Saving Money by Streaming Movies: Review of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime (Video)
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- By Andrea Tabor
- June 24, 2012
The cost of going to the movies is expensive, and so is paying for premium cable, so it’s no wonder cheaper video streaming services are rising in popularity. Sure you have to wait a while to see certain films, but it sure beats the price of instant gratification.
If you’re tired of spending your entire entertainment budget going to see just one movie, consider saving money with one a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
Netflix offers both physical DVDs and online streaming, though has all but done away with the DVD service. They currently offer thousands of movies and TV shows available for streaming, though the selection tends to be older with few new releases.
Netflix costs $7.99 a month and you can watch as many movies and TV shows as you want. They also offer a free 1-month trial.
The free version of Hulu is pretty limited – you can watch up to 5 TV shows per month and streaming is only available over your computer. However, the paid version known as Hulu Plus is much more expansive as far as selection and streaming capabilities.
Hulu Plus allows you to watch all current-season episodes of a variety of popular TV shows, as well as hundreds of older shows. You can also stream full length movies — currently, there’s a selection of about 2,500 films to choose from, though again, they tend to be an older and somewhat obscure assortment.
Like Netflix, you can stream over just about every major gaming console, Blu-ray or streaming player, mobile device, etc. The cost is also $7.99, though you will have to sit through some commercials. Hulu offers a free 1-week trial.
Amazon Prime Streaming
At first glance, Amazon Prime’s video streaming service seems pretty inferior compared to Netflix and Hulu. The selection is small and it streams across fewer platforms. However, there are a couple of things Prime offers that the others can’t.
First, $79 per year seems like a lot of money, until you do the math — Paying $7.99 per month for Netflix or Hulu means you’re spending $96 per year on the services.
Secondly, membership to Amazon Prime gives you a substantial shipping discount on qualifying Amazon purchases, as well as instant access to thousands of Kindle books. The video streaming is really like an additional perk.
I would recommend that anyone looking strictly for the best service for streaming movies choose Netflix. If you’re more interested in staying up on the latest TV shows, go with Hulu Plus. Those who are frequent Amazon shoppers should choose Prime simply for the great deal on shipping, with video streaming as an added bonus.