The market is flooded with TV and movie streaming services. There are big names like Sony and Amazon in the business. But obviously there are certain services that fare better than others in one area or the other. Eventually, it comes down to what kind of content you are looking for, and how much you are ready to pay for the service. Here is a comparison of all the major streaming services, so that you can make your pick.
Netflix is a household name in the United States today and almost everyone who is online, knows about the service. It showcases a lot of television shows, and then there is quite a lot of original programming to choose from as well. Netflix offers an excellent selection of shows and has a highly user-friendly interface. The Netflix can be watched on any Internet connected device which offers Netflix app. It will run on iOS, Android, and Windows mobiles, Kindle Fire and Nook, gaming consoles, set-top boxes and more. It has recently announced a price hike with the standard package being bumped up by $1 to now cost $9.99. But, with the large variety of content on offer, it is definitely worth it.
Netflix is considered a pioneer in the business and its services continue to come up on top. You can create up to 5 different profiles on your single account. The drawback with Netflix is that you cannot watch the content offline, and you always need to be connected to an Internet. Also, Netflix removes a lot of content without any prior notice, which may not be desirable for many users.
Amazon Prime Instant Video
It is the video streaming service from Amazon. It is available for $99 per year. With $10.99 per month, you also get access to Amazon photos, videos and the Kindle Lending Library. Amazon provides a free 30- day trial period, but during this period you don’t have access to the premium services. Amazon Prime runs on almost every device that is connected to the Internet like smartphones, Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire HDX, PlayStation, Wii, WiiU, Roku, XBox 360, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and other such devices. As compared to Netflix, Amazon has more exclusive content to offer from the likes of Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, etc. There are also a lot of perks like free Amazon shipping, free Kindle books, and so on.
However, there are a few things you should know. Amazon Prime Video rarely airs brand new shows. Unlike Netflix it does not allow separate profiles for individual family members. Also, there are no critically acclaimed original shows running on Amazon.
Sling TV is more like a traditional cable subscription with a monthly payment of $20, but without any set-top box rental. There is a 7 day free trial and it can be used on any streaming device like iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Nexus, Roku players and select smart Samsung and LG televisions. It offers channels like AMC, TBS, The Food Network, Cartoon Network, CNN, TNT and many more. This service is a paradise for sports fans as it offers both ESPN and ESPN2.
The disadvantage with Sling TV is that it can be streamed on only one device at a time. Also, it has limited on-demand content and is much more expensive than other streaming services.
With Sony’s PlayStation Vue, you can choose among three different packages, i.e. Access which provides basic channels ($50 per month), Core where you can add Sports ($60 per month) and Elite ($70 per month) where niche programs are also included. Playstation Vue offers a 7 day free trial period and has an access to 50+ LIVE channels. It has got strong DVR capabilities and you can now record your favorite shows and watch them later.
The drawback with PlayStation is that it is expensive and not compatible with many devices and also not available nationally. Right now, the services can be availed only in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles. However, Sony is planning to launch this service in the whole of the USA later this year and also offer à la carte channels in addition to the available offerings.
Funny or Die
It is a free streaming service meant for fans of comedy. It started as a platform to share funny videos, but in the recent times, it has become a hub for rib-tickling videos, shows and celebrity talk shows. The site offers great guest stars cameos, where the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Samuel L. Jackson and Bill Nye have appeared.
On the other hand, Funny or Die offers very limited content. There is actually lack of substance in its shows. Also, it is not available on many devices and has irregular updates.
It is a free streaming service for game lovers. Whether you like to watch, or play games, this is the place of your dreams. You can watch LIVE eSports broadcasts of League of Legends or play casually with single player tournaments. There are even talk shows regarding these games, where expert commentators give their valuable opinions. The most exciting feature of Twitch is that it has famous Let’s Play personalities, who play in real time and you can follow them.
The disadvantage with this streaming service is that it is difficult to navigate, there are a very few streams and the community can get unpleasant sometimes.
So there is something for everyone on the Internet. While there are Twitch and Funny or Die for sports and comedy lovers, how can there be nothing for music lovers? Think again. Vevo is all for you music lovers out there. In addition to looking up your favorite music videos, you can also follow the many documentaries, check out the work of upcoming artists, and watch a LIVE stream of curated music videos that runs 24/7. The best part of Vevo is that it is absolutely free.
One of the major concerns of the users is that Vevo predominantly focuses on hip-hop and pop videos. There is a lack of long-form videos and the navigation is also not up to the mark. So, while you decide on picking up your choice, always remember to focus on fresh and exclusive content, uninterrupted streaming and pricing.