to remember renting movies at an actual local store? I am, but my children aren’t. This is the future, folks!
Now, people watch TV and Movies from the comfort of their own home via direct link and download from online websites. Often these are obtained from a subscription to a service like Netflix. But there are other services out there and you don’t have to buy a subscription.
Both Amazon Instant Video and Netflix offer something valuable. But you’ll need to evaluate what you want out of your streaming video service.
Household Entertainment Options
Technological competition usually means better quality for the consumer. While video on demand service through business such as Netflix and Amazon are summoning an end to many popular video rental stores, their advances are making home entertainment more affordable, and in greater quality. When economic woes are at a high, it’s nice to have affordable means for providing at home enjoyment to our families.
This article will highlight some of the differences between the two companies’ on demand video services, along with providing some ways of utilizing these sources of entertainment in your home.
Netflix: An Overview
Netflix is primarily a dvd rental company, with “watch instantly” selections available through all but the most basic subscription. While the one dvd at a time plan with limited watch instantly hours is frugal at $4.99/month, the limit of 2 rentals per month makes this plan very restrictive.
At $7.99/month, the “watch instantly” provision is unlimited, as are the number of rentals per month. Much of the reason for the certain demise of the video store, the cost effectiveness of unlimited instant movies alone is worthwhile.
Additional movies delivered at a time to the house means greater cost, but is a nice way of varying the entertainment options in the house. Further, the unlimited time to return a movie means that it can be watched at leisure. The combination of dvd’s and instant watch options makes it a great value for a family with varied interests.
Netflix has an amazing library of dvd movies and programs available for delivery, with an outstanding organizational system for putting your dvd’s of interest in order for delivery, and even for saving future releases in your queue. Television programming is extensively available, as well as films that may seem off the beaten track. My first rental through Netflix was a favorite television movie from the early 80’s.
Netflix does not make all of its offerings available for on demand viewing. There is an apparent rotation of some popular selections, but there will be limitations as to what you can stream to your television or computer instantly.
There are Netflix enabled devices, and even Wii now has the capability of receiving Netflix on demand video with the proper disc. However, these selections are limited. Nevertheless, Netflix delivery is very efficient, making the instant viewing a complement to a primarily dvd based service.
Further, Netflix has outstanding customer relations with regard to timing of delivery. On many occasions, my next selection has been coming from a far away center. And in the interim, an additional dvd from my queue has been delivered to accomodate the delay, with no requirement to return any more quickly than usual.
Amazon Video On Demand
Amazon Video on Demand is strictly that, Video on Demand. There is no delivery, no dvd’s to return. There are movie and television programming options for purchase, as well as for rent. The rental costs are comparable with video store prices, and the time limit for watching a rental is 48 hours.
Amazon has on demand televisions and devices available, making it possible to stream to a television, rather than being restricted to computer viewing. The videos for purchase are comparable to dvd costs, and so the primary advantage of purchasing on demand is having the media immediately delivered for electronic viewing. Whereas dvd purchase allows for the movie to be stored and used in various venues within your home. Again, with on demand compatible televisions and devices, this is becoming a more desirable option.
Rentals change periodically, with current and favorite selections available. Prices are comparable to those of on demand and pay-per-view selections on popular satellite networks. As with Netflix, there are limitations in the selections made available. However, it seems that the rentals include a number of popular options that I haven’t seen available as instant viewing selections on Netflix. Furthermore, rental options are more current in terms of recent releases, whereas new releases do not tend to be available as instant viewing options with Netflix.
Amazon instant video Vs Netflix for content ?
What I’ve found in the last two years of being a Netflix member is that you can get TV seasons that are one to two seasons past. This is still great if you only have access to network TV because you get shows like Sons of Anarchy and Walking Dead without paying for expensive cable.
However, what I can see at Amazon Video is that they have recent TV episodes and their seasons may be more current also. For instance, at Netflix when I search for Breaking Bad, they report they have 1-4 seasons. When I search for Breaking Bad on Amazon Videos, they show season 5.
However, Amazon just announced that they have the very popular Downton Abbey.
They secured a deal with PBS for access to stream Downton Abbey’s 3rd season, along with all future seasons.
Netflix vs Amazon – The price
I wish this were simple, but both companies seem to use different pricing models. Netflix has a monthly subscription which allows you access to as many views as often as you like.
Whereas Amazon gives you access via a yearly subscription that also offers other benefits, or you can pay to rent or purchase individual episodes, seasons, or movies. So, lets look at the two subscription rates to start with.
- Netflix is currently (jan 2013) charging $7.99 per month.
- Amazon Prime membership charges $79.00 per year which breaks down to about $6.60 monthly.
When you buy the Amazon Video, you get access to as many of their instant videos as you like.
Fringe on Amazon Prime Movies
The first thing I’ll do when when I get Amazon Prime Video is watch Fringe from start to end. I got to watch parts of the first and second seasons, but then my schedule changed and I wasn’t able to see it.
I really enjoyed the show while I was able to watch and would like to see what happened with the characters. The series ended this past season so I at least know that I can catch up, though I may wish it hadn’t ended.
How easy is it to find TV and Movies at Amazon and Netflix
Both Netflix and Amazon are accible online, through nearly all devices. The main drawback to navigating Amazon’s video directory is that they also sell a lot of other stuff. As one of the biggest online retailers, they have a massive site. .
Netflix only sells their subscription to streaming video, so you don’t have to navigate through lots of other products. However, this page is great to discover what TV shows are available on Amazon Video and eligible for the free view through Amazon Prime membership. TV by Network list
So, which service is better?
That’s hard to decide. For me, I appreciate not having to pay monthly. And I also like the other benefits of free 2 day shipping and access free kindle books.
While we’ve been using Netflix for a couple of years now, I’ll be switching to Amazon Prime this year in order to see how it compares.