Recently our cable package increased from $17 to $23 per month, so I’ve been on the look-out for some new ideas and ways to cut costs. I decided I would test out several options and share my findings! Hopefully, it will be helpful…and maybe you can give me some ideas, too.
For the last few years, we’ve had the basic of the basic cable packages offered in our area. We get about 15 channels, so we’re used to not really watching too much t.v. We’ve kept it because my husband likes to watch the games offered on network t.v. — and I still don’t know how many channels we could pick up with an antennae in our rural area. That will be something we test out, too!
Over the next few months, I plan to try:
(If you missed the first post in this series, you can read the rest of Cable Alternatives: Netflix (From a Mom’s Viewpoint here).
My Amazon Prime Instant Video Review
Up next in my list of cable alternatives to try is Amazon Prime Instant Video!
To get started, you need to purchase an Amazon Prime Membership for $79 per year (this breaks down to $6.58 per month). You’ll also need to have a way to stream your internet to your t.v. You can find compatible devices here.
Several of my friends recommended Roku, and I found a great deal on one. Depending on what our final decision is, I’ll be able to use it to stream either Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu Plus. The Roku also has tons of other free channels available (including Pandora)!
Amazon Instant Video Pros and Cons
Here are a few of my favorite things:
Since we have Amazon Prime anyway, this would be an inexpensive option for us. Not only do you get access to free movies and shows, you also get 2-day shipping, Amazon Mom discounts and benefits, and a free monthly eBook check-out with your Amazon Prime membership. $6.58 per month for all of this is very affordable (especially since I usually use the free 2-day shipping option several times per month)!
Selection of Shows
I feel like there are a lot of options (of course, I’m looking at it from the viewpoint of someone who is used to having 12 basic channels)! Right now, there are over 13,000 movies and shows available for free. Also, new ones are added quite frequently. The girls were thrilled to have Backyardigans, Sesame Street, Wonder Pets, and more available.
Amazon often runs special deals where you can get free credits for the rental/purchase portion of the Instant Video store. I just recently got a $3 credit, so free movie night for hubby and me!
I can watch on my computer or television. I can also easily transport the Roku box and watch anywhere there is internet access. I can also stream it to the Kindle Fire.
Here’s what I’m not so excited about:
Lack of Parental Controls
There are none! I can’t find a way to control what we see as we scroll through the movies or television shows. There are some categories I would like to remove, but they don’t have that option. (I much prefer the Netflix Kids option for a more family-friendly experience.)
Again, unlike Netflix, there is not a queue to hold the videos I’m interested in watching. At this point in time, there isn’t a way to mark videos that I’m interested in watching.
No Amazon Instant Video App
It seems like there should be a way to have an Amazon Instant Video app for smartphones, but there doesn’t appear to be one at this time.
Overall, my review of Amazon Instant Video is favorable…I’m just not sure about the lack of parental controls. Right now, it’s easy to control because the girls aren’t allowed to run it on their own. Hopefully, Amazon will add some extra options soon!
Have you used Amazon Instant Video?