For those of you who stream video legally, you may be wondering which service or services would be the best for putting off your 3 Rs: reading, research, and writing. Also, as an experienced Netflix binge watcher, I wondered if I was missing out on some better procrastination opportunities by just using one service to binge watch.
Here is what I learned.
For price, you can't beat the cost of free for YouTube. For yearly subscriptions, many services are comparable. For movie and TV rentals, most services that rent seem about the same, though Amazon seems to have a slight edge by a dollar for many.
Amazon: Amazon Prime Membership costs $99 for a yearly subscription. Amazon Instant movie rentals cost between $.99 and $3.99. TV shows $1.99.
HuluPlus: $7.99 a month, which will cost you $95.88 a year.
Itunes: $1.99 for a single TV episode or $4.99 for movie rentals.
Netflix: $7.99 a month, which costs you $95.88 a year.
Vudu: Movie rentals range between $.99 and $9.99.
YouTube: From free to paid subscription channels, which start at $.99 a month.
For sheer content, you can't beat YouTube. For recent network TV shows, HuluPlus is the place to go (except for CBS shows). For binge streaming, nothing beats Netflix these days. For movie rentals, many services seem equal.
Amazon: Less content than a Netflix yearly subscription, but lots of new movies for streaming rental. Some original content as well.
HuluPlus: Almost every recent TV episode you missed, plus some exclusive series. (Note: CBS shows are not available nor are original TV shows from HBO, Showtime, and Netflix.)
Itunes: Many recent TV shows and recent movies.
Netflix: A large number of, some say up to 30,000, films, TV shows, and original content, but films come and go and are often the less popular ones.
Vudu: Many recent films and some recent TV series.
YouTube: The most content of all services (basically every free video in the world), but few recent TV shows or movies.
Platforms and Devices
The platform or device used to watch streaming video was an issue in the past, but now most services are set up on multiple platforms and devices. Itunes is the most limited, needing the Itunes specific software to function, and Netflix and YouTube are basically everywhere on every device and platform.
Amazon: Watch anywhere on most devices.
HuluPlus: You can use Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation or other connected device. Also available on tablets, phones, and hand-held gaming devices.
Itunes: Limited to devices that use Itunes.
Netflix: About everything can stream Netflix.
Vudu: Besides your computer, VUDU is available on virtually every internet-connected Blu-ray™ player and HDTV on the market, plus gaming consoles, Roku, and Google Chromecast and Nexus tablets.
YouTube: Pretty much everything is set up to watch YouTube these days.
After researching the services, I came up with two conclusions: the best service depends on what you want (e.g., price you want to pay, content you want to watch, platform you care to use) and to properly procrastinate you need a combination of two or more services that offer a subscription (for binge watching) and renting (to get the latest movies).
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