The Need to Plan Part 2 – What Service Do You Need

Now that you know what shows you want to watch, now it is time to figure out how you are going to watch them. From the spreadsheet you filled out from the previous post, you know what services you have to subscribe to.
Here is a quick rundown of some of the better services out there:

Netflix ($7.99 / month) – Netflix has become the gold standard for how to do streaming video. They have a massive library of content available to stream and the price is low. A lot of people complain that they cannot find what they want to watch on Nexflix streaming. These people tend to expect that they have every movie available. While they do have a lot of movies available, the movie studios have been apprehensive to allow their full catalog to be streamed. TV shows is really where the service shines. The TV shows tend to come out the same time as their DVD counterparts so you’ll have to understand that if this is going to be your sole source of TV shows, you will are going to have to wait. Another noteworthy thing about Netflix is that there are no advertisements in their videos.

Hulu / Hulu Plus (Free and $7.99 / month respectively) – Hulu was the brain child of the major networks getting together to combat other streaming services. The biggest advantage of Hulu is that most content is available the day after it’s original air date. The differences between Hulu and Hulu Plus are pretty vast. Hulu is available in the web browser only and usually only has a few of the latest episodes available. This means that you cannot watch Hulu content on your tablet, smart phone, or game console without subscribing to Hulu Plus. Hulu Plus also makes most shows back catalog available for watching which makes it a nice alternative to Netflix if you only are watching network television.
Amazon Instant Video (Pay Per Episode) – Amazon’s Instant Video service is a great way to fill the gaps that is left between Netflix and Hulu Plus. You can buy each episode of a TV series for between $2 and $3. You can download and stream the video from a number of devices and your PC so it is also flexible.

Amazon Prime ($75 / year) – Amazon Prime gives you a lot for $75 a year. Not only do you get free 2 day shipping, access to the Amazon Lending Library, but you also get access to their video streaming service. Their video streaming service works a lot like Netflix. Their catalog is not as large as Netflix, but it is growing constantly. Probably not worth subscribing on it’s own, but if you order from Amazon a lot, the 2 day shipping is great.

I have found that between all these services, I am able to watch pretty much whatever I want. The next thing to plan is what hardware you are going to need to be able to watch this content.