Netflix vs. Amazon Prime Instant Video: Face-Off

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azgard

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A real analysis of video quality would be nice not all '1080p' is created equal and 1080p doesn't mean full resolution. Not too uncommon to crop video into a 1440x1080 stream and still try to call that HD on top of massive compression which can compromise video quality.
 

egilbe

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I have both, Amazon at least gives me the option to purchase an episode I want to watch that is not on Netflix and I'm a student so I get a student Prime discount, plus shipping. There are benefits to having both services.
 

batkerson

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I have both Amazon Prime and Netflix, and have for some time. One thing not taken into consideration by the review is that extremely frustrating fact that movies and shows on Amazon Prime "move" between being "free" streaming content and paid content. In other words, if I put a Prime movie on my watchlist (a list of movies to see later), it may change from free to paid. This is extremely frustrating. I've often wondered if Amazon deliberately does this in the hopes that people will later in advertently pay for something that was previously available for free. I personally have not experienced this on Netflix. That said, Amazon is more likely to have popular recent movies for free, at least free for awhile; e.g., "Cabin in the Woods" and "Hunger Games" which were both available fairly quickly after their theater runs. Personally, I would not want to be without either. However, if I have a choice, meaning a movie/show is on both, I tend to prefer Netflix, bot for image quality, interface, and availability on different platforms. My 2 cents.
 

ddpruitt

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I have both and there are some seriously glaring omissions here.

1) Amazon Prime is available for half the price in a lot of circumstances
2) Amazon Prime has a wider selection of older shows
3) Amazon allows you to rent the "top 10" movies, Prime not required (as an aside it's clear which shows are free, someone clearly hasn't used prime all that much)
4) Amazon Prime will seamlessly switch to different bitrates, Netflix doesn't. This can be useful if someone starts a long download in the middle of a movie
5) Amazon Prime also has a separate HD option that's a noticeably better quality

I agree that overall Netflix is a better choice but I would have liked to see an actual face-off versus someone just covering the bullet points from marketing. It would also be nice to compare these to Hulu, although I understand why it wasn't done. In the end just get both. $176 for a year of TV, I know people with cable that pay more in a month. Plus you get free Amazon shipping, the hassle it saves for Christmas more than makes up for the cost :)
 

teh_chem

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I didn't catch it in the article (maybe I didn't read closely enough), but Amazon Prime only streams HD to a short list of approved devices, standard computers not being one of those platforms. I.e., if you have a HTPC in your living room that you use for your video playing and streaming, you're only going to get SD from Amazon (unless you couple your KFHD or some other hardware to your TV). I know this is because Amazon is going to start deploying a set-top box, and it's part of their strategy to advance their hardware. But the relevance is that Netflix doesn't care what you're using; they'll stream the highest definition allowed by their bandwidth analysis.

I think Netflix is also more advanced in terms of pushing contextual content (some may disagree to its effectiveness). With Amazon, every time I go to check out their library, just looks like a bunch of crap thrown on the screen, with little sort of organization.

The thing I absolutely detest with Amazon--and this isn't a case because Netflix doesn't offer it--is their DRM on purchased digital movies. It's awful; worse than other DRMs that have long since been abandoned. Of course, once their business goals are achieved, with Amazon hardware in the home, DRM 'won't matter' anymore since people will be watching on set-top boxes vs. their computers. But I will never buy another digital item from Amazon; I'll just pay to get the DVD or BluRay and rip it myself.
 

demonhorde665

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The_chem said
"I didn't catch it in the article (maybe I didn't read closely enough), but Amazon Prime only streams HD to a short list of approved devices, standard computers not being one of those platforms. I.e., if you have a HTPC in your living room that you use for your video playing and streaming, you're only going to get SD from Amazon (unless you couple your KFHD or some other hardware to your TV). "

actualy I found a loop hole around this. its windows 8. I bought a movie off amazon only to find out that it would not play in HD on my pc in fact it would not even show up in my win 8/xbox video library , so I went and downloaded it to my xbox. well after that it showed up in my widnows 8 video library as a HD movie and I can now watch the movie in HD on my PC. Screw you amazon for being a hassle !
 

demonhorde665

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The_chem said
"I didn't catch it in the article (maybe I didn't read closely enough), but Amazon Prime only streams HD to a short list of approved devices, standard computers not being one of those platforms. I.e., if you have a HTPC in your living room that you use for your video playing and streaming, you're only going to get SD from Amazon (unless you couple your KFHD or some other hardware to your TV). "

actualy I found a loop hole around this. its windows 8. I bought a movie off amazon only to find out that it would not play in HD on my pc in fact it would not even show up in my win 8/xbox video library , so I went and downloaded it to my xbox. well after that it showed up in my widnows 8 video library as a HD movie and I can now watch the movie in HD on my PC. Screw you amazon for being a hassle !
 

gidgiddonihah

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Amazon's content usually isn't real 5.1. Its stereo that is formatted into Dobly Digital which puts an edge to Netflix. Plus Netflix's Super HD beats the crap out of anything Amazon has to offer though it still doesn't match Blu-ray.
 

Gerry Allen

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We have both on our Roku and the Amazon interface is excellent -- easy to sort, easy to categorize and easy to see the video status. We also use the built-in app on our Samsung TV and it is also a breeze to use. Content is in the eye (and taste) of the viewer; for us, Amazon is far superior, especially since we despise Netflix original programming.
 

ipwn3r456

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"Modern TV shows and movies stream at 1080p by default, as long as your connection is fast enough (at least 4 MB/s)"

Wait, what... 4MB/s or 4mbits? That's a huge difference there...
 

Fuse404

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You forgot to mention that "ideal circumstances" for Amazon are much more restrictive as they only offer full "HD" on some platforms. Even under ideal circumstances Netflix provides superior video quality and true surround sound. Amazon simply can't compete. I wouldn't even have an account if it weren't for them snatching up Stargate SG-1.
 

carollinemax

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Well, I prefer Netflix. I always bought movies from it and convert them to Smart TV with aneesoft video converter. The quality of movies are nice.
 

deb08m

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I just purchased a trial for Amazon Prime so I could watch shows and movies on my ipad mini. I downloaded the Amazon app and it was all good until I tried to watch something. A box popped up that said "Proxy detected". Your internet connection is currently using an HTT proxy, content playback is not supported when a proxy is configured. I chatted with Amazon help, and they said that it doesn't support DRM's...what ever that means, I am not up on that
 

Sasha-California

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OMG! Amazon Prime!! Wins in my book.

I've been a hulu subscriber and it's just okay. I've been a Netflix subscriber from before they could stream, but today, I look for two movies on the above to sites and either didn't have them or couldn't want instantly.

THEN, I went to Amazon Prime and I can watch BOTH! Or, and this is the HUGE part, if I buy them then I can watch anytime I want for-ever! And never have to hold the actual dvd/movie/etc.

My History. (Male 48 years old, California Native).
The movie, Gumball Rally (1976).
In my live I've owned this movie on lazer disk, on VHS and on DVD. Then, I sold it or lost it or something. I want to watch this moving over and over once every 5 years for ... the foreseeable future.

Now, after 30 years, I can buy (one more time) on Amazon Prime, "The Gumball Rally" move and watch anytime and NEVER have to buy again.

Netflix, Hulu and for that fact Apple's iTunes || you all LOST. Game Over.

After I buy this movie I'm going to buy some Amazon stock and short NetFlix.

To end my rant, I'm going to quote my all time favorite quote from the late Raul Julia (Gumball Rally, Adams Family Values, etc). "The first rule in Italian race driving: What's behind you is not important", as he rips off the rear view mirror in his Ferrari as the race start.

Meaning, I will not be looking back at Netflix or Hulu again.

Beep beep. Bye bye.

 

dgphotog

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Nothing to do with video services, but a correction: Amazon Prime does not provide "free 2-day shipping on all Amazon orders," as the article states. It provides free 2-day shipping for items tagged as "Prime" which seems to be about 10% of all the items offered. When intending to order from them, I typically check the "Prime Only" box to restrict the search results. I've noticed sometimes (not always) that an identical item from the same supplier can be jacked up in price for the Primed version. So the shipping isn't actually free in those cases - even if promised faster.
 

dgphotog

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Nothing to do with video services, but a correction: Amazon Prime does not provide "free 2-day shipping on all Amazon orders," as the article states. It provides free 2-day shipping for items tagged as "Prime" which seems to be about 10% of all the items offered. When intending to order from them, I typically check the "Prime Only" box to restrict the search results. I've noticed sometimes (not always) that an identical item from the same supplier can be jacked up in price for the Primed version. So the shipping isn't actually free in those cases - even if promised faster.
 

NetG

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Amazon prime has one more latest season over netflix in the following; big bang, walking dead, and Dr who. Netflix is a season behind amazon on all of these...the had these in nov when this was written too. Considering that, amazon is blowing netflix out of the water. If you like old B movies then netflix wins...but I don't. I look at netflix selection see if they are improving, they aren't. The selection seems to worsen! So far they haven't done anything to even try to temp me back. Reducing and then finally removing my ONE dvd per month with my streaming nearly made me drop them...the lack of ANY new episodes was the final straw.
 

shetech55

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The Amazon Prime interface on the Vizio TV is less than acceptable. Very difficult to find what you are looking for and it does not come with the "watchlist" that you can view on the Samsung TV. When I view the Amazon Prime interface on the Samsung TV it is awesome. There is no consistency on the different TV devices. I plan on switching since Amazon doesn't appear to fix the interface problem anytime soon. It appears this is a known issue for a couple years and it still has not been fixed.
I guess I should have purchased two Samsung TV's and not a Visio.....
 
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