If you are planning to cut the cord, there are some really well-known names in the TV streaming arena. Each of them have been wooing the consumers by upgrading their interfaces, providing a better selection of entertainment, and what not, at an affordable price. So, which are those services that have got the right mix to be worthy of your subscription this year? Here are the top contenders.
No introductions are needed here. This is the big daddy of streaming services. What started as a DVD delivery service has now transformed itself into one of the most popular streaming services. There is no record of exactly how many movies are listed on this platform. But, it is certainly in terms of hundreds of thousands. When it comes to TV shows, Netflix was not the best service to opt for, but now it has started offering shows that are exclusively aired on Netflix. These include the likes of House of Cards, Orange in the New Black, and others. The quality of original content on Netflix has been highly acclaimed by the audiences and the critics alike.
Anyone can sign up for a Netflix account by paying a monthly fee of just $9. There is also a platinum pack offered by the service that gives the subscriber access to their bouquet of 4K content and also the ability to stream content on up to four devices at once.
Since Netflix is one of the pioneers in the streaming industry, it is available on almost all kinds of streaming devices. Whether it is a gaming console, or a smartphone, Netflix is available on all of them. The Netflix app is also available in all the app stores.
A big factor that adds to the appeal of Netflix is the fact that it has been ad-free. Also, the user interface of Netflix has been optimized over the years to make it really easy to navigate. The recommendation system is pretty good too.
This is not a shocker either. When Amazon started its own streaming service, people had high expectations from it and Amazon did not disappoint. The streaming service from Amazon is pretty neat. Earlier, the collection of media on Prime was nowhere near Netflix. But, thanks to brand Amazon, the service has signed partnerships with the likes of Warner Bros. Now, the Amazon Prime library offers an impressive array of entertainment to its subscribers. The service quality is similar to Netflix, with a lot of movies and shows on offer. Amazon Prime also includes many original series in its lineup, including Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, Alpha House, and so on.
Amazon Prime formerly used to offer only an annual subscription of $99 (which comes out to be $8.25 per month). On the other hand, the monthly membership is being offered at $10.99.
This service is also easily available on all kinds of devices you can think of. There are also added perks of subscribing to Amazon Prime. You get free two-day shipping on your Amazon orders. If you frequently make purchases online, this is absolutely the best service to go for.
Hulu came into existence when media giants like Fox, NBC Universal, and Disney-ABC came together in 2007. Initially introduced as a free service, Hulu enjoyed massive support from the viewers. This is the service to go to if you are looking for a service to watch television shows. Most of the other streaming services make television shows available much later the live telecast of the season on cable. But with Hulu Plus, subscribers get to watch TV shows within days or even hours of it airing on television.
The service costs $7.99 per month, but even the premium version of Hulu Plus comes with ads. There is an advertisement at 10-minute intervals, which might get annoying for some users. But, it is not very different from watching TV on cable, but much cheaper. Hulu Plus is available on all kinds of devices. This is really the service to go for if you are a TV buff.
Sling TV is the service to go for when you want the flexibility of a streaming service, plus the content delivery of cable television. This ideal combination comes for a premium price of $20 a month fee. The one thing that distinguishes it from other streaming services is the access to sports channels like ESPN.
Moreover, Sling TV comes with none of the installation costs or contracts. So, basically there are absolutely no hassles of a cable connection, but the subscribers can enjoy more than 200 channels in around 18 languages. Sling TV does not do really well in terms of availability to the users. The Sling TV app works only on Apple devices, Xbox One, Roku TV, and Amazon Fire TV Stick.
This has to be the most popular platform for streaming free videos on the internet. The site hosts a dizzying array of content. You can practically find videos on anything and everything on YouTube. The platform is really easy to navigate, but just because of the volume of content, it may be difficult to find exactly you want quickly. The best way is to subscribe to your favorite channels so that once you find a YouTuber, you like, so that whenever they post a new video, you get a notification. The collection of movies on YouTube is not as extensive as other services either.
There is also an on-demand premium service from YouTube, wherein you can rent or even buy movies. These can range anywhere from $0.99 to $19.99.
You can run YouTube on any and every device. The only requisite is an active internet connection.
Which service suits you best depends on the type of content you enjoy. If you like to binge watch television shows, then Hulu Plus is the best service for you. If you are a movie buff, Amazon Prime and Netflix should be your pick. Try Sling TV if you want the cable experience for a better price and added convenience. However, if you are looking for free content or movies to buy, services like YouTube should be your thing.