The two biggest names in the online video streaming world, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, have a lot to offer, but which one is best when it comes to watching your videos online? It depends on what you are looking for. We reviewed the two services side by side to give you a better idea of how they stack up against each other:
Price: In general, Netflix is the better bang for your buck here. It offers thousands of video titles for a flat $7.99/month, including some of the most recent releases in both movies and TV. Amazon on the other hand charges you per movie or TV episode, which can get pricy, even if it’s only $1.99 for a movie rental. (If you have Amazon Prime, you can watch a good portion of the Amazon Instant Video library for free or cheap, so that’s another factor to consider.)
Selection: Amazon is able to offer a much wider range of titles because it charges per movie or TV episode. Netflix is tied to the titles that are part of the deals they have with certain movie houses, where Amazon has access to a majority of titles, including the most recent movie releases. In some cases, like the most recent Bachelorette with Kirsten Dunst and Isla Fisher, Amazon released the movie while it was still in theaters.
Video Quality: Since Netflix let’s you stream movies from their database, the video quality is sometimes based on your own Internet connection. Amazon can run in to the same problem if you are streaming the movies online, but the service also gives you the option of downloading the movies or TV shows to your computer, which makes the quality better since you aren’t reliant on your Internet connection to watch them.
Viewing Options: Netflix seems to have an application on almost any device you can think of, whether it be Internet-ready TVs, Roku, Xbox, Apple TV or even your smartphone. Amazon videos can be played on a variety of devices as well, including the Kindle Fire, Xbox, Roku and others, but doesn’t have the reach or the easy-to-use app interface that Netflix has.
As you can see, both Netflix and Amazon offer different options for online video viewing. Which is best for you depends on what you are looking for. If you want thousands of titles for a fixed monthly price, Netflix is your best bet. If you want to watch specific movies and TV shows and don’t mind paying a little extra, then you should go with Amazon. Or you can use Amazon to supplement for those titles that Netflix doesn’t carry. The choice is yours.
If you want to read our full review of both Netflix and Amazon, or want to check out reviews of other online video services, check out our Online Video & DVD Rental compare page here.