Can you reminisce back to the Dark Ages when people actually had to go out to rent a film? Before we became capable of streaming TV shows and movies online, video rental outlets were highly common – and so were late payments. Digital streaming media services have put an end to the chances of such fees, and have escalated in popularity. A lot of available services are simple, affordable, and user-oriented.
As might be expected, they share many mutual features, characteristics, and benefits, you may still think what the distinguishing factors are between each of these services. Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video all call attention to an assorted range of streaming shows and movies– but which offers you the best bang for your buck? Read on to see how Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video stack up head-to-head.
If you want to stay on top of the latest TV shows but do not feel like paying out for an HD antenna or a cable TV subscription, Hulu may be the perfect choice for you. It not only gives you access to most popular network shows, except for CBS’s programs, but also provides a bunch of cable shows immediately after the day they broadcast. It also grants subscribers the ability to access a show's current season — and at times all seasons of that program.
Moreover, Hulu also hosts a variety of original shows, including a range of offbeat films, a good deal of classic anime series, as well as joint ventures with the BBC, like season 4 of The Thick of It and The Wrong Mans.
Hulu's live TV streaming option is undoubtedly the most appealing aspect of its entire package, and that also allows you to watch CBS. However, the service paid subscription also makes you sit and wait through commercials, but still way fewer than if you watched the same content on cable.
You can sign up for Hulu at just $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year for its basic plan, $11.99 per month for its ad-free plan, $64.99 per month to include live TV in your plan, and $70.99 per month for live TV and ad-free on-demand content.
Although Hulu is only one of the three streaming services with in-content ads on the basic plan, it is also the only one that offers a Live TV option. Hulu promises all its users 4K video formats where available, though while using the service you may experience picture quality between the range of 720p – 60FPS HD, depending on the content you decide to watch.
Hulu's key selling point is live TV. If you purchase its Live TV plan, you get access to up to 65 live networks, including CBS, ESPN News, ABC, CNN, ESPN, FOX Sports, Cartoon Network, National Geographic, FOX News, HGTV, Telemundo, and several others.
You can even customize your plan with additional premium channels like HBO Max for an additional $14.99 per month, SHOWTIME for $10.99 per month, and STARZ for $8.99 per month. Bundled add-on plans are available for Spanish language channels or extra entertainment. Plus, add-ons for unlimited screens and an improved cloud DVR are also at your disposal.
And finally, as Hulu is owned by Disney you get to sign up for Hulu, ESPN , and Disney as a bundle for just $12.99 per month.
Netflix muscled its way to becoming the most loved streaming service worldwide. It offers subscribers unlimited streaming of movies, TV shows, original programming, and comedy specials for a monthly fee. The latest blockbuster series, Emily In Paris, comes from the creative brains behind Sex and the City and is so far pretty divisive.
It also lets users create up to 5 different profiles using a single account to ensure that your preferred content does not screw up recommendations for your family and friends.
At present, it has been observed that Netflix is crawling away from its recent business model of distributing other studios’ shows and movies, to replace these with its originals. Nevertheless, we still see constant inclusion of licensed shows, like Moesha, Community, and Hannibal, making Netflix a go-to place for people wishing to catch up on beloved shows they somehow didn’t get to watch the first time around.
Netflix offers its customers three tiers of streaming plans, namely Basic, Standard, and Premium. You can sign up for its Basic plan by paying $8.99 per month, Standard plan for $13.99 per month, and Premium plan for $17.99 per month.
The streaming service also offers three different video quality tiers. These are 4K (3,840 x 2,160), HD (min of 720p, 1,280 x 720), and finally standard (640 x 480).
The major drawback of this service is that you can only watch content on 4 different screens and access 4K content if you are have subscribed to the Netflix Premium plan. Standard allows two screens and includes HD shows. Whereas, its Basic plan permits a single screen without any HD videos at all. However, the content you get to watch with each plan is the exact same and there are no annual plans.
Netflix is popular as a video-on-demand streaming company. It contains a library of marvelous content but does not offer anything else.
For people who prefer online shopping, Amazon Prime is a cream puff. By paying $119 every year, you can enjoy unlimited access to Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music, a free Kindle book every month, and free two-day shipping on all your purchases.
Just like Netflix, this streaming service is an unreal buffet of original programming, movies, and television. Some of Amazon Prime Video’s best original shows include The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Bosch, Jack Ryan, and The Man in the High Castle. Its blockbuster show is The Boys, which attracted a large number of viewers after the release of its second season
All hail Viacom’s deal with Amazon Prime, you get to watch Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV without paying any extra charges. Prime Video is perhaps the best streaming service available when it comes to children's programming and comedy. It also provides unlimited access to a profound collection from HBO's less recent work of classics like The Wire and The Sopranos. You can even buy or rent films through Amazon Prime Video, but it is an à la carte service.
You can only get Amazon Prime Video plans if you are an Amazon Prime subscriber; you cannot purchase it on a standalone basis. In the US, an Amazon Prime membership will cost you $12.99 per month or $119 per year. However, Non-Prime members can rent or buy TV shows and movies from the Prime Video catalog on an ad-hoc basis.
Every Amazon Prime Video subscriber can automatically access 4K videos depending on availability. Almost every Amazon's original programming is available in the 4K format, along with numerous other movies and TV shows.
Amazon Prime Video is only one thing on a long list of benefits for Amazon Prime subscribers. Some other appealing perks include same-day shipping, Amazon Music, Prime Pantry, free online photo storage, and e-book rentals.
From a video-on-demand outlook, Netflix just leads it thanks to the excellent quality of the TV shows available.
However, if you want a holistic cord-cutting streaming app, then Hulu wins out because of its unique live TV bundle. For the best return on your investment, the premium plan of Hulu might give the best value over time. It is a good choice if you wish to completely get rid of your expensive cable and replace it with an affordable alternative that lets you watch the type of content you like.
Just make sure you do not sign up for Hulu or Amazon 12-month plans on impulse as they do not include any refunds.
Once you have enough knowledge regarding each media service offerings, it becomes easy for you to choose a service. Just weigh your options, give each service a trial spin if required, and pick the one that perfectly suits your viewing habits, devices, and budget. Good luck!
Prime Video membership is $8.99/mo. (plus taxes).
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Netflix is affordable but does not come with Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime price is $119/year and Amazon shoppers can recoup this value out of shopping alone. But if you are not a frequent Amazon shopper then Prime Membership may not be worth it for you.
The ability to watch your favorite shows without panicking about old on-demand cable boxes and DVR issues makes Hulu totally worth its price.
If you have never signed up for Hulu before, you can get Hulu for free by signing up for one of its free trial offers. For both Hulu with ads and without ads plan, Hulu provides you a free 30 days trial.
You can watch some of the movies and TV shows from Netflix for free forever at netflix.com/watch-free. Just select from a range of movies and TV shows that are available to watch now for free. You do not have to register or sign up, just press play and enjoy.
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