Donate |

Streaming video: Netflix gets CBS shows, Roku supports Amazon Prime

Consumer Reports News: February 23, 2011 11:11 AM

Find Ratings blob logo

In separate announcements, Netflix said it will soon be including "dozens" of CBS TV shows in its instant streaming video service--and Roku reports that it now supports the Amazon Prime Instant Video service.

Thanks to a two-year deal with CBS, starting in April, Netflix will offer a number of CBS network TV shows via its instant video service. The mix will include episodes of recent CBS series, such as "Medium" and "Flashpoint," as well full seasons of other networks' older, classic shows such as "Frazier," "Family Ties," and "Cheers." The deal doesn't include any TV shows that are currently airing on the network. CBS has the option of extending the deal at the end of the term.

[CLARIFICATION: The deal with CBS complements Netflix's library of streaming video content, which already includes older series from other networks—such as the NBC shows mentioned. Thanks to Godfrey Daniel in the Comments section! —Ed.]

Roku, which already supports Amazon's Video On Demand service, will now be compatible with the online retailer's new Amazon Prime Instant Video service that we wrote about yesterday. Unlike Amazon Video On Demand, which operates as a pay-per-view service, Prime Instant Video is a more Netflix-like subscription service that's bundled into the online retailer's $79-per-year Amazon Prime subscription at no additional charge.

To use the new service, Roku owners who are Prime members need to click on the Amazon Instant Video channel and then look for the Prime Instant Video icon.

It's clear that the market for streaming videos is becoming increasingly competitive. In addition to current services such as those from Amazon, Blockbuster, CinemaNow, Netflix and Vudu, kiosk retailer RedBox has confirmed it is prepping a subscription service to augment its Blu-ray and DVD rental business. The company hopes to launch the service by the end of this year.

Are you currently using a video streaming service? If so, let us know which one, and what your experiences have been so far with its selection and quality, and whether you've considered moving to a different service.

--James K. Willcox

Next Steps

All TV Ratings
Subscribers can view and compare all TV Ratings.
Recommended TVs
Look at the ones that we chose as the best of the best.

Aaron Bailey

   

Find Ratings blob logo

TVs Ratings

View and compare all TVs ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Latest From Consumer Reports

SUV REVIEWS
Revamped Highlander Hybrid is impressive—and priceyVideo This fuel-efficient Toyota offers a refined, creature-comfort-filled ride.
WEARABLE TECH GUIDE
What you need to know about Google Glass Get all the details on how well this wearable tech works.
EXTERIOR & INTERIOR PAINT REVIEWS
5 common paint problems and how to solve them Our experts can help you get the finest finish on your next painting project.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL GUIDE
How to find the best prices on used college textbooks Students beware: Prices from online sellers aren't always the lowest.
INVESTING GUIDE
Learn how peer-to-peer lending can boost your income Lending Club and Prosper have become an online lending duopoly.
NEW CAR REVIEWS
Cars that are the most fun to drive (and some that aren't)Video Our updated list features vehicles that lead to grin-inducing satisfaction.

Connect

and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:

Cars

Cars New Car Price Report
Find out what the dealers don't want you to know! Get dealer pricing information on a new car with the New Car Price Report.

Order Your Report

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more