Monthly Archives: July 2018

Netflix Instant, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime Instant Video

When TV content first went to a subscription model, consumers basically had one major decision to make: cable or satellite TV? Honestly, the decision didn’t carry that much weight. Yes, you may have had a slight variation in channels if you decided on one over the other, but in general, your content options would be the same either way. As TV has begun to give way to its competitors in the Internet world, however, you’re faced with a lot more options.

The possibilities may seem endless when you decide what providers of streaming content you want to subscribe to. This fight is also much different than the simple question of cable vs. satellite TV because each provider of streaming video offers its own catalog of content. While there is some overlap, if you make the wrong decision, you might have to go without access to some of your favorite shows or movies.

The three companies that have established themselves as having the best selections of content available via subscription are Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. So how do you decide which of these services to turn to for your streaming needs?

Netflix Instant

Current price: $7.99 per month

The pioneer of subscription streaming, Netflix revolutionized the market when it introduced Netflix Instant. Seemingly out of nowhere, the company began moving a sizable number of its DVD titles online where customers could stream them whenever and (eventually) wherever they wanted. Netflix still maintains the largest catalog of movies from among its competitors as well as a huge library of TV series.

Netflix delivers the best video quality and is available on a wide array of devices. In addition to having native apps on set-top boxes like the Apple TV and Roku players, Netflix also has apps for iOS, Android, Windows 8, and Kindle users to enjoy content on their phones and tablets. Recently, Netflix has taken the jump into producing original programming featuring big names and big budgets. Some examples include the drama series House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey, and the re-launch of the cult comedy Arrested Development. All Netflix streaming movies and TV shows are ad-free.

Hulu Plus

Current price: $7.99 per month

While it didn’t really start as a competitor for Netflix, Hulu began to enter the race when it introduced its subscription-based Hulu Plus service. Hulu still differs enough from Netflix, however, that it’s hard to pit them against each other.

While Netflix mostly focuses on movies and TV shows of the past, Hulu puts its prime focus on today’s hot television programs. The shows on Hulu Plus (which include hit shows from all of the major TV networks) are available to watch the day after they air on TV. Not only are you able to catch up on your favorite series on your television via a set-top box, but you can also watch your favorite shows on the go with the Hulu Plus app that is available for most major platforms. The catch with Hulu Plus is that all the movies and series are ad-supported, so be prepared to endure several commercials.

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Current price: $79 per year

While it can be considered a bit of a sleeper among the streaming competition, the Instant Video service for Amazon Prime subscribers is quickly growing in popularity as Amazon adds titles and increases functionality.

Amazon Prime was around for years before the company introduced Amazon Instant Video. The service originally only provided members with access to free two-day shipping from the mega retailer. Amazon has consistently rolled out new features for Prime members over the last few years, however, first coming out with Instant Video and later introducing the Kindle Lending Library, which gives Kindle owners access to free books.

The Amazon Instant Video catalog isn’t as big as either Netflix or Hulu Plus, but it has picked up several exclusive movies and TV shows that set it apart from the other services. It is also cheaper on a yearly basis and offers similar accessibility with apps for Roku players and many phones and tablets. Plus, since Instant Video isn’t the only feature you will get from Amazon Prime, there are other cost-effective benefits as well.

The Bottom Line

In the end, if you need to make a choice which streaming service to go with, you will have to weigh the pros and cons of each company.

When looking for the most comprehensive streaming package, Netflix is still your best bet, especially if you value movies over TV shows. Hulu Plus can be a great addition to a Netflix subscription, especially if you’re thinking of cutting the cord with your current TV provider. Between the two services, you can have access to a good selection of what would be available on cable. While Amazon Prime probably won’t win out as your only streaming provider because their catalog is still in the process of growing, it’s a service you’ll want to keep an eye on.

Movies Every Plus Size Woman Should See

Plus size women have long been neglected and outright mistreated by Hollywood. Yet, times are changing. Full-figured women are showing up everywhere in movies now and in more three-dimensional roles. While some of the movies on this list are clearly better than others, none of them were chosen for any sort of cinematic genius. They made the list because they handle the issues facing plus size women in a humane way. The characters are real people. They are so much more than just a fat girl punch line. So, grab some popcorn and make it a movie night.

1. Real Women Have Curves (2002)- America Ferrera stars as Ana, a Mexican-American teenager trying to find her way. The story explores family dynamics, ambition, body image issues, and more. Follow Ana as she enters womanhood, searches for identity, and struggles to mesh other people’s belief systems with her own.

2. Shag The Movie (1989)- This lighthearted film set in the Summer of 1963 follows a group of four friends who intend to have one last girls’ adventure before one member’s upcoming wedding. Caroline, nicknamed “Pudge,” is a chubby girl who loves to dance. While her friends run amuck all weekend, Pudge makes peace with herself, finds a guy, and shags ’til her heart is content.

3. Last Holiday (2006)- Queen Latifah stars as Georgia Byrd, a plus size woman who lives life on the sidelines until she discovers that she is terminally ill. Georgia promptly sets out to make at least some of her dreams come true before she dies. She takes the trip of a lifetime, eats with abandon, and gets herself a to-die-for makeover amongst other things.

4. Phat Girlz (2006)- Ah…what to say about this movie? Well, it’s certainly the worst of the bunch in my opinion. The cinematography isn’t great, the jokes are crude, and many of the attitudes expressed in it are contrary to all that I believe in. However, there are definitely some worthwhile aspects. Jazmin, the lead character, is a smart, talented business woman. Her struggles with weight and self-acceptance are very poignant. It shows different cultural beliefs about weight. And all the men are fit dispelling the myth that only fat guys are attracted to fat women. That’s enough good stuff to watch this one at least once on cable.

5. Camp (2003)- Teenagers attend a performing arts camp. While most of the ensemble of characters struggle with figuring out who they are, the stand out for me is Jenna. Jenna’s jaws are wired shut throughout most of the movie, a compromise made to avoid fat camp, but when she finally stands up to her overbearing parents…it’s all worthwhile.

6. Circle of Friends (1995)- This film chronicles the dynamics of a single peer group in 1950’s Ireland. Benny, our curvy heroine, experiences the ups and downs of love and betrayal. She shows strength and poise throughout where others fall incredibly short.

7. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)- In this sequel, we see chubby overly analytical Bridget up to her usual antics in dating and living. Funny and heartwarming, this film is worth watching if for no other reason than one scene: Bridget attempts to get dressed under a sheet, fumbling around until her boyfriend tells her that he has “a very high regard for your wobbly bits.”

8. Hairspray (2008)-While the earlier version captivated me, the latest one stole my heart. It’s great to see women who are more than just a little chubby find self-acceptance and happiness. You have to love all the singing, dancing, and plus size pride abound. And you just can’t beat John Travolta in drag!

Plus Size Halloween Costumes

If you’re on the hunt for some plus size Halloween costumes for your trick or treating then you’ll be pleased to know that a handful of popular costumes are readily available. I know that it can be difficult sometimes to find that perfect costume that fits properly, but I hope to share some of the latest and greatest ones you might be interested in.

There have been a few extremely popular costumes for both men and women that are great for Halloween, but also for costumes parties and other events that require you to dress up. I used to work for a large department store and we more than often had requests for plus size costumes and I usually had to refer them online to find what they were looking for.

First up I want to take a look at a few popular costumes for men that came out in the last year or so. Most of them that you find online will be a complete kit and require little more work to complete other than some shoes perhaps, or minor props like face makeup.

Plus Size Joker Costume: The latest Batman movie is without a doubt one of the most popular movies the past few years, and The Joker costume has been revamped and transformed. There are a handful of top notch Joker costumes on the market complete with makeup that will transform you into one scary bad guy.

Plus Size Dog The Bounty Hunter: Love him or hate him, Dog The Bounty Hunter has finally got his own costume on the market and it has shown to be quite popular in America. You can get the full costume including the hideous mullet that the ladies will love!

Plus Size Watchmen Costumes: The cult hit The Watchmen dropped onto the scene again this year with a new movie that has entertained old fans, and inspired new ones from all age groups. I’m happy to announce that a whole line of updated and new Watchmen Costumes has come out and they’re in plus sizes.

Ladies, you have quite a bit more options than the fellows when it comes to plus size costumes. There are a handful of the classic costumes such as Witches, Nurses and Vampires. As well with the various popular movies that have been out we’re seeing a whole bunch of new and popular costumes coming into the market. Let’s take a look at what’s hot for this year so you can prepare for your next costume party!

Plus Size Miss Oktoberfest: This is a new costume that has become very popular among the college crowd over the past few Halloween’s. This costume also works great for any Oktoberfest party and comes complete with everything you’d need except for the beer!

Plus Size Playboy Bunny:Plus size women are sexy too and there’s a whole whack of options to pull off an amazing Playboy Bunny outfit. The Playboy Mansion is featured in another big movie coming out this year and should have a lot of girls out buying the Bunny outfits a little more than usual.

Plus Size Beth The Bounty Hunter: If you and your husband or boyfriend are looking to find a funny couples costume you could pair up with the Bounty Hunter costumes. I already mentioned The Dog costume for men, and you can find the Beth costume already online.

Hulu Plus Review

What is Hulu Plus? It’s one of the many monthly subscription services out there offering streaming movies and TV. Its popularity is off the charts with over 143 million of February of this year. Let’s get to the meat of it. You didn’t come to read this Hulu Plus review to read statistics. You want to know if it’s worth paying for when you get Hulu for free. So let’s get to it then, here’s my Hulu Plus review.

The Good

Hulu Plus on TV

If you have a new HDTV, Blu-Ray player, or Roku box you can watch Hulu Plus right on your TV in your living room. Just pick the app on the screen and let it go. If you already paid a lot of money for that nice HDTV you definitely want to get the most out of it. This is possible with Hulu Plus since it shows in Hi Def. This is s not an option with Just Hulu.

Hulu Plus on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and your Smartphone

If you don’t have a HDTV, Blu-Ray player or Roku box with Hulu Plus you can always still use Hulu Plus on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. Both systems have had recent updates to make this possible. Give you the same quality as the HDTV and Blu-Ray player.

Lots of TV Shows on Hulu

There are over 200 hundred different TV Networks on Hulu. I counted so trust me on this. I’ll let you do the math on the amount of different shows.

The Bad

Hulu advertising

There are a lot of commercials while you watch even though they promise less commercials with Hulu Plus. Personally I didn’t notice a difference at all with the TV shows. I saw no less than 4 commercials with each episode. There where commercials with the movies too and why are there commercials with movies?

Navigation

The navigation compared to other subscriptions of streaming TV like Netflix it can be hard to find what you want at times. You’ll search for your favorite show or movie. Hulu Plus will find it, but it’s not the whole movie. It’s only a clip or trailer.

Amazon Instant Video or Hulu Plus

Watching all of your favorite movies and television shows is easier than ever before these days. You can watch current and old shows and movies online, on your mobile devices, or on any media streaming device that you own. This makes it easier for you to enjoy your favorite content at all times. Of course, to enjoy all of this content, you need to choose a service. You will want to choose the one that is the right fit for you. With so many options on the market, though, this feels harder than it should be. Two options to consider are Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, especially when taking into consideration Amazon Prime. To figure out which one will give you the most for your investment, and which one you will enjoy the most, you have to compare the facts. Understand how they differ.

Content is your first concern, obviously. You want to have the best content available to you at all times. With Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus, there are quite a few differences. They both have a large selection of movies and television shows, but not all the same ones. You might find a larger selection of complete seasons of shows and recently released movies with Amazon Instant Video, while you will find a larger selection of new shows with Hulu Plus. Hulu typically has all of the shows right after they air, giving you access to some of your favorite shows in their current seasons. That is not the case with Amazon Instant Video, however. It offers full season shows and movies, including new titles, but there is not a large selection of shows in their current season. The difference in content is a rather big one, and something that you have to keep in mind. If you prefer a good movie or show at any time, you may prefer Amazon Instant Video. On the other hand, if you want to keep up with new shows, Hulu Plus is more your style.

It is important to keep in mind that Hulu Plus does have commercials with their content. Even if you pay for their membership, you will have to sit through commercial breaks. This means an extra 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on commercial break length, of commercials. It is not a big deal to everyone, but it may annoy some, especially if you pay for their service.

Watching your videos from anywhere is important, as well. Whether you ride public transit to work and want to watch a show on the way or you like sitting in bed and watching a show before you sleep, you may want to make use of the service. Both services are available on numerous media streaming devices so this is not that difficult. You can find both on most major devices. If you have a Roku streaming device, as an example, you can watch either one on your television. With Amazon’s own devices, it is even easier to switch between the two. Both are available on a variety of devices, allowing you to enjoy your movies and television shows at any time.

Amazon is not readily available for most Android devices, though. If you have an Android phone or tablet, it may not be easy to watch Amazon Instant Video on the go. This is because the application is not on the Google Play store and is not compatible with tablets. You can download it through the Amazon web store, but it does require you to download a second application. Even then, it does not work properly for everyone. Hulu, however, does work just fine on Android devices.

Price is what may make the decision for some. Hulu Plus comes in at $7.99 per month, though you can access most content free of charge. Amazon Instant Video does not charge you anything to use it, but you will have to pay to purchase or rent the available videos. Prime members do have many titles available with their membership, which is $99 a year. Hulu is a little cheaper here, but not by much. If you plan to purchase or rent movies or television shows on Amazon, as well as pay for Prime membership, though, the price will start to go up.

They both have some major benefits and drawbacks. Choosing the right one for you means knowing what you want. While Amazon Instant Video will give you major titles as they are released and will offer a large selection of both movies and television shows, it will not give you access to new shows like Hulu Plus does. They both have a large selection and they both have their unique benefits, so it is best to approach this decision with your own interests in mind. If you prefer new shows, Hulu is best. If you prefer renting or purchasing new movies and full seasons of shows, Amazon Instant Video is best.