TV serials and movies are making a rapid transition from cable services to the world wide web. There are a number of services ready in line to acknowledge the needs of the ever-growing entertainment industry.
A few years back the idea of subscribing to a video streaming service wasn’t received well, especially when torrent sites were available and free too.
But in the last year or so, internet service providers in India bestowed a kind gesture of offering more data on FUPs. The crowd has made a smooth shift to online streaming services now.
We’re going to compare Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video to make things easier for you.
I believe that a good UI is the core aspect of any streaming website. While both Amazon Prime Video and Netflix have a good interface, I like the way Netflix looks which is way more enticing than Amazon.
Amazon Prime’s streaming is pretty decent but comes with a few breakers(probably due to internet bandwidth) but still capable of doing a lot better.
Netflix is ahead of Amazon with seamless streaming and a smooth user interface, that has an evocative engine, based on user’s watching history.
Hotstar however, has a heavy user interface that takes time to load even on a decently quick internet connection and this inconvenience inevitably repels users.
VIDEO PLAYER UI AND PLAYBACK PERFORMANCES
In this round, Netflix comes first. It streams immediately and offers a simple UI to toggle between the options. If you suddenly pause the playback and get out of the app, it remembers where you paused.
It also gives user the option to continue watching from where he left earlier.
Secondly, Amazon Prime is really impressive to watch a content on, except you may notice that it takes time to bump up video quality to full-HD on slower internet speeds.
Amazon Prime knows when and where users have paused, and allows them to play from the very spot they left earlier. However, what I really love about Amazon Prime is its X-ray feature – where if you pause the content, it’ll give you details about the characters on the specific frame.
Hotstar is the least favourite, as it might play great on a web browser, but on a smartphone you’ll notice that it doesn’t adjust to the screen accordingly. It stretches the video frame to adjust to screen which is completely out of your control.
Also, it mostly forgets where you left off, and you’re forced to pan through the video content to recollect where you paused previously. And the worst part – Amazon and Netflix both of them offer full-HD content on smartphones and tablets, while Hotstar limits the streaming to just 720p, which is really pathetic.
Money matters as we know. So we’ll start by talking about the subscription cost of each one of the above-listed video streaming apps.
Amazon Prime video service costs the user Rs.499 every year as part of their introductory offer, which is super cheap, but might soon switch to Rs.999 per year.
Netflix is a bit on the expensive side as its basic subscription costs Rs.500 per month and comes with some restrictions too. Standard and Premium subscriptions cost Rs.650 and Rs.800.
Hotstar‘s service monthly subscription will cost the user Rs.199 per month for their exclusive Premium content.
WHAT TO SEE??
Apart from their own originals and popular TV shows from the US, Amazon Prime has been adding its library with local Indian content — both movies and TV shows.
Netflix hosts a huge collections of originals that the Indian user is still getting around, especially because not their entire library was unveiled to viewers here at their launch.
Hotstar has a lot to offer, including latest Indian/English TV shows and Bollywood/Hollywood movies. It also offers live sports streaming option for Cricket, English Premier League and Formula 1.
While both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video give you the liberty of downloading and watching content offline on your smartphone apps, Hotstar only allows this for its regional content. The premium content cannot be downloaded and watched offline, which is a total bummer.
So, lets summarize it and let you decide what suits you –
If you don’t care about Indian content and want to watch great stuff in an elegant UI, then go with Netflix
Don’t care much about Indian content and don’t want to pay few hundred bucks to Netflix each month, go with Amazon Prime. It has a Big catalogue of content but user experience and content quality is not as great as Netflix.
Also if you want to have good Indian shows in the mix and don’t mind paying a little extra each month (and not very finicky about user experience), go with Hotstar.