Which video streaming service is right for you? Tech Talker compares the top contenders: Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video.
This week on the Tech Talker show, I’ll be reviewing streaming video services to help you find the best one to fit your needs. We'll take a look at the big three: Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Instant Video.
First up is Netflix. Netflix is perfect for a big family, or maybe a bunch of roommates that want to go in on an account. You can create up to 5 different sub-accounts within each billed account, which keeps your shows and viewing habits separated from one another.
Just a quick note about these separate accounts: They aren’t restricted between members on the same account. They are only meant to separate viewing suggestions and queues. So one member of the household can easily go into another's queue. In reality, it's one account one password.
That said, if you have kids, Netflix is awesome. It has a huge assortment of childrens' programming. No more dealing with scratched DVDs and broken DVD players. Better yet, you can watch it on almost any device with a screen. That was one of Netflix’s greatest achievements early on in their business - they got on as many platforms as possible very quickly, allowing for massive audience potential. For parents, Netflix comes with some notable parental controls that let you tighten down the content that’s available to your children.
But Netflix isn't just great for kids. The service has a wide assortment of TV shows and movies for grown-ups. They seldom have new movies streaming right away, but for that they have their mail-in DVD service which you can manage from the same account. And that's pretty convenient. (My wife asked me to let everyone know that the popular show Friends is coming to Netflix in 2015)!
One of the best (and worst) things about Netflix is its predictive learning behavior about the shows you watch. Once you start watching programming on Netflix, it will start making suggestions about other things you might Amalike. This is great because it means a great new show or film is right around the corner, but it’s awful if you’re trying to be productive!
Netflix Cost: $8 per month (or $96 per year)
Hulu Plus always comes up as the main competitor to Netflix. The main benefit of Hulu Plus is that you get new TV shows without having to wait for the end of an entire season like you do with Netflix. Hulu Plus lags only a couple of days from the initial air date of a television release, which is pretty remarkable.
Now Hulu Plus is $8 per month (the same as Netflix and a few dollars under Amazon), however it comes with one major, glaring drawback: commercials!