Amazon Instant

Updated February 28, 2014
Amazon Instant Video
Bottom Line

Amazon Instant Video offers one of the largest libraries of movie and TV titles available, and offers both pay-per-title and subscription options to those that want to stream its content, but experts find some noteworthy shortfalls. It's not a good destination for HD as image quality -- at 720p -- falls short of most competitors, most notably Vudu with its HDX format that many say rivals (though doesn't quite beat) Blu-ray Discs. It also offers fewer HD titles than most competitors, and places some restrictions on where those can be watched.

Those looking for an alternative subscription service to Netflix might be interested in the Amazon Prime program (*Est. $80 per year), which includes access to some of Amazon's streaming content, free two-day shipping on orders from the site, and access to limited ebook rentals. However, Amazon Prime streaming shares the same the same major negative as Netflix -- access to very few recent hits -- and has even less HD content. Still, with a library of 10,000 movies and TV episodes available, those willing to venture off the beaten path, or take a trip down memory lane, will find plenty to watch.

ProsMassive library of movie and TV titles, Compatible with a variety of devices, Subscription and pay-per-title options availableConsSubscription plan only offers a fraction of the available titles, Less HD content than other services, HD movies can only be viewed on a TV, not on the web, Amazon Kindle Fire is the only mobile device supported, Videogame consoles are not supported