Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Which Streaming Service Is Best for Film Lovers?


With streaming services in full swing, movie watchers everywhere are increasingly faced with the decision of what service to use and what films to spend their time watching. I’d like to thank for featuring our post; they have some great film reviews, and if you’ve been wondering whether the new Independence Day film is worth seeing, read their critique.

For most movie aficionados, there is no experience greater than going out to see the latest hit on the silver screen. But not every movie makes it there; some movies are simply too old to be in the theater. For a time, the video store was a great library for many cinemaphiles, but that day has come and gone. Today we live in a world of video streaming.

As such, there are many different options available to the movie lover to choose from. Each has its own perks and benefits, from varying libraries to different features and options. Price plans are also something to keep in mind.

So which is the best for your movie needs? Let us compare and find out!

1. Netflix

By many accounts, Netflix has a strong lead over its competition. With a simple interface and a huge library of content, it has enough movies to satiate even the greatest appetite. It is available to most countries in one form or another, and the price isn’t too outrageous either.

Besides an excellent array of films, Netflix also has popular TV shows, both live and animated. Included are some popular hits such as “Breaking Bad,” “American Horror Story,” and “Game of Thrones” (to name just a few). Netflix also has several hidden features that add extra functionality to it, such as a catalogue of all its films.

For viewers accessing Netflix using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), the library is that much larger. American Netflix has quite a selection, but there are numerous films available only to other countries. The use of a VPN allows the user to change locations (by connecting to a virtual server) that grants access to foreign content. (Believe it or not, Canada has its own lineup of films that American viewers can’t access and vice versa.)

For these reasons, Netflix is a serious contender for the best. But what about the others? 

2. Hulu

It wouldn’t do to skip over Hulu, which also contains a fairly impressive lineup of television shows and films. While their selection of films seems a tad inferior to Netflix, their library of shows is actually quite good. In some cases they’ll have a show the same day or within a day of original broadcast, so Hulu is great for someone without standard cable.

Hulu has free shows available with advertising as well as two different plans: one with limited advertising and the other without ads. But the free version is not as easy to find as it used to be. The home page is actually for logging into the paid version, whereas the free version can only be found by Googling it or by adding /free to their web address.

Should you decide to go with Hulu, keep in mind that its content is region locked to United States residents. Their company has been taking measures to prevent foreign access, even going as far as blocking select VPNs and proxies to prevent users from navigating around their restrictions. But if you’re in the U.S., it’s no problem.

To my recent surprise, Amazon has become an excellent place for film lovers to spend time browsing and watching an increasingly greater library. What started largely as a perk to having Amazon Prime (something worthwhile all on its own) has become its own thing, now offered both on its own subscription and alongside Prime.

Amazon’s streaming service includes films recent and old, foreign and domestic; while the majority of its programming is free with the subscription, some programs still cost money to view (presumably they lack the licensure to allow for free viewing).

To my knowledge, there has never been any kind of advertising to deal with on Amazon Video, which puts it ahead of Hulu, unless you’re subscribed to Hulu’s premium package. The overall library seems to be less extensive than Netflix, but because it comes included with an already great service, it’s a solid choice for any movie fan.

Similar to its counterparts, Amazon Video also has copyright restrictions that prevent it from being used outside of specific territories. Unlike Hulu, it doesn’t appear that Amazon has taken any steps to prevent users from using virtual IP addresses to navigate around these restrictions.

Honorable Mention – Vudu

Although Vudu is not strictly a subscription streaming service like the above listings, it does have a fairly diverse library of content available to stream. The chief difference is that it works more as a pay-per-view type of on-demand service. Movies, television series and individual programs can be rented and purchased digitally and streamed over the service instantly.

Because of its lack of a subscription platform, Vudu is one of the more expensive options to an avid movie watcher, making it a slightly poorer choice overall. It does still have its uses for the occasional film that can’t be found on your regular streaming service but is available to Vudu.

Honorable Mention – YouTube
While YouTube certainly doesn’t come to mind as any movie watcher’s first pick, its addition of paid content makes it worth mentioning because like Vudu, it occasionally has access to individual programs and films that are not within the libraries of Netflix or other providers. It serves a good role in filling in the gaps, and its basic service is free.

Even with access to select films, YouTube isn’t quite good enough to rank because of its less than stellar quality. Because of how YouTube tends to compress videos, the quality leaves much to be desired. Use it for what it’s worth as needed.

Final Thoughts

Several other methods exist to stream movies, including the programs offered by cable networks that allow subscribers to access content they’re already paying for via on demand. HBO has even begun offering its own streaming service, although its selection has excluded it from this list.

Other services will likely continue to appear, though it seems unlikely that anyone will challenge the current kings of streaming. At this point, Netflix is edging out a slight lead, but the growth of Amazon Video could challenge that supremacy in the coming years. Hulu works well enough but has a long way to go if it ever hopes to be the best.

What streaming service do you currently use? How satisfied are you with it? Leave us a comment to tell us about your experience as a movie streamer.

A Guest Post by Caroline from

About the Author:
Caroline is a movie junkie and internet expert. She blogs regularly, often focusing on topics such as entertainment and internet security. If you’d like to read more of her work, check out Culture Coverage sometime.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing such great information. It has help me in finding out more detail about Live Video Streaming!