There’s no denying the success of streaming services, and the industry has caught on. Even many of those who are still paying for cable are subscribing to at least oneto supplement their content options. Each service has unique features, content, and benefits to offer. These are my top ten choices for those who want to add to their viewing options or finally cut the cord completely.
For avid TV watchers, Hulu is at the top of the list. The service offers hundreds of TV shows, including those that are currently airing, past seasons to catch up on, and classic series. It’s also the only place you’ll be able to find Hulu Originals like The Handmaid’s Tale, The Path, and Difficult People. Now, with Hulu Live, a monthly subscription can replace the benefits of cable at a much lower price.
While Hulu has more television content to offer, Netflix is the go to service for streaming movies. With a large and regularly updated content library of both older movies and new releases, Netflix has plenty of options for every subscriber. Netflix originals like Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things, and Jessica Jones make the monthly subscription well worth it, and a well organized list of genres and unique categories make it easy to find something to suit your mood.
3. DIRECTV NOW
The DIRECTV NOW service, unsurprisingly, most closely resembles a traditional cable subscription. DIRECTV NOW offers four plans, allowing you to choose the package that offers exactly what you’re looking for. Depending on your location, you may have access to local live channels and regional sports as well.
Those with an Apple TV, iPhone, or other Apple products are probably already using iTunes to store and stream music. The service is also a great way to build a movie collection. After purchasing content on one device, your library will be available on all devices with the iTunes app, so you can watch your content anywhere, at any time.
5. Amazon Video
Another favorite for building an online movie library is Amazon Video. The service is available for those with an Amazon Prime subscription. Use it to purchase videos and watch through the app, download to your device to watch later, or cast directly to your TV screen. Amazon also has the option to rent videos, including new releases.
6. HBO Now
Premium channel packages with cable subscriptions are expensive. Picking and choosing the individual premium channels you want to watch makes it much more affordable to see your favorite content. Major premium channels can be accessed through standalone apps or as add ons with other services, like Hulu and Amazon. The HBO Now app gives you everything you’d want from HBO and lets you choose what you want to watch, whenever you want to watch it. Look for past and current HBO favorites like Game of Thrones, Girls, and Big Little Lies.
Like HBO Now, Showtime is worth the relatively low monthly cost for those who have favorite Showtime shows. Look for shows like Shameless, Dexter, Homeland, and Twin Peaks. Showtime also has a great selection of older and new movies available to stream. Use the standalone service, or get Showtime as an add on with services like Hulu and Amazon.
8. PlayStation Vue
For those who want to cut the cord, but still want access to all of their favorite channels, PlayStation Vue is one of the better options available. With four package options available, you’ll have more control over the content you’re getting. However, the highest priced packages get dangerously close to being on the same level as a cable contract. The upside is that you won’t be tied down to an annual contract and can cancel your account at any time.
9. Sling TV
Sling TV and still has some issues to work out. However, Sling is one of the more reliable options for those who want to watch live sports after cutting the cord. Depending on whether you choose the Orange or Blue package, or a bundle with both, you can catch many live, local games.
YouTube has changed dramatically within the last few years. The service has given a platform to anyone with a camera and an internet connection. However, as the company has grown and content creators have benefitted from the large audience, many channels have improved their production quality and developed great content. YouTube Red takes away ads and gives access to YouTube sponsored shows and movies. The YouTube app is available on nearly every device and makes it easy to cast content from mobile devices to your TV.
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