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Do You Prefer Subscription or Pay-As-You-Go Streaming?

Based on previous poll questions, I know that most readers of HomeTheater.com strongly prefer the quality of Blu-ray over the convenience of online streaming. I share this preference, but I still find streaming to be useful for non-critical watching or things that aren't available on disc.

Streaming services provide content using one of two business models—a flat subscription fee for unlimited access to their entire library (e.g., Netflix and Hulu Plus) or paying for each title you watch (e.g., Vudu and iTunes). Which approach do you prefer, and why?

Vote to see the results and leave a comment about your choice.

Do You Prefer Subscription or Pay-As-You-Go Streaming?
Subscription
51% (696 votes)
Pay as you go
21% (291 votes)
I don't use streaming services
28% (380 votes)
Total votes: 1367
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COMMENTS
curtiswhite's picture

I have netflix and hbo go and mog. Plus bluray,dvd,sacd and soon will get a turntable. I even watch laserdisc. Anyways for me I have noticed that I have been purchasing more content then ever. the Reason being.I listen to what I like on mog or watching something on netflix or whatever. And to get the best pq or sq I would be more then happy to purchase it (be it on sale helps, and if it is a better pq,sq then streaming).

p.s- pink floyd dsotm, and EJ goodbye yellow brick road on sacd 5.1 is
audio bliss. And I don't think streaming can come close to that right now.

instybob's picture

What about both? I watch about the same amount of Netflix as I do Vudu. Maybe 3 entire movies a month each. I dropped Hulu plus because they have about a tenth of material as Hulu on a PC.

BTW, why does Netflix have an option to pay for new movies per view?

david6607's picture

Keep an aye out for the specials on VUDU but also stream Netflix. While the quality of the audio and video is better on Bluray I can see that sometime in the near future that streaming could eliminate or at least slow down the Blu ray market. Of course you need A fast isp for streaming which I think is becoming more available as time goes on. I find myself thinking as the streaming gets better with regards to audio (DD+ Netflix and VUDU and the 1080P streaming)I could find myself not necessarily needing Bluray. Thats not to say I would never want to watch bluray because of the HD audio and video but my desire is lessening. I know, I know BLASPHEMY I SAY BLASPHEMY!!!

modesto66's picture

We prefer both. Netflix is great , it allows our family to watch movies we may have never rented before. However, we still use VUDU and Amazon quite often for newer releases.

AVtheaterguy's picture

In the last year I became a cable cutter, and my roommates and I haven't looked back.

We use it all... Vudu, Hulu+, Netflix, Amazon VOD, Itunes store on Apple TV, Google TV, and Blu-Ray players.

As far as QUALITY is concerned I think VUDU takes the cake. The HDX downloads are great for getting top performance without the need of physical media and the player, but its not quite as convenient (read CHEAP) as netflix obviously.

I like Vudu for the selection of the latest titles, and Amazon VOD helps me out with anything that Vudu doesn't have.

There's definitely still some macro-blocking issues with the high end streams from all of the sources, but for the most part as long as my incoming bandwidth isn't totally destroyed by the neighbors the hi-def streams are pretty good, with Vudu and Amazon beating the rest of the pack.

All in all our decision to cut the cord has definitely liberated us from sittin in front of the TUBE and channel surfing until our eyes start to glaze over.

loop7's picture

I still think hulu offers the best streaming (least noise, etc) with their top tier rentals but I have been impressed at the quality of Netflix and Amazon in the last six months. Seems like Amazon titles are a bit heavy in terms of contract but this is likely due to the Roku or BRD player.

Deckard's picture

There is a hierarchy of viewing. I have. A Netflix account for a lot of older films and series. I recently started using my amazon prime account because it has some titles that Netflix doesn't and it doesn't cost me anything because I got prime for the shipping. I have even used crackle on occasion. As for pay-as-you-go and purchasing content I use iTunes because I like the quality. AppleTv 1080P is really good in my home theater. I reserve my blu ray for the content that I really consider "critical" viewing.

Billy's picture

This is a moot point for those of us who live outside of town with the cute little squirrels and bunnys. In my case, a big nasty corporation owns the phone lines and will allow no competition that could up my quality. Try this on for size. How about a max of 1.5MbPS for $80/month? Thats what this poor boy dishes out just to be able to stream crummy U-Tube videos, HD video is only a dream. Add in the after school horror of the local kids doing the same and I can hardly get from screen to screen of simple text. I find that in this, the worlds greatest nation, we are far behind many in the third world. This is MY issue in the upcoming election yet no candidate seems to care at all.

Scott Wilkinson's picture
Unfortunately, more bandwidth to rural areas is likely to be far down the list of priorities for candidates this year compared with the economy as a whole and job creation.
abigailcole12's picture

I prefer streaming. I will have a timer when I'm streaming and will use my watch timer.
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MatthewWeflen's picture

I will always prefer subscription, until "a la carte" services adjust their prices to account for the diminished value that we receive as consumers. Paying $15 for an SD video file or $20 for an HD file is ridiculous, when you consider that often these files do not have extras, subtitles, or HD audio options. Then, there is always the danger that you'll lose the device you downloaded it on to obsolescence or breakdown. If the files are stored in the cloud, the company could always go under. There is no security.

The rental side isn't much more attractive, with $5 or $6 rental fees for one HD viewing. Dream on, people. I'd rather research my movies in detail and just buy them on Blu-Ray disc for $15-$20, and get all of the added value and security that the a la carte options lack.

And I can always sell it back if I don't like it :-)

Mrlee41's picture

I prefer subscription because of television series! We love to watch series we didn't watch from the beginning when they were being broadcast on TV and paying for a seven year, 15 plus episode series at 1.99 each could be costly. At this point I don't see streaming as an option but actually owning the DVD or Blu-rays of the Series. For me and my family some series are worthy of being watch over and over again (Deep Space Nine!) and some once is good enough! (Lost)

Vanny Thompson's picture

I do prefer streaming, every time my family and I watch boxing fights we always prefer streaming rather than pay-as-you-go. This December, we'll gonna watch pacquiao marquez live stream for their 4th time match between Pacquiao and Marquez.

RobertStanley's picture

I rather go subscription because paying is we'd not determine if your website will crash or even be banned. Streaming seriously isn't so excellent because it will be able to cause lag in the net.
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