Consumer Reports: Netflix vs. Amazon Prime Instant Video

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When you subscribe to one of the leading video-streaming services—Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video—you get a wide offering of movies and television shows, along with a buffet of different options. Which service is the better choice?

The comparisons are not always clear, even when it comes to basic information, like how many movies there are to choose from. According to, Amazon Prime offers more than 17,000 movies and TV series. That’s significantly more than the 9,000 plus that Netflix offers. But Netflix pulls ahead overall because more than 7,000 of those videos are high-definition vs. less than 2,000 for Amazon Prime.

As for convenience, most TVs that Consumer Reports tests and recommends come with both apps already installed. Some of the less expensive TV’s tend to come only Netflix-ready.

Netflix has some popular original series, like “Orange Is the New Black ” and “House of Cards.” Amazon has some original programming, too, and also offers free music streaming of more than one million songs and free two-day shipping on Amazon purchases.

Consumer Reports take: If you’re most interested in high-definition movies and TV, Netflix is the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re OK with standard definition but like the idea of a greater selection and free shipping, Amazon Prime is probably your best bet. But all things considered, the two are pretty equal and cost about the same:

• Netflix is $96 per year for the starting plan
• Amazon Prime is $99 per year

Because browsing for movies on Amazon and Netflix can be awkward, Consumer Reports suggests checking out The site is plugged into the databases of both providers and can help you navigate their selections.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars and trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to