I was asked the other day about these two programs and I thought I would share my thoughts on them since we have both…
First, cost. An Amazon Prime membership is $79 a year ($6.58 per month – must be paid at once) this includes access to Instant Videos, free two day shipping on all Prime purchases (HUGE!!!), access to the Kindle Lending Library, and more. The Netflix membership is $7.99 per month (plus tax – pay per month) and allows you access to thousands of movies and shows from just about anywhere.
I like both of these programs for different reasons. I am going to try and be neutral and just give you the details of what you get video wise with each one. BUT as you can see the Amazon Prime Membership has lots of perks. Can’t help pointing that out – I LOVE my Prime Membership!
Netflix by far has more videos, kids shows, and TV series. There really is no comparison here. We have found that new movies show up faster, and the amount of kids shows is phenomenial. They recommend about 100 items to you on your main page. You also have the option to search items. We have had about a 50% success rate in finding movies we want to watch (whether new or old). Netflix rocks because you can stream videos just about anywhere. So far we have watched movies on our laptops, cell phones, Kindle, and all of our TVs. This is great when you are on a road trip or stuck in a Doctor’s office because you can pull up a show anytime. To watch on a TV you will need an HDMI cable to connect a laptop to the TV. Or you can use a compatible device, which includes Wii, Xbox, PS3, Roku, Blu-ray, or AppleTV. So far we have tried the Wii, Roku, Blu-ray, and AppleTV. All work well and stream like a dream as long as you have a good internet connection.
Amazon has less movies but appears to have more TV series. While they don’t offer as large of a selection, you do have the ability to purchase movies/shows at a discounted price. We have noticed these are about 30% – 50% less than an on demand movie. Mainly for one reason, you don’t pay taxes. A movie is about $2.99 on Amazon that is over $6 with On Demand. Another bonus is they offer newer movies at discounted prices a lot – $.99 per rental. There are not as many viewing options for Amazon Instant Video. On top of the free movies you get the extra perks that come along with a Prime Membership, so for a few dollars more a month you get the extras. So far we have been to watch it by hooking a laptop to the TV using an HDMI cable, Blu-ray player, and Roku. There are quite a few compatible devices available so you might want to check the list to see if you already own one.
I also want to mention a few options for streaming both of these. The Roku is amazing it is a small box that can be transported anywhere and hooked to almost any TV. You can access both Amazon and Netflix as well as quite a few other channels through this box using your existing memberships. They also have Angry Birds which is interesting on a big TV…LOL. We love this box because we can move it around the house as needed and just attach it to the TV we want to watch on. This is great if you don’t want to buy multiple devices and want the option to watch in multiple rooms. These run between $50 – $100 to purchase, no monthly fee.
Another option is AppleTV. We had one and don’t use it anymore once we got the Roku because the Roku does a whole lot more. You can stream Netflix, but not Amazon. Also you can stream pictures (Roku can to) and play music IF you have an iTunes account. This might be great if you are an Apple person but we aren’t so it didn’t seem that great to us.
If you are planning on upgrading to Blu-ray or buy a new TV, you might want to watch for compatible devices because you can now stream Amazon and Netflix through most of them. This makes it really convenient and you can get a compatible Blu-ray for as low as $75. To me this is the best option because you can get a Blu-ray that will do just about everything the Roku will do for the same amount of money. See all eligible devices here.
Hope this helps if you have been debating between the two services. If you have any questions, post them below!