In the age of high speed internet, streaming your favorite movies, television shows and music is as easy as touching a button—the play button, that is. No longer are you required to sit down in front of the television at a certain time to watch the newest episode of your favorite series. No longer are you expected to buy expensive box set DVDs because a show is no longer running on its original network. No longer do television networks have the monopoly on amazing content.
Streaming content has come a long way and now finds itself venturing into the territory cable television. But this is good for you, ultimately providing you as the customer a wider variety of television streaming options—all at affordable prices. In the digital age of live streaming content and high speed internet, the only thing required of you is picking your favorite streaming site.
Netflix – $9.99/month
The progenitor of the streaming service era and ultimately responsible for shaping the way we understand and interact with streaming websites in general, Netflix stands at the front of the line where streaming is concerned. Geared towards making its customers happy, and understanding your need to watch your favorites with ease, Netflix has an easy to use interface that even the newest of its customers is able to navigate. Additionally, with no commercial interruptions, you can catch up on any show they have available without having to sit through another cat food commercial.
In addition to hosting a variety of your favorite shows, Netflix is also responsible for the production of such shows as Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, both of which are Netflix original shows.
Hulu – $7.99/month
Another amazing streaming service is Hulu, with plans starting at just under 8 bucks a month. Unlike Netflix and Amazon, Hulu gets access to current television shows immediately, allowing you to watch all of the current shows airing on cable right now.
Like Netflix, Hulu produces original content, as well, including shows like Difficult People and Casual. Additionally, Hulu also hosts some shows that have been cancelled on television networks, like Fox’s The Mindy Project, which is now available for streaming on Hulu.
As it’s a partially ad-supported service, Hulu oftentimes has commercials at the beginning and end of its shows. An ad-free tier has been added to its list of services, allowing users to watch shows without ads, for just $11.99/month.
Amazon Prime Instant Video – $8.99/month
Amazon’s online streaming service provides a large variety of content, and also produces its own original content, as well (including shows like Alpha House, Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle). Additionally, the service works even better for customers who frequently use Amazon.com for online shopping services. When bundled together, users get free two-day shipping with their online purchases from the website, as well as access to Amazon Music and Amazon Prime. The Amazon streaming service also allows for unlimited access to an extensive HBO collection of classic television shows, like The Sopranos and The Wire. Working with Viacom, Amazon Instant Video has even greater access to comedic and children’s programming, making it an excellent choice for families.
While many streaming services offer monthly subscription purchases for its customers, Amazon only offers an annual subscription. At $99 for an entire year of service, this service is a slightly more expensive investment up front. Another aspect to consider is how infrequently Amazon Instant Video gets access to new television series and its à la carte service for access to additional movies.
Sling.TV – $20/month
For those interested in watching cable television, you might be put off by the expensiveness of it all, as well as the access to more channels than you’ll ever watch and not want to invest. Luckily for you, there’s an alternative that’s both cheaper and more manageable channel-wise than traditional cable television.
Presented as a traditional cable television service with no hidden fees easy online cancellation, Sling TV is the best of both worlds: access to a dozen channels, without needing to sign a contract or pay a cable box rental fee. Sling TV offers channels that might otherwise be inaccessible without either cable or satellite television, including ESPN, CNN and Cartoon Network.
At 20 bucks a month, however, Sling TV is the most expensive of the streaming services by far. Those with larger families who want to watch multiple channels are also less likely to want to invest in this service, as Sling TV does not support access to its services on multiple devices.
HBO Now – $14.99/month
HBO Now is the first premium cable network to branch out into the streaming service, and has done so amazingly. Although it comes second to HBO Go, this service does not require customers to have a cable service already. Instead, HBO Now is a streaming service that’s totally separate from cable television.
The newest episodes of your favorite HBO television shows (like Game of Thrones, Veep and True Detective) become available for streaming only minutes after premiering on the HBO television counterpart. In addition to access to current shows, customers are also given access to everything available on HBO Go, giving you a wide variety of premium shows, at a fraction of cable television prices.
While HBO Now gives its customers access to all of HBO’s premium content, including HBO originals, there’s not a lot to choose from on this front. As compared to other streaming services, HBO Now is lacking in content, giving customers access to shows that only aired originally on the television channel. With only 2,000 titles available (as compared to Hulu’s over 10,000 or Amazon Prime’s over 20,000), this service might not be the best for those interested in having access to a large amount of streamable content.
If you’re interested in having access to the most content available, with free two-day shipping, Amazon Prime might be the right choice for you. If you’re interested in premium cable content, give HBO Now a look. Netflix will provide you with an amazing amount of original shows, and Sling TV will act as the more manageable cable television. At the end of the day, however, you’re the best decider when it comes to what online streaming service is best for you. Just be sure you get exactly what you’re looking for, and nothing less. You can hop over to http://www.vidgostreamingtv.com/ if you want to find out about the next company in the streaming TV business.