Recently, I have turned out Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and DirecTV. They all have certain benefits and different UX. This isn’t a comprehensive review, but hopefully is helpful to you.
There are so many ways to use these services. The xBox, native TV apps, DirecTV, Roku, Amazon Fire stick, WDTV, iPad, Android Phone, desktop PC, etc etc. It’s staggering how many different modes of delivery there are. This must be a business development professionals dream come true. For example, Amazon allowed Hulu Plus on their Fire TV. It’s hard to tell which is better on which platform.
Amazon Prime on the iPad is great. It never freezes, the user interface is excellent. I especially like the plus/minus 10 seconds buttons. It works exactly as I would hope and is quick to boot. I love how it remembers where I was in each episode. The FireTV Stick has a nice remote and works well. Lastly, their original content has been pretty good. The collection of stream-able shows is not that broad. I wished it had more content. Amazon is also not on as many devices as I would like, specifically WDTV and DirecTV lack the functionality.
Netflix freezes all the time. I don’t know why, but it’s annoying the shit out of me. The iPad app looks like crap. he buttons are small and placed in unfortunate spots where my fingers accidentally hit them. Netflix is integrated directly into my remove control with a big “Netflix button” on it. Generally, it’s slow and buggy. I am really surprised about this. They have enormous resources and should be better. Netflix has excellent content including a broad set of shows/movies. The original stuff is pretty great including Arrested Development and House of Cards.
Hulu Plus has a ton of content, but also has commercials that you can not skip. For some shows, they put the commercials in the beginning which isn’t so bad. However, some shows have the commercials every 2 seconds (slight exaggeration). Because of the commercials, fast forwarding to the spot you last watched is a real pain in the ass. I love the content, but I’d rather pay a little more to get rid of the commercials. The speed is hit/miss. I have had some freezing issues.
DirecTV has many onDemand shows that can be downloaded. I really like the system in general, but the selection is very limited. Additionally, movies are like $8 to watch one time. This is way too much money for a movie you can stream from one of the other services for a monthly cost. DirecTV needs to fix this model and sell a monthly subscription fee for the right to watch movies for free.
There are other ways to stream video including from your own server with a USB drive holding the movies on it. It’s not simple currently and streaming is getting better and better. With 4k movies coming in the next few years, our collective bandwidth consumption is going to be staggering. I need to upgrade to from cable to fiber. If only it were available in my neighborhood! (fingers crossed)