Long gone are the days when watching your favorite movies meant buying or renting DVDs or tuning in live to catch the latest developments happening in your favorite TV shows. In the age of fast production of watchable content and even faster consumption of said content, no on can sustain the old model. The introduction of streaming companies has been a boon to lovers of cinema everywhere. Through these streaming services, one can access shows and movies on-demand. Moreover, these companies also produce original content, some of which gives tough competition to mainstream cinema.
The market is saturated, right now, with streaming services. The common consumer is pampered with choices and most of them are pretty cheap. Still, it can be overwhelming to commit to one streaming service when there are so many enticing options to choose from. Here is a guide that looks at some of the biggest platforms:
One of the oldest and, undisputedly, the largest streaming service to grace our screens. Though not necessarily the curator of the newest items on shelf, or even the most popular, it has become an indispensable service. Many of us rely on Netflix to provide entertainment in our living rooms rather than cable TV now. With the lowest subscription package at $9/month, Netflix is losing some of its most popular content to competing networks. Still there are many original shows that give tough competition to any mainstream content that major channels deliver.
Amazon Prime Video
Netflix and Amazon Prime Video can be seen as distant cousins, sharing enough similarities, yet quite different when on assesses carefully. Similar to Netflix, this streaming platform also rolls out original content on a regular basis, however it is not at par with Netflix.
Amazon Prime Video has the upper-hand as it comes as a benefit upon purchasing an Amazon Prime membership. Therefore, subscribers get a ton of amazon prime benefits under the same membership plan; a feature unique to this particular streaming service. Prime Video is available across all operating systems as well as a mobile app. In addition to this, people can also buy Amazon Fire Stick to convert their television sets to smart TVs.
Yet another streaming service that brings all your favorite, popular TV shows to your screen, from The Simpsons to Saturday Night Live. Hulu can be utilized as a normal streaming service or a user can avail the live TV mode. Though the former has a few ads running, it is not that different from cable TV or as frequent. The live TV feature is only available in the US for now, yet it lives up to its name and offers multitude of live channels.
The most robust platform on the internet in the 21st century is, undeniably, YouTube. It has given, in the hands of the ordinary people, the power to generate content and to consume it as they wish. It has shown people that amassing a significant following or producing content without a big budget is possible. While free content is ever present at YouTube, many creators are also moving towards producing more professional production. This is where YouTube TV comes in. It is replete with cloud DVR functionality, though there are only a few markets it is available in, that too only in the US.
Disney is looking forward to cashing in on family-friendly and nostalgic content. At the moment, Disney controls all of the major production companies and franchises in the entertainment industry. While catering to a specific niche, Disney Plus still looks forward to providing promising content, especially concerning the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The app is easy to use and the pricing is not that expensive when compared with similar services. Disney Plus also offer the option to club your membership with ESPN+ and Hulu.
When one thinks of streaming services, PlayStation is generally not the first company that comes to mind. Yet this gaming giant has stepped out of its comfort zone, it is giving serious competition to others on the list. They offer a wide selection, ranging from premium channels to live streaming. These services are not exclusively meant for PlayStation owners either. PlayStation Vue can very well turn out to be a game changer (no pun intended).
If you like an idea of a cable subscription, but feel it’s too expensive, Sling TV can be a happy source to watch video content you require. You need to pay a monthly fee in exchange of 30 real-time channels. There is no contract and no set-top box rental fee. It is a handy choice for sport enthusiasts as it offers a variety of ESPN channels. Fans can watch other popular channels such as BBC America, NBC, TBS, cartoon Network, CNN, Food Network and more.
If you are big fan of cheesy action movies and anime on the afternoon, Crackle can take you back in the time at no cost. Yes, you heard it right. No cost. It is Sony-owned platform that broadcasts movies, TV shows and original programs on a rotational basis. As there is no subscription fee, you get a fair amount of commercials during movies and TV shows. Most of its original shows are good enough to keep you busy.
HBO GO, HBO NOW
HBO is a premium content channel offering two ways to stream: HBO GO (if you’ve HBO from a satellite or cable package) and HBO NOW (for the cord-cutters). It offers same top-shelf content that you get from the cable channel itself. Moreover, its library is not limited to Game of thrones but a number of shows that you will love to watch.
If your favorite streaming platform is blocked in your country, don’t worry. Start you VPN software and connect with any other country server and you are ready to enjoy. If you don’t have VPN, check out Best VPN service.
The Bottom Line
It is totally up to you which service you choose. Your choice will be influenced by the type of content you love to stream. If you are a cartoon maniac, Disney Plus can be ideal choice. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video can be used by people who love to watch TV series, web series and movies of different genres. The choice of using the service totally depends on what you like to watch. Choose wisely.