Alpha House is one of Amazon’s Original Shows (It is one of the funniest shows on television hands down)

Amazon Instant Video Review: Is Amazon Prime worth buying?

a-In a word yes. Amazon again and again surprises me with their content. They go toe to toe with Netflix, no problem, and at almost every turn they beat them. Amazon prime is cheap, offers a lot of perks, and has a vast catalog of very good movies and TV shows.

One step further than Netflix Streaming, is how I would describe Amazon. They have a very good catalog of shows, and they add original content and TV shows as you go (as they air from week to week). For example, the new show Under the Dome, was aired weekly on Amazon. Every new episode showed up on the channel 1 week after it aired on CBS. They also have some outstanding original content like Alpha House with John Goodman.

Price

99$ (sadly, they just changes this, up from $79!) per year about $8.25 per month.

Movies

First blockbuster movies that make it to Netflix, always seem to make it to Amazon first. Usually about a week before the big additions to Netflix, the movies show up on Amazon. Also, Amazon puts time and effort in to getting high quality older films that you really want to watch like Thelma and Louise or Kiss, Kiss, Bang Bang, for example. They do not waste their time (like Netflix) with very bad low rated content that most people do not want to watch. The catalog is much smaller, but most of the movies are worth watching.

TV

They have a vast listing of TV shows, and most of the time those shows are one season ahead of what Netflix is offering. I’m not sure why, but Amazon usually has it first. They have more high quality TV shows, in my opinion. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen shows that only have one season on Netflix but they have 5 season on Amazon. This happens often.

You will also find additions from HGTV like House Hunters or Renovation Nightmares. You will not find this content on Netflix. They also have Food Network offerings like Good Eats and shows from the travel channel. Again, you won’t find this kind of content anywhere else streaming.

Kids

Amazon has some very good offerings for kids. Everything from Sesame Street, Blues Clues, Sponge bob, Yo Gabba Gabba, and a lot of Nick content, and they have some good kids movies too. Netflix does a little better job at getting kids movies, though. After all, Netflix does show Disney movies, and tends to be the favorite for Cartoon Network. This content is not found on Amazon.

Perks

There are a few perks with Amazon that you do not have with Netflix. First you can buy or rent movies. If you rent a movie it will stay with you for 24-48 hours. Most of the time the price is very reasonable 2.99-4.99. Episodes of TV shows are $1.99. If you are in a pinch and can’t find your show anywhere else, you can buy an episode (I’ve done this with Downton Abbey). I was an episode behind my wife, we were watching them air on PBS (on Roku), but PBS had removed the first episode of the season! So I spent a $1.99. Not a big deal to get an episode of a series that I’m binge watching.

If you buy a movie it stays with you forever (I have heard stories where the content was pulled because Amazon lost the rights, but in every case I’ve heard of, they have refunded the money). Also, Amazon is the only online retail movie place that offers specials on their movies. I bought Lord of the Rings for 3.99, and It’s a Wonderful Life for 4.99. Those movies will always be in my listing. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I bought brand new movies on DVD and my kids have ruined them! I’ve lost or broken more movies in my house than Redbox offers in streaming content. I am happy to risk having a movie lost and refunded, than having a supply of broken worn out dvds. Plus, those movies can be watched anywhere you have wifi.

I will say, I believe they should give you the option of downloading (they do not). Without that feature, no wifi, no movies. So Amazon could you please look into allowing people to download the films, even if they are on a timer where the download disappears after a day or 2. Just something so my kids can watch the movies in the car.

Other big perks you get with Amazon is, of course 2 day shipping on certain items on Amazon.com, and you get free books on Kindle. If you shop at amazon for Xmas, you can save the 99$ fee in one season, then the years worth of instant movies is a free bonus.

With good movies, fresh content as well as many perks I give Amazon an A-. The 2 issues I have with them, lackluster kids content and not being able to download movies I have bought are still far outweighed by all the other perks and content.

If you are thinking of trying Amazon, try their one month free trial.

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