Watching your favorite television shows and movies through a cable service provider has become a thing of the past. You can now watch television on any device that is connected with the Internet at your home, workplace or any other part of the world. All you need to do is cut the cable cord and switch to the new world of online streaming. However, before choosing a service make sure that you gauge the quality of the content and the level of service. This is because the market today is flooded with many options for cord cutters. Choose your service carefully considering your demand, device and price. Here are some of the most promising streaming services that are available to you.
- Netflix is one of the most popular providers of online streaming services. It has succeeded in creating a niche for itself in the market with the help of some great content, consistent service, ease of use, and personalization.
- Netflix has a good range of television shows. You can watch multiple seasons of your favorite shows aired on major networks. Apart from the availability of shows from other sources, Netflix offers its original shows too. It is the only place where you would get shows like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and Marvel’s Daredevils. Also, Netflix is the place where The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey appeared before any other streaming site.
- Netflix is available for $7.99 per month for a single HD stream, and $9.99 for two concurrent HD streams for the new members. With the monthly pack of $11.99, you can watch up to four concurrent HD streams and also receive support for 4K content.
- Netflix can be used on any device you own. From mobile phones (iOS, Android, Windows, Nook, Kindle Fire) to gaming consoles (PS3, Xbox, Wii U, Wii), set-top boxes (Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire etc.), PCs, laptops, and many more.
- Netflix seems to know its audience quite well. Since it is an independent site, it has revived a lot of shows that had suffered a rather premature death on cable. In the process, it has restored hope to many of its viewers. Shows like Arrested Development and The Killing have witnessed a revival by Netflix.
- Netflix has a lot of options for movie lovers as well. You can find a lot of titles in the Netflix library, but you should know that the titles change pretty quickly. So, you might end up missing a movie too.
- Multiple people can set up different profiles with one account, which means that many people can watch their favorite shows by signing up for just one account.
Amazon Prime instant Video
- Amazon Prime Instant Video has got a great selection of shows and movies. It particularly has a great collection of TV shows, both new and classic. There are thousands of titles to choose from. You can watch for free the episodes of your favorite series up to a point in Amazon after which you will be needed to pay $1.99 per episode.
- There is a $99 annual package to subscribe to the Amazon streaming service, apart from the $10.99 monthly plan. The subscription comes with free Amazon shipping, access to Amazon Photos and music and Kindle Lending library.
- One of the most powerful features of Amazon’s service over Netflix is that it also allows offline downloads. While Netflix can be viewed only with an active Internet connection, you can download and later watch the episodes of your favorite show on Amazon Instant Prime Video.
- Amazon Prime Instant Video works on all the commonly used devices like gaming consoles, mobile phones, set-top boxes, laptops and many more.
- The disadvantage with Amazon is that it is certainly pricier than others in the market and also lacks critically acclaimed and Emmy award winning shows.
- Hulu should be your streaming service of your choice, if you are looking to watch TV shows online. Although it has a limited number of titles available for free, you can watch full seasons of current and older series, on the paid service, Hulu Plus.
- Hulu Plus can be used by paying $7.99 per month or $95.88 per year.
- Hulu Plus can be viewed on a number of devices like iOS, Android, Windows phone, Amazon Kindle Fire, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Xbox one, PS4, PS Vita, Wii, Wii U in addition to the web.
- As compared to Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, where it takes months to stream a new series or the latest episodes of a current show, Hulu Plus airs them the next day they are aired on cable.
- You don’t need to pay extra for HD shows on Hulu Plus. The service also utilizes a personal queue and keeps track of your favorite shows.
- The main drawback with Hulu Plus is its advertisements. Although the monthly pack of $11.99 offers an advertisement-free streaming, some popular shows like Scandal and New Girl will still have a 15 second pre roll and 30 second post roll advertisements.
- Sling TV is one of the most popular Internet streaming services that works almost like a cable subscription. It offers 20+ TV channels with LIVE access.
- Sling TV can be availed at $20 for one month, and it also offers a week of free trial to new users. The $20 core package is called The Best of Live TV and has access to 23 channels. The package gives you access to video-on-demand content and channels ranging from AMC, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, HGTV, Travel to Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family and many others. The subscription for Sling TV does not require any contract, credit check or hardware installation. You can also add channels to your package by paying a few extra dollars. For example, if you pay $5 per month, then you can get several key sports channels.
- Sling TV app can be installed and accessed on iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, select smart Samsung/LG televisions, Google Nexus Players and Xbox one among others.
- Sling TV has promised to support more devices in the future and to deliver a consistent user interface among mobile apps, online viewing and streaming devices. This will mean easier navigation and usage for subscribers.
- The best feature offered by Sling TV is that it offers a “multi-stream” option, where you can watch the content on up to three devices simultaneously.
- PlayStation Vue is an online streaming service which offers a rich selection of content, including movies and live shows without a cable connection.
- It provides 50+ channels with LIVE access that can be watched on several different devices.
- The subscription for PlayStation Vue starts at $50 per month, and there is a free 7-day trial available for those who want to test the waters. There are three packages available with PlayStation Vue. The basic package of $50 is comprised of 55 channels. As the package price increases, the programming options also increase proportionately, with a lot of niche and local programs to choose from.
- PlayStation Vue can be played on a number of devices like Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and gaming consoles (PS3 and PS4).
- The best feature of PlayStation Vue is its cloud DVR facility, where you can store and watch shows later on. This DVR can save content for 28 days, which is more than enough.
- PlayStation Vue is available only with iOS-supported devices right now. Also, as it is a new service compared to others in the market, there can be a few performance glitches with the service as it is more prone to technical failures. The service right is also limited to a free US cities right now.
- Price of PlayStation Vue may become a prohibitory factor for many. Not only the packs are priced at the higher end, if you try to stream channels with PlayStation away from your home network, then you will have to pay more.
- It is the first of the major channels to come out with a streaming service of their own.
- Although the online service has been available for a while now, to watch HBO Go, you need a pay TV login. However, you can avail the services of HBO Now for $14.99 per month with free 30-day trial. You can get a number of concurrent streams simultaneously with a single subscription.
- HBO Go can be watched on a number of devices like Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android, iOS, Roku, web and a lot others.
- With HBO Now, there is also the option to set parental control. This will allow you to restrict what your kids watch and what they don’t. With HBO Now, you will have access to all the HBO content you love, whether it’s comedy, movies, documentaries, sports, kids’ shows and what not.
- The disadvantage with HBO Now is that it doesn’t offer live access. Also, it is quite pricier than other streaming services in the market.
Click Ultimate Guide to TV Streaming Services to find out more.