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Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Old 09-04-13, 12:56 PM
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Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

I guess this is the place to ask this question.

So I got this new fancy Sony TV a few weeks ago and it has these 3 streaming sites built in. So pretty cool with a high speed FIOS connection that plugs right into the TV.

Can people tell me the content differences between them?

So far I've been using Netflix to watch some things - mostly ST DS9, a show I've been meaning to catch up with for years. Works great. I know they have some good originals that I will check out: AD, House of Cards. But one thing I've noticed -- they don't seem to have recent movies, not by some of the searches I've done anyhow.

What do Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime have that Netflix doesn't. Or is there a lot of overlap. It is my understanding that Hulu Plus is more for watching re-runs of currently running shows, kind of like an On Demand (though they also have older shows from what I've seen - at least on Hulu).

I did sign up for the Amazon Prime one month trial, but I haven't really used it yet.
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Old 09-04-13, 01:16 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Netflix - streaming of "older" movies and TV shows. Older = over a year old. There are obvious exceptions (Netflix Original Series, and some others) but that's the "general" idea. It's all streaming based on a single monthly fee.
Amazon Prime - Same as Netflix (slightly different catalog, though, based on licensing). Based on a yearly fee, not monthly. Also has newer stuff, though, that you can pay for. So titles that are new on Blu-ray and DVD will be available on Amazon Prime, but you have to shell out a few dollars for each purchase/rental.
Hulu - Similar to Netflix (only a monthly fee, with no single purchases/rentals), but also with a focus on "current" TV shows. So something that aired within the last week, month, or couple months, will appear on Hulu Plus way before it's on Netflix or Amazon (typically). Ads are sprinkled throughout, whether or not you pay the monthly fee, and they are unskippable. If you pay for Hulu Plus, you get access on more devices and you get access to a bigger catalog.

Someone else can correct me if I'm wrong on any of the above, but that's generally how I see the three services. Personally, I use Netflix and Hulu Plus, but I do not use Amazon Prime unless I'm specifically looking to rent a movie that isn't available elsewhere.

www.moreflicks.com is an essential resource for finding specific shows or movies across all of these services (and more).
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Old 09-04-13, 01:17 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

This could also go in Streaming Talk.

I'm not familiar with Hulu Plus, but with streaming there are basically two different models. One is all-you-can-eat streaming, like Netflix and Amazon Prime. The other is new programming, such as new-to-DVD movies, day-after TV, etc. These tend to be a la carte pay services such as iTunes and amazon non-prime. All-you-can-eat will tend to be catalog titles, which is mostly older movies and shows but sometimes as new as The Avengers. There is a fair amount of overlap, but it's also a very competitive arena these days so carriers will strike deals that exclude others.

Note also that premium cable is not available next-day on pay services but only during the DVD window.
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Old 09-04-13, 01:41 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Yeah, I just read that Hulu Plus has ads. That's kind of lame considering you're specifically paying for the service.

I'm not particularly crazy about having to pay for a year of Amazon. I'll have to play around with it more to see exactly what they have in their inventory. If you have to pay for renting reasonably newer movies, I don't see much of a point with it.

I'll check out that moreflicks link.
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Old 09-04-13, 02:01 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

The $79 per year fee on Amazon for Prime is really only worth it if you shop there a lot and want the free 2-day shipping. If you barely buy anything there, it's probably not worth it.

The streaming is only an extra bonus as pretty much all of the TV and movie titles are older catalogue titles. The only exception was Amazon's deal with CBS to stream Under the Dome commercial free 4 days after it airs.

Amazon also allows you to buy current TV shows and rent/buy most new movies out on home video a la carte.
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Old 09-04-13, 02:08 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

That's kind of what I gathered. The only time I really shop there (besides Kindle books/apps) is for x-mas presents, and don't need the rush shipping.

It seems like the things I'd want on Amazon (like recent movies and such), I'd have to pay for anyhow even with Prime (but at some discount presumably). I'll still test it out, but I doubt I'll stay with it after the trial.

My guess is these on-line streaming services are going to fragment the marketplace (if they already haven't) much like you see with cable channels, particularly the premiums - like how they all have different deals with different studios. So if you want access to everything, you're going to pay a lot for it.
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Old 09-04-13, 03:23 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
So far I've been using Netflix to watch some things - mostly ST DS9, a show I've been meaning to catch up with for years.
I hope I get credit for this!
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Old 09-04-13, 03:26 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

3 internet bars of latinum.

I'm disappointed they don't have Farscape.
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Old 09-04-13, 03:39 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

My Amazon Prime trial ends in a couple of days. I'v watched several of the original 30 For 30 docs, the first 3 seasons of Warehouse 13 and a couple of movies. Yesterday I thought I would try to squeeze in some shows or movies before it ended but I just couldn't find anything else I wanted to watch.

One thing that pissed me off about Prime was that Amazon forces "1-Click" purchasing to be enabled for every video, even ones you can stream for free. I had to call customer service to get them cancel the season purchase of 30 for 30 because I accidentally clicked on the button when switching between browser windows. After some digging I found there was no way to turn it off so I just removed my CC from the site.
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Old 09-04-13, 03:39 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Hulu Plus has Farscape, the first two seasons at least. Netflix had S1-4 until this past January, but they didn't reup the license.


Also, just today Target announced they were doing their own streaming service, but I think it will be more like Apple/Vudu with individual purchases and not a subscription model.
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Old 09-04-13, 03:41 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Originally Posted by wmansir View Post
Hulu Plus has Farscape
That figures.
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Old 09-04-13, 03:43 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

You have to take the availability of some of the content with a grain of salt since it drops in and out of any service. I myself have amazon prime since I do buy physical items (though less than I used to) and treat the streaming as a bonus. I use it much more than I used to and like the TV shows that are on there, but the movie selection is a lot thinner.

Originally Posted by wmansir View Post
My Amazon Prime trial ends in a couple of days. I'v watched several of the original 30 For 30 docs, the first 3 seasons of Warehouse 13 and a couple of movies. Yesterday I thought I would try to squeeze in some shows or movies before it ended but I just couldn't find anything else I wanted to watch.

One thing that pissed me off about Prime was that Amazon forces "1-Click" purchasing to be enabled for every video, even ones you can stream for free. I had to call customer service to get them cancel the season purchase of 30 for 30 because I accidentally clicked on the button when switching between browser windows. After some digging I found there was no way to turn it off so I just removed my CC from the site.
I accidentally purchased a season when I was just trying to get a few free episodes. CS canceled my purchase and suggested that I turn on parental controls so I'd have to enter a PIN with every purchase. It sounded like a pain so I haven't done it.
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Old 09-04-13, 03:45 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime does have a few licensing deals the others don't, like Under The Dome as it aired. In general I think that Hulu+Netflix is a pretty unbeatable combo.

Also, Hulu isn't only TV shows. They have a bunch of movies, including a lot of titles licensed by Criterion. The Criterion ones at least are shown without ads.
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Old 09-04-13, 04:29 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
That's kind of what I gathered. The only time I really shop there (besides Kindle books/apps) is for x-mas presents, and don't need the rush shipping.
Another thing included in Prime is a free Kindle book 'rental' per month. It's not any & every book but they do have a somewhat decent selection & this adds to the value somewhat.
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Old 09-05-13, 02:13 AM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

I think I heard that Hulu says they have to show commercials no matter what despite charging a subscription fee. The commercials apparently help offset the really expensive licensing costs to post episodes online. Otherwise, the subscription rates would definitely cost more than just $7.99 a month.
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Old 09-05-13, 12:09 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Originally Posted by Eddie W View Post
Another thing included in Prime is a free Kindle book 'rental' per month. It's not any & every book but they do have a somewhat decent selection & this adds to the value somewhat.
You have to have an actual Kindle device though. I use the Kindle phone and tablet app but can't do the free rental thing

I mostly have Prime for the shipping, I have only watched stuff on Prime streaming a few times. Most of what I want to watch is on Netflix.
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Old 09-05-13, 01:25 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
In general I think that Hulu+Netflix is a pretty unbeatable combo.

Also, Hulu isn't only TV shows. They have a bunch of movies, including a lot of titles licensed by Criterion. The Criterion ones at least are shown without ads.
Agreed on both counts, and the Criterion titles are the only thing I watch on Hulu+. (My wife watches all of her crap by herself. ) We have been using Amazon Prime a bit more only because Netflix lost the Aardman stuff (Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep) that our toddler loves. My wife also gets Prime for half price since she is a student, which is nice.
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Old 09-05-13, 02:21 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

I have Netflix, Hulu and Amazon and use all 3 a fair amount.

Netflix is the best of the three with a mix of excellent original shows, solid TV and Movie catalogs that are constantly updated, all tied together with an excellent interface.

Hulu is most like a subscription DVR, it's current material and works great with a solid interface and excellent video quality.

Amazon, imo, has slightly better movies than Netflix (watched Amelie and Paprika in the last week) and some more "known" TV series (Suits, Stargate, Justified). But seriously, it has the least intuitive interface I've seen, it doesn't add as often as Netflix and overall just has some kinks to work out.

Do keep in mind, none of these services will offer very "Recent" movies as part of the subscription service. The soonest you can really hope for a new movie to be added to the service is about 8 months after theatrical release, and that will be a very select few (think of how long it takes for a movie to go from Theatrical -> HBO), though they will be releasing The Weinstein Company's future titles regularly in that 8 - 12 month window in coming years.

The only 2013 Theatrically Released Movie titles on Netflix right now are:
Parker (2013) - Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez - Theatrical Release: Jan 25th, 2013
Safe Haven (2013) - Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel - Theatrical Release: Feb 14th, 2013
A Haunted House (2013) - Marlon Wayans, Cedric The Entertainer - Theatrical Release: Jan 11th, 2013
Upstream Color (2013) - April 5th, 2013 (Indie, and a bit of an exception.)

Plays well into the 8 month time frame.

Last edited by RichC2; 09-05-13 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 09-07-13, 04:25 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

All are great! Get all three to have the ultimate TV watching experience
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Old 09-08-13, 01:19 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

I use the other two services, but I would never pay a monthly fee for content with commercials I can't skip. Hulu seems to be popular with people that have completely cut their cable package.
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Old 09-08-13, 01:49 PM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
I would never pay a monthly fee for content with commercials I can't skip. Hulu seems to be popular with people that have completely cut their cable package.
I agree. There are two things I hate about Hulu.

First, only half their library is available for streaming on TV. It's frustrating to browse their website for good stuff, and find out I can't watch it on my TV.

And second are the commercials. You can't skip or FF through them. And they play the same ones over and over again.

It's too bad they don't offer a Premium membership. I'd pay 2-3 times the current rate if I could watch their entire catalog without commercials. But in it's current state, I don't subscribe.
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Old 09-11-13, 12:24 AM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Hulu is annoying to watch because of the commercials, might not be so bad if it was different ones but the repeat over and over the same ones.

I rarely use hulu mostly because the picture quality is inferior. as far as I can tell there is no HD avaialbe
there, NF and Amazon do have very good HD quality available.
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Old 09-11-13, 12:26 AM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Originally Posted by whotony View Post
Hulu is annoying to watch because of the commercials, might not be so bad if it was different ones but the repeat over and over the same ones.

I rarely use hulu mostly because the picture quality is inferior. as far as I can tell there is no HD avaialbe
there, NF and Amazon do have very good HD quality available.
Hulu Plus programs are in HD. It's in 720p.
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Old 09-11-13, 12:32 AM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

I have it set to play in highest quality but it never looks better then the best dvd I have seen.
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Old 09-11-13, 12:37 AM
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Re: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime

Originally Posted by whotony View Post
I have it set to play in highest quality but it never looks better then the best dvd I have seen.
Do you stream it on your TV or watch it on your PC?

Every time I've streamed a Hulu Plus program through Roku or my Xbox it's always in HD. There are a few minor exceptions. Hell's Kitchen is on Hulu Plus, but it's in SD. FOX also broadcasts it in SD as well.
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