The best on-demand streaming services

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Of the nearly countless on-demand streaming services, three stand out: Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Netflix. Unfortunately, choosing which one is worthy of your credit card information and time isn’t an easy task—and with a combined membership fee that’s north of $40, subscribing to all three isn’t a viable option for most.

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Even if you’re cutting the cord, all three — merging with a channel-specific service like CBS All Access or HBO and a live TV platform like Sling TV — add up to the same monthly cost as your traditional cable or satellite. can. So much for those cord-cutting savings, huh? That’s why it’s important to understand what you need from an on-demand streaming service. So, to help you find the best on-demand streamer for you, we’ve put together this comprehensive comparison guide.


Amazon offers two main versions of its Prime subscription, either for $119 annually or $13 per month (or $59 annually when you sign up with a valid student email address). Both versions give you similar benefits, including two-day shipping — or in some cases free one-day shipping — discounted prices on select items, cloud storage, and, most important for our purposes, on-demand video (and music). ) Streaming. The best part is that 4K Ultra HD content with HDR comes standard at no extra cost. Plus, you can share accounts with friends and family, so everyone can join in on the deals.


Netflix’s various subscription tiers currently range from $9 to $18 depending on your desired video quality – SD resolution is only $9 a month, but you can stream on only one device at a time. Going up to HD will cost you $14 a month for two streams, while going up to 4K Ultra HD will now cost you $18 a month for four streams at once. If you add DVD/Blu-ray rental service the prices will go up too.

Hulu currently starts at just $7 for an ad-based service or $13 for an ad-free option (which we still highly recommend, even at nearly double the cost). Hulu’s options don’t stop here as it also offers a streaming live-TV package called Hulu+ Live TV for $65 (rising to $70 per month as of December 21, 2021), which is compatible with Sling TV and YouTube TV. are equal. The subscription includes more than 75 channels on top of the service’s regular on-demand library, and there are also add-on features for an additional fee, including a $6 fee to completely get rid of most ads. If you’re a Disney+ and ESPN+ subscriber, you’ll get even better savings with Hulu, as the great Disney bundle saves you $6 on the streaming trio.

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Especially for those looking to stream 4K at a minimal cost, Amazon is the cheapest bet and has said that the company will not raise prices for 4K streaming. The sheer number of additional features and benefits included in Amazon Prime give it an advantage over its competitors as well. throw in Amazon’s Student Discount, and it’s an easy win.

the winner: heroine

material library

When it comes to volume, it’s no competition: Amazon has the largest catalog of ingredients by a wide margin. But quantity and quality are two different things. Netflix closes the doors of competition here with the most popular movies and shows outside of HBO. It also has a large number of acclaimed international films (although its film collection in general has dwindled in recent years). You can find a list of our favorites here.

What you choose to see will largely decide which service or combination of services is best for you. However, we are taking Netflix for granted here; It simply has a more diverse and higher quality library. It might not be best to keep up with the latest TV shows from other networks, but that’s also not what the service was designed for in the first place, and no matter how hard you try, you’ll never end up. Will be shows to see.

We could easily catch Hulu or Amazon here, but that largely depends on how much money the company is comfortable throwing away on original content. Hulu has a leg-up thanks to its Disney ownership, which can snap a finger and load it up with original content from all of its properties, though the company may soon be looking to cannibalize its own branded streaming service. Doesn’t seem curious. Similarly, Amazon has big money to support it, too, but Netflix has carved out a major piece among the talent vying for its attention, no matter what.

the winner: Netflix

supported devices


All three services are available on a long list of devices – too long to list here.

Netflix is ​​basically everywhere. Many devices also have the Netflix logo directly on their remotes. Hulu is also almost everywhere, often in the native user interface as well. And now that Amazon and Google have passed, Amazon Prime Video is virtually everywhere, also appearing on Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra in July 2019.

Given the ubiquity of Netflix, Hulu, and now Amazon Prime Video, it’s close, but Netflix still beats out its rivals here — it’s also on many cable boxes, and some TV and Blu-ray player makers will. Always Reserve a button on their remote for Netflix. If you’re not sure, it pays to do some research before committing. The full list of compatible devices for each service is available at: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime,

the winner: Netflix

Interface and ease of use

netflix screen shot 1

Netflix has great functionality, and it’s relatively easy to find what you want because it curates suggested movies and TV shows via a personalized “Top Picks” category on the home screen and offers a sleek design with intuitive carousels. does. That said, over the years the company has changed its algorithm, dropping the 5-star rating to a thumbs-up system, and in the process, it finds a way to push its content above all else. seeks. On the other hand, we love the fact that its interface is universal regardless of device or brand, which includes HDTVs, gaming consoles, Rokus, and Blu-ray players, so you won’t have to learn to use the new interface.

Hulu is updating its interface, and it’s a lot easier to use on most platforms these days than before, with categories like Keep Watching, TV, Movies, and Kids that make it a lot easier to navigate. You can also add on premium channels like HBO, and shows and movies from those channels will appear on your main interface—though the apps themselves can be a bit of a pain to access. For its quick interface and ability to include premium channels, we’re here to name Hulu (the first time) as the winner. Congratulations, Hulu.

Amazon finally arrives, with a more scattered interface, but like its rivals, it’s constantly improving. One thing in its favor is that you can browse Prime Video directly on the Amazon webpage and its various apps, and it also works great with Amazon’s Fire TV streaming device. For example, on Fire TV devices and the Echo Show, Alexa can respond to your voice to present your desired movie or show. However, these interfaces vary from device to device, and frankly, some are not as intuitive as others.

the winner: Hulu

Audio and video quality

Amazon's first series in HDR, Mozart in the Jungle

In addition to offering 1080p streams, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu (as of July 2019), and Netflix all offer 4K Ultra HD resolution and HDR streaming support. Netflix charges extra for the privilege, bumping up the monthly subscription fee to $16, while Amazon and Hulu offer 4K at their core cost. At the moment, only Amazon supports HDR 10+, which is the only real competitor to Netflix’s favorite Dolby Vision.

For audio quality, Amazon offers surround sound content including Dolby Atmos. Netflix also offers select titles in Dolby Atmos, in addition to 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound encoding on select content. Hulu supports standard 2.0 stereo audio on most content and 5.1 surround sound on select others, though you’ll need a compatible device. You can do this Hulu. View All Latest Supported Platforms at,

A recent update to Netflix resulted in an upgrade with a compatible 5.1 setup for all users — even if it’s just your TV. Netflix claims this boost equates to “studio quality” sound, but it’s not that simple. This also doesn’t change the fact that Netflix charges extra for access to Atmos content. Still, this boost puts some serious pressure on Amazon and Hulu.

Since Amazon offers 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos support at no extra charge, Bezos and co. Win here – but Netflix seems to be taking off.

the winner: heroine

Release date for new content


If you want to watch the latest episodes of your favorite network shows right after they air, you need Hulu. New episodes typically appear on the service the day after airing (provided that the show is performed by Hulu in the first place), and nearly all of the content is available commercial-free on Hulu’s pricey plan.

If you are not willing to go up to the premium level ($12 per month Compared to the standard $6 fee), ads can really get in the way of Hulu’s greatness. Users who do not proceed will see a stream of advertisements, the number of which has only increased as the service expanded. To complicate the problem, many ads are tied to the same chain, which means binge watchers will see the same ads over and over.

as mentioned earlier, Live TV available on Hulu $55 per month, which includes live sports and news if you’re willing to pay, while Amazon has “channels,” which allow you to add select channels with new content. Of course, if you don’t pay for the channels on Amazon (which are expensive to add at $10 or more), you can buy the latest episodes, but you’ll pay a sizable premium that makes it prohibitive (SD $2 to $3 per episode for HD, $3 to $4 for HD, or $40 or more for a “season pass”). The upside here is that you keep those movies and shows even after your Amazon Prime membership ends.

On the other hand, Netflix’s ad-free…

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