Cut the cord: Netflix vs Amazon vs Hulu Plus

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I thought this was a really interesting lifehacker article comparing TV streaming services: Netflix vs Hulu Plus vs Amazon Instant Video with Prime. What’s useful about the Lifehacker article is that it has a comparison chart showing availability of popular shows through each service. We watched The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad through Netflix, but had to switch to Amazon for Downton Abbey, and it’s not necessarily clear what’s available through each. The top 25 chart is in the article; see here for all 250 shows they compared.

We have Netflix and Amazon Prime, but not Hulu Plus. We’ve been watching a lot more lately through Amazon — partially because it’s faster and better quality on our TV than Netflix, but also because we just chowed through all three seasons of Downton Abbey on there, and last night started Everybody Loves Raymond, cause it’s been a long time, lol. Still funny!

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  1. Lisa says

    I am so glad to hear that we are not the only ones that have been binge watching TV. I now have a permanent indent where I have been couch surfing and what I lovingly call the Polar Vortex spare tire around my waist. Spring better come soon before my brain turns to mush.

    • says

      LOL! I just learned from the lifehacker article that Dr. Who has one more season on Prime than it does on Netflix, so guess what we’re doing tonight…

  2. Sara says

    If you look British TV series, I recommend:

    Sherlock (Elementary is good but this is even better!)
    The London (Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus)
    Call the Midwife (Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus)
    Lark Rise to Candleford (Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus)
    North and South (Amazon Prime and Netflix)
    Upstairs Downstairs (Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus, I think)
    Cranford and the sequel, Return to Cranford (Hulu Plus)

    (pretty much all of the above are also available at the Chicago Public Library on DVD too)

    Canadian series
    Heartland (Netflix)

  3. Charlotte says

    We dropped Netflix last year when they lost the Nick Jr shows to Amazon, and got Amazon instead. However, we recently got Netflix again, and find that we watch it more than Amazon now. Amazon does a lot of having a few seasons for free, then removing them, and I don’t like that practice. I was watching from Lark Rise to Candleford, and then it was gone from Prime. Booo! So, I might drop Prime when the subscription is up, and just make sure I pass the $35 mark when I shop there in the future, which isn’t hard to do.

  4. Sarah says

    Yes to Sherlock and Call the Midwife, both are so, so good! I have been working my way through season 2 of House of Cards on Netflix and it’s really good. I like that Netflix and now Amazon are producing their own shows and releasing the full seasons all at once. We cut the cable cord about 5 years ago and really don’t feel like we’re missing much, especially not a giant cable bill.

    • Outlander says

      I can’t believe you haven’t seen Sherlock yet! You’ll love it!
      I have Amazon Prime only.
      I also love Lark Rise To Candleford, but I got those from the library. I love American Horror Story also. And Vikings is now free, so I’ll have to watch that. Right now I’m going through Game of Thrones, but I bought those on DVD, since those books have been some of my favorite for years.
      Another couple of shows I love, that I get from the library, are Nurse Jackie, Dexter and Shameless. And I just bought all 3 seasons of Shameless, since I love it so much. And it’s set in Chicago, too.

  5. Tina says

    We have all 3! I really need to cut, but we watch all of them! This is a good article, though. Doctor Who has been a huge hit in our family for the past 18 months. It has seriously gotten us through this past winter. I definitely need to watch Call the Midwife and House of Cards, and I love Sherlock! (But I must confess, I hate Downton Abbey. I had to quit when I realized that I hated all the characters except for the Dowager Countess.)

    Oh, if you’ve ever read the Michael Connelly books about Harry Bosch, Amazon recently released the pilot of a series called Bosch.

  6. says

    We have TV service, so my perspective is a little different, but we’ve had Netflix for a very long time and use it pretty rarely and mostly to binge-watch TV shows. We started late with Breaking Bad and Walking Dead, so it allowed us to get current on those. We also liked The Killing, the first season of which we watched on Netflix. Sometimes I find something for my 4 yo, sometimes we watch stand-up, VERY rarely a movie.

    But lately it has become almost unwatchable because of how many times it detects a different speed and needs to load again. We have Uverse so I don’t see how the speed is changing and we don’t have problems with anything else. We just got Prime and have watched a few things successfully. We will probably dump Netflix soon.

    • says

      There have been a number of recent articles on Internet providers deliberately throttling Netflix — they actually just came to an agreement with Comcast to pay them for better access, and they are reportedly close to agreements with AT&T and Verizon as well.

  7. Artie says

    My recommendations
    Netflix: House of Cards,Orange is the New Black,Lillyhammer-Steven Van Zandt plays a New York mobster who goes into hiding in rural Lillehammer in Norway after testifying against his former with subtitles.
    Hulu Plus: Prisoners of War- This is the original Israeli series that Showtime’s “Homeland” is based on. It’s almost completely different
    Much better character development and good example of how American writers butcher the originals. Shown w subtitles

    • Charlotte says

      As a Norwegian ex-pat, I have to say it is flattering when a Norwegian show comes highly recommended :)

      Hubby also recommends MI-5 on Netflix.

  8. Mariola says

    Does anyone have recommendations on which of these services is best for movies? I love t.v. shows but my husband wants a service that provides greater access to movies. I haven’t found a comparison of how these services do for access to movies. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

      • says

        Have you tried it? I posted it a couple times long ago because it seemed like a good deal, but then read a bunch of complaints about the service and lag and things not working right.

  9. Outlander says

    I like my Prime. All the movies are not free, just some, and they do change occasionally. A movie might be free for a couple of months, then not free, and then free again and so on.
    You can check on Amazon if the movies you are looking for specifically are marked with Prime or not. I get a lot of movies from the library, and if I get free codes, then I also use Redbox, and that gives me more than enough to watch.
    I don’t have Netflix, but I believe all the movies are free there with your membership.
    But for me Amazon has other benefits so I stick with that.

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