Everyone these days is trying to free themselves from the tyranny of cable TV. It’s becoming increasingly easier to only need internet in your household to watch the movies and television shows you want to watch without paying for channel you will never use. There are a wide variety of streaming services to chose from, but the two that offer the most robust selection of options are Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant.
This is the grand-daddy of them all at it is still the most patronized streaming service available. Although Netflix cycles through some of their movie titles and offers new ones every six or seven weeks, most television shows (with the exception of HBO and Cinemax series) can be streamed a year after broadcast. And the amount of independent movies, thought-provoking documentaries and children’s shows they have available with the basic subscription fee is unparalleled.
Now that they have entered into the original programming business, you can see some of the most critically-acclaimed series that are available nowhere else, such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. The downside? If you are a fan of first-run broadcast or basic cable series, you will have to wait a year for them to become available on Netflix.
And most premium cable series don’t even have their shows available to Netflix until at least two years later or the series finishes. And even though a movie is available on home video, you still have to wait a year after its theatrical release for it to become available on Netflix.
Amazon Prime Instant
Amazon Prime Instant streaming service is very similar to Netflix in many regards. They both have free movies available to their subscribers.
They both share some of the same titles, and they both create well received original programming (Amazon entreating the fray with shows like Alpha Dogs and the Golden-Globe award winning series Transparents) Where Amazon differs from Netflix is the fact that many first-run shows on broadcast and basic cable TV are available from Amazon, at a price.
If you like The Walking Dead and you don’t want to fall behind your friends with cable, you can order or rent it the day after it premieres through Amazon Prime in both standard definition and high definition formats. The cost runs from the $ 4 dollar to $ 6 dollar range, but that is an option you cannot get on Netflix.
Like new movies? You don’t need to wait a whole year for them to show up on Netflix. You can rent or buy them on Amazon Prime to add to your video cloud library for the same cost or even a little lower than the price you would pay for getting it through traditional channels.
Amazon also has titles available for rental/purchase that Netflix does not have, and they have it in high definition as well. Their purchase selection doesn’t cycle the same way as Netflix’s streaming selection and almost any movie is to be found in Amazon’s growing video library. So what’s the downside, you ask. Why should I even consider Netflix at all?
The main downside is that you will have to pay extra money in addition to your subscription fee if you want to see new shows and recently released on movies on home video. So Amazon Prime Instant will end up costing you more if you want to experience all the advantages it has over Netflix. And, to add insult to injury, there are countless titles on Netflix that come included with their base streaming subscription that you have to pay for on Amazon.
So if you have to choose just one, Netflix is the cost saving but still fantastic option. But if you don’t mind paying extra to have a home viewing experience closer to that of cable TV, then Amazon Prime is the option for you.