Netflix is undeniably the leader in the online streaming movie-and-TV arena.
But it turns out that, depending on your taste, several other services might be better for you.
Netflix is great if there are specific TV shows you want to watch — like "Mad Men." If you want a wide selection of movies or current TV seasons, though, you're out of luck.
Instead, you might be better off with one of these other streaming options.
First, a look at Netflix. It has great TV shows to stream, but its movie selection is thin.
Price: $95.88/year ($7.99/month)
Library: Netflix has a huge number of options available, including old seasons of some of the biggest classic and current TV shows, like Mad Men. But the movie selection is very lacking.
How to Watch: You can watch Netflix on your computer, TV, set top box (like Roku), Blu-Ray players, smartphones, and tablets.
Who Should Use It: Think of Netflix as a web-based version of TBS. It's great for catching up on past episodes of old stuff, but not that great for new content. You'll never run out of TV options, but skip it if you're into movies. If you want to purchase the Netflix DVD option, you won't get any new releases for at least a month.
Vudu has a giant selection of streaming movies, but you'll pick movies one by one.
Price: $1-$6 a la carte for streaming movies.
Library: Vudu has thousands of movies and new releases, as well as entire seasons of TV you can stream for $1.99 or so per episode.
How to Watch: Vudu works on most devices like your computer, Xbox, PS3, iPad, Blu-Ray Player, Boxee Box, and many new TVs.
Who Should Use It: Use Vudu if you want to pick and choose new release movies to stream. Plus, many non-new releases are just $2 to rent for two nights. Vudu is not great for watching many TV shows, but if you want to pick specific episodes, Vudu is on par with iTunes for watching TV.
Use Amazon Instant Video only if you already buy a lot of stuff from Amazon
Price: $79.99/year as a part of Amazon Prime, which lets you stream a few thousand movies and TV shows as much as you want. You can rent the others a la carte.
Library: Amazon's selection of free movies and TV shows is a bit smaller than Netflix and it's missing some critical series. Also, there's a limited selection of options available for unlimited streaming, but you can still pay to rent the others — unlike Netflix.
How to Watch: Amazon Instant Video works on your computer, Xbox, Kindle Fire, set top boxes like Roku, Tivo, and many new TVs. It does not work on an iPad.
Who Should Use It: Use Amazon Instant Video if you already plan to purchase an Amazon Prime subscription (which includes Instant Video).
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