It’s Christmas Eve and since we don’t have a fireplace, we tested out the free versions of the holiday yule log videos to see which one put us in the optimal holiday spirit. Hands down the folks at Fireplace for Your Home are the winners, and if you have Amazon (s amzn) Prime, I’d recommend that over Netflix (s nflx), although you may get better quality Netflix streams than I do.
Some caveats before we begin. These are the free versions you can find on Netflix or on Amazon Instant Video for Prime Members. I don’t have cable, so I can’t test out the Time Warner Cable on demand log. If you want to spend money, this is not the post for you. I’ve blown my holiday budget on presents and booze, as opposed to virtual yule logs.
If you don’t have Amazon Prime, then Netflix is your best option, although we found the quality to be sub par, and it only offered one option. So, onto the logs, which all run about an hour in length:
- Fireplace for Your Home Presents Crackling Fireplace: This is our family’s favorite. It has a good crackle, no music and is in HD. It looks very realistic, and much like the wood fires of my childhood. Running time is about an hour. On Amazon Instant Video. Free for Amazon Prime, $1.99 to rent and $3.99 to buy.
- The Merry Yule Log: This one has Christmas music and a much fancier fireplace, but the video quality is poor. It’s not in HD, although I don’t think that accounts for all of the video quality issues. It looks unrealistic, according to my husband. On Amazon Instant Video. Free on Amazon Prime, $0.99 to rent and $3.99 to buy.
- Fireplace for Your Home Christmas Music edition: This is the same as the first (and best) option but with holiday music and the crackle of the fire. So if you want holiday music and crackle this is the fireplace for you. On Amazon Instant Video. Free for Amazon Prime members, $1.99 to rent and $3.99 to buy.
- Fireplace for Your Home Presents the … (pictured above): Maybe you aren’t into a wood fire. The Fireplace for Your Home people have thought of that and offer a natural gas fireplace. This one offers a much closer shot of the fire, different log placement, much smoother flame without as many sparks, but the crackle is still there. It does have a darker picture, but my daughter liked the flickering effect. On Amazon Instant Video. Free for Amazon Prime members, $1.99 to rent and $3.99 to buy.
- Yuletide Fireplace in a Box: The fire isn’t in HD and it’s also not in widescreen. It has both crackle and music. This is a large fire with some fast flames. We weren’t a fan of this one. On Amazon Instant Video. Free for Amazon Prime members, $1.99 to rent and $9.99 to buy.
- Fireplace for Your Home (Netflix version): Same as my first listing except it’s free on Netflix. For me, the quality was noticeably worse than what I saw on Amazon. However, if Netflix can deliver this in 4K to folks, I bet it would be amazing. Free with a Netflix subscription.
So there you have it. If you want a fire tonight, tomorrow morning, or any other time, there are several options on Amazon (including a campfire, which we did not review.) For those with a Chromecast, you might want to shoot a version of the Lil BUB fireplace video (needs less cat and more fire) or perhaps The Best Fireplace video (We didn’t like the angle) from YouTube up on your TV. So get streaming and enjoy the holidays.