Talking tech since 2003

I’m 11 weeks into a cable-free existence, and a big part of what’s helped me get by is a service I only pay $7.99 a month for — Netflix.

netflixWhen I load up the Netflix app, I’m at least fairly certain the TV show I’m looking for will be in the service’s enormous library; that is, as long as it’s not a premium cable show and it’s latest season didn’t just air. And movies? I don’t have high hopes, but I know I find more popular movies on Netflix than I do on Amazon.

I appreciate the wide selection, especially because I don’t feel the same sense of depth when browsing the selection on Amazon Prime Instant Video. And wouldn’t you know it; there is a study that backs up that feeling as fact.

According to Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson, Netflix is offering subscribers 32% of the 75 top-rated TV shows from the past four years, compared to 12% for Amazon. And Netflix takes the crown in the movie space, as well, providing 10 of 50 box-office leading movies from 2013. Amazon only offers three.

Now, we’ve just been talking about Netflix and Amazon, but I’d be remiss to leave out Hulu Plus, which is pretty darn strong for current-season TV. I’ve already written in length about how I prefer purchasing shows a la carte over the Hulu Plus model of streaming with commercials, but still, Hulu is tough to ignore at that same $7.99 a month price point.

By the way, the service boasts 57% of the 75 top-rated TV shows from the past year — well ahead of Netflix and Amazon.

If you can pick one and roll with it, Netflix is my recommendation. If you just want TV and you’re cool with commercials and you don’t mind an always-shifting library, Hulu Plus is nice. If you can do both, that’s great. Either way, you’ll have a solid amount of entertainment that won’t cost you anywhere near what cable TV does.

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