A video streaming service lets you watch live and paid TV series, movies and other media online. Such services are excellent and cheaper analogs to satellite and cable TV providers.
TV channels are currently losing their popularity. For instance, cable network FX hasn’t stopped providing viewers with interesting series.
Nevertheless, people find video streaming services more convenient and more diverse in terms of media content as you can watch your favorite movie on your phone.
Verdict: Netflix rightfully occupies the first place on the list of video streaming services. If you have an Internet connection, you may watch TV series, movies and documentaries on a number of devices. The company has already released more than 160 series and 43 movies.
Viewers can access Netflix from any part of the world. The platform offers a free trial per month to help you figure out whether you like this service or not. The basic subscription costs $9, the standard one is $13, and the premium one is $16.
If you wish to watch from PC, just go to their website and sign in with your account. It is possible to start or resume watching on any other mobile device, like a smartphone, tablet, smart TV, game console and so on – your only task is to install the Netflix application.
Having the iOS, Android or Windows 10 application, you may download any series you wish and then watch it everywhere offline.
Verdict: Thanks to HBO NOW, there is no need to pay for a standard HBO subscription via the cable provider in order to take advantage of the streaming service HBO GO. With the newly introduced service, cable connection isn’t required. The platform provides more than 150 series.
If you are a big fan of original movies and series, HBO is one of the best options for you to consider. The platform offers TV shows that are unavailable on other new streaming TV services, for instance, Game of Thrones, Westworld and more. In case you are interested in these shows, subscribe to HBO.
A great benefit of HBO is the presence of just one membership plan with all the features included. No need to try and figure out the difference between multiple plans. However, ways of streaming of HBO are varied, which may bring confusion.
The price of HBO NOW is $14.99 monthly – no matter if you buy it or subscribe via the application.
HBO provides two streaming services: NOW and GO. You need to choose one of them. The main difference here is that GO comes with an HBO cable subscription and a streaming service, and NOW offers only streaming capabilities. The media content is identical, so it is up to you to decide if you require a TV service or not.
Verdict: Originated in the US, Hulu is considered to be the best value streaming service for paid and live series and movies. The owners of Hulu are the Walt Disney Company and Comcast. The service provides more than 130 series and is available only to the residents of the US and Japan.
Back in 2008, when Hulu first appeared, it offered free streaming movies and series (the same as similar services) thanks to the presence of commercials. In 2016, the service was transformed into a subscription-based one.
If you compare Hulu with such streaming services as Amazon Prime or Netflix, you will see certain differences. The price of Hulu Basic is $5.99 monthly, which makes it one of the most affordable streaming platforms. The Basic plan provides viewers with a variety of paid media content accompanied by ads. As for the Premium plan, viewers pay $11.99 monthly and watch the most of paid media content without any ads.
The primary aim of Hulu is to present viewers with the newest and original series, while other services focus mainly on documentaries and movies. Moreover, Hulu shares new episodes of series from a number of networks right after the official release – usually, it is from one to seven days.
Verdict: Everyone, including Disney enthusiasts, are sure to appreciate the features offered by this platform. It presents live action and animated movies made by Disney over a long period of time.
There you will find such well-known classics as Pirates of the Caribbean and The Little Mermaid as well as less popular movies, for instance, The Shaggy Dog and Melody Time.
To provide viewers with the highest quality of streaming, Disney+ makes it possible to watch certain movies in 4K UHD. As the platform features a variety of exclusive media content, I have included it in my list of the best video streaming services. Speaking of pricing, you pay either $6.99 monthly or $69.99 a year ($5.83 monthly).
Aside from original Disney movies, the service impresses with vast selection of series, specifically-made documentaries, feature films along with unique Marvel, National Geographic and Star Wars content. The company has released 24 original series.
Verdict: Amazon Prime Video presents viewers with plenty of top-class and well-known media content. Besides, the service boasts advanced features when it comes to watching offline and in 4K HDR format. There are more than 80 series provided by the service.
With Amazon Prime Video, you can forget about cable providers and enjoy amazing, recently released media content. The platform features not just its original movies and series but the remarkable content from third-party sources as well. It is possible to download media if necessary and watch it in 4K.
Viewers have an opportunity to buy or rent movies and series on Amazon Prime Video. Compared with all streaming sites, this one isn’t exactly intuitive – it may be complicated to locate new and already present content due to an overloaded interface.
A pay-per-month subscription costs $12.99. The price of a yearly subscription is $119. Prime Video membership costs $8.99 per month.
Verdict: YouTube TV is a web-based streaming service that makes it possible to view paid and live TV along with DVR from an extensive number of TV networks. The platform offers more than 100 series.
YouTube TV differs from other live TV streaming services because of the cloud DVR feature. It enables viewers to record and store TV streams for up to 9 months without any limitations in terms of available space. The only limit is a time frame, which is still pretty sensible.
The main aim of the platform is not to become an alternative to such streaming services as Netflix but a replacement to standard satellite and cable providers. With YouTube TV, you may create six separate profiles on one device and view content on three devices simultaneously.
The monthly price for YouTube TV is $49.99. Before buying a subscription, you can test the service with a free trial for a week. If you are going to pay from an Apple device, the monthly price will be $54.99.
Verdict: Philo is another representative of TV live streaming services. Discovery, AMC and Viacom, which are its main network sponsors, ended up being left out of other streaming packages, mainly due to the fact that they don’t offer any sport-related content. That’s why they have decided to team up and created a separate service – without sports channels and at a cheap price.
The basic subscription plan features over 40 channels, such as Discovery, HGTV, AMC, History, Nickelodeon and more. The service stopped supporting its $16 monthly plan.
You should know that if a network includes any kind of sport-related content, Philo isn’t going to stream the channels of that network. So, don’t try to find such popular networks as NBC, ABC, Fox and CBS on Philo. Non-sports channels from these companies, for instance, Disney and Bravo, are unavailable as well.
Verdict: FuboTV is the best streaming service for sports that also includes a variety of entertainment channels like MTV, Comedy Central, AMC and more.
The biggest disadvantage of the platform is the absence of ESPN/ABC channels. Nevertheless, FuboTV streams practically each Regional Sports Network and NCAA conference networks.
Not so long ago, the service has expanded the range of its channels and started providing a larger number of bundles. It all led to excellent discounts, suitable for the viewers who felt like upgrading to the DVR cloud of up to 500 hours. The service’s bundle features more than 100 channels and costs $54.99.
It is possible to buy extra bundles for entertainment, sports and premium channels, even bundles with such languages as Portuguese and Latino.
Verdict: Sling TV is a decent platform for flexible viewing of live TV. But I wouldn’t call it the best video streaming service since it isn’t quite user-friendly, especially in comparison with similar platforms, and its price has recently increased. Besides, Sling TV streaming services don’t feature many local channels.
If, for some reason, you want to abandon your cable provider and switch to a live TV streaming service, Sling TV may be exactly what you need. For an affordable price, you gain access to numerous TV channels along with broad programming capabilities. A movie-renting feature is another benefit of this platform.
The service presents two different plans: Sling Blue and Sling Orange. The monthly price of each of them is $30. Blue currently provides 47 channels, while Orange – 32.
Verdict: Crunchyroll is one of the must-have streaming movies services for all the anime, manga and East-Asian cinema enthusiasts out there.
Don’t look for such classics as Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z on the platform. Nevertheless, Crunchyroll enables you to view the majority of 200+ series for free in SD, usually accompanied by an ad of 20 seconds in the beginning.
The service provides access to 900+ anime series, 200+ Asian dramas and 50 manga (Crunchyroll Manga). Mind that some content may be unavailable in certain countries or areas because of the license limitations.
Use the service on a browser, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Google TV and Samsung and Panasonic's line of Smart TVs.
Owned by AT&T, the platform has recently increased the subscription price per month from $6.95 to $7.99.