Hotstar is undoubtedly the leading over-the-top (OTT) video streaming service in India, thanks to its popularity among the masses. But the service is getting some serious competition from niche OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Netflix has just announced a Rs 199 per month plan for India as well, but that is limited to smartphones and tablets.
For this comparison we haven’t taken the content in consideration. Instead, we are focusing on pricing, streaming quality, and download options that you should keep in mind before you subscribe to any of the three streaming services.
Netflix vs Hotstar vs Amazon Prime Video: Prices, plans
Netflix is the most expensive OTT video streaming service in India, despite the Rs 199 per month plan that just launched for India.
The Rs 199 plan will only work on mobiles and tablets. It has only SD content and does support downloads, but is limited to India. It does not support casting to a TV either. The next plan for Netflix costs Rs 499 per month, under which users can only view HD content on one screen. The difference with the mobile plan is that this works on televisions and supports casting as well.
There are two other plans available: Rs 649 per month which lets users stream HD content on two screens and an Rs 799 per month plan, which allows users to access content on four screens at a maximum of Ultra HD or 4K resolution.
Hotstar offers its users two types of subscription plans: Hotstar Premium and Hotstar VIP. With Hotstar Premium, users can access all of the OTT platforms content without any restrictions. Hotstar Premium has two tiers: priced at Rs 299 per month and Rs 999 per year. If you pay the one year fee, Hotstar Premium will cost Rs 83 per month, which is still cheaper than Netflix.
Hotstar VIP lets users access all of the sporting events along with Hotstar’s own content. This service has ads, unlike Premium. Further Hotstar VIP does not give access to American/International TV shows and movies on the service. Hotstar VIP is priced at Rs 365 per year. With Hotstar, you can only play stream a single screen at a time for all accounts.
Amazon Prime Video also provides users with premium video content like original shows, movies, TV series and more. Prime Video supports 4K Ultra HD content without any extra cost. The company has two tiers of its Prime subscription: monthly at Rs 129 and yearly at Rs 999. Get Amazon Prime comes with other benefits like free access to Amazon Music service and faster delivery on Amazon. Plus Vodafone and Airtel have plans where you can get one year of Amazon Prime free without any payment.
Netflix vs Hotstar vs Amazon Prime Video: Streaming resolution
Netflix under its Rs 499 plan only offers users content in SD or standard definition resolution, which is 480p resolution. The Rs 649 plan offer HD resolution or 720p. Netflix’s most expensive plan at Rs 799 offers users content at a maximum of 4K Ultra HD resolution. The streaming rate will depend on the internet connection in your house and the resolution of the device on which your streaming.
The highest video quality offered by Hotstar is full HD at 1080p resolution, which relies on your internet speeds. Coming to Amazon Prime Video, just like Netflix it offers the users both full HD content along with 4K Ultra HD content. Unlike Netflix, it doesn’t charge users anything extra for the same.
Netflix vs Hotstar vs Amazon Prime Video: Availability
Netflix can be accessed by users on a number of platforms, which include the Apple TV, Chromecast, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Smart TVs, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Blu Ray players, (Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic) and the Web.
Hotstar is available on the web, Android and iOS. One can also watch Hotstar on Smart TV using Google Chromecast, Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV.
Amazon Prime Video just like Netflix has a huge catalogue of devices it can work on. Users can take advantage of Amazon Prime Video on Android, iOS, select Smart TVs, Fire TV Stick, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and the web.
Netflix vs Hotstar vs Amazon Prime Video: Downloads, multiple devices supported or not
All of the three services, Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video give its users the ability to download content offline. However, they differ a lot in how the downloads work.
Netflix downloads expire from your device in less than seven days, with the expiry time showing in the “My Downloads” section of the Netflix app. Offline viewing must be completed within 48 hours of the moment you press play. A video can be downloaded multiple times and there are no limitations to it.
Hotstar just like Netflix allows users to download content for seven days and the viewing needs to be completed within 48 hours since you start watching. You also need to keep in mind that Hotstar will let users download content only once . So if you download a show and don’t watch it you cant download it ever again, which is a major restriction.
Amazon Prime Video provides users with 30 days to begin watching the downloaded video. When started a user has 48 hours to finish watching it before it gets deleted. A video can be downloaded multiple times and there are no limitations to it.