Amazon.com’s new compete-with-Netflix service went live today, offering instant streaming of 5,000 different titles including movies and television shows. While Amazon’s library pales in comparison to Netflix’s, the price on its streaming service (which is available with an Amazon Prime account) comes out to about two dollars less each month than Netflix, and the other primary feature of an Amazon Prime accounts, unlimited 2-day shipping on most items that Amazon has in stock, certainly makes it tempting.
However, Engadget acknowledges that the quality of Amazon’s streaming is not quite as good as Netflix.
To check quality we loaded up a few films that are streaming both on Netflix and here (not difficult to find) and compared them back-to-back. Ultimately the Amazon quality is good, but not great. In Man on Wire the applied film grain effect shown for flashbacks played havoc on the presumably lower bitrate from Amazon. It looked noticeably better on Netflix. Additionally, there was some detail lacking in the skin on the faces of the speakers in the film.
Oh, and students with free Amazon Prime subscriptions? You’re outta luck. Streaming is available for paid Prime subscribers only.
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