June 24th, 2016
The golden age of television offers you unlimited high quality programming through hundreds of channels. Now, you can also enjoy all that television has to offer on your own terms. You don’t have to worry about missing a show because you missed its airing, or have to choose between two shows that air at the same time. Streaming services allow you to enjoy your favorite programs when you want, and how you want. You can now sit back and relax, as you will never miss any of your favorite shows. We bring to you the best video streaming services this year.
Netflix has been in the market for such a long time that almost everyone has heard of it, whether they have used it or not. It has been a consistent performer and has survived the test of time with flying colors. It is still the best and there are more than 80 million subscribers of Netflix globally. The service offers a huge collection of TV shows, documentaries, movies, and what not. Netflix is the best place to find entire seasons of shows. You can binge watch all the seasons of the shows to your heart’s content. Once you are done with the old shows, you can even enjoy highly acclaimed original shows from Netflix itself.
Netflix has raised the price for its standard subscription for new users from $8.99 to $9.99 per month. With $7.99, you can still enjoy Netflix on standard definition on one device, whereas with $9.99, you can enjoy Netflix streaming on two different devices in HD. With $11.99 per month plan, Netflix can be streamed on up to four devices and enjoy higher resolution content up to ultra-HD whenever available.
From PC and tablets to the gaming consoles, Chromecast, Android, iOS and web, Netflix is compatible with most of the internet connected devices.
- In addition to the excellent selection of content from major networks, Netflix has got its own share of critically acclaimed original shows like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Arrested Development and Hemlock Grove.
- Up to five different profiles can be set up on a single account, which ensures that you don’t mess up the recommendations from your loved ones.
- There is a standardized user interface offering a similar experience on all the platforms.
- Ability to set up parental controls for kids.
- No offline viewing is allowed.
- If you are looking for latest movies, then Netflix is not suitable for you.
- Titles come and go frequently without prior warning.
It is a new streaming service from Sony, which brings live cable entertainment to streaming world. You can select any of the three packages with Vue to suit your requirements. Playstation Vue offers you an experience that is very close to cable television. You can avail a week’s free trial from PlayStation Vue to check out its services. The basic package itself starts at $49.99 per month, which makes Vue the costliest streaming service in the industry. You will get access to 50+ sports, movie, and LIVE channels with the basic package. Then there is a Core package at $54.99 per month, which offers 60+ channels, including local sports channels. There is also an Elite package priced at $64.99 per month, which gives you access to 85+ channels, including Epix Hits and Machinima. Vue is presently available only on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick and iOS.
- There is a whole range of channels available to you.
- No contract is required for the subscription.
- Playstation Vue comes with strong DVR capabilities which mean you can record and watch the programs whenever you want.
- It is a comparatively a newer service. At present, it is available only in select cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco Bay Area.
- It is certainly pricier than others in the market.
Amazon Prime Instant Video
Amazon Instant Video is the streaming service under Amazon Prime and offers unlimited streaming of television series and movies. It also allows a la carte rental, wherein users can rent only the content that they wish to watch. Amazon Prime Instant Video is available for $99 annually or $10.99 per month plan. You can also experience the Amazon’s free trial for 30 days. In addition to streaming television shows and movies, a subscription to the streaming service grants you access to other goodies from Amazon like Amazon Photos, Music, and Kindle Lending Library. Amazon Instant Prime Video is available on gaming consoles, smartphones, set-top boxes and many televisions.
- There are more than 40,000 free titles to stream.
- You can download content on Amazon, so that you can enjoy them later when you don’t have access to the internet.
- Amazon’s offering of Original TV shows is growing in quality with each passing day.
- Amazon features movies in high definition. Most of the content is presented in 1080p and 5.1 Dolby digital audio.
- It is in talks with Lionsgate, Warner Bros, Discovery, 20th Century Fox, and others to offer 4K Ultra HD content.
- Music streaming and Kindle Lending services suffer from content deficiencies. Spotify and Apple Music has over 20 million songs, whereas Amazon’s music streaming services has only over 1 million songs.
- Amazon’s Kindle library is made up of around 800,000 books which are either by unknown authors or are books in public domains. This leaves the avid readers disappointed.
If Netflix and Amazon Instant Video are not your thing, then there is a good chance that Hulu satisfies all your entertainment needs. Although there are very few titles that can be watched for free, the size of content available with the premium version is immense. At just $7.99 per month, you can enjoy a huge number of TV shows, a lot of which are not available on other services. Hulu Plus is available on a number of devices like Xbox One, PS4, Chromecast, Wii, Wii U, iOS, Android, Windows phone, Nook, set-top boxes, television sets, and many more.
- Unlike Netflix and Amazon, who update latest television shows a month or even year after their airing on television, Hulu Plus updates latest episodes usually within a day after it is aired on television.
- Hulu Plus offers its original content too. You can watch it on your computer, mobile devices as well as television.
- Hulu saved previously dead broadcast shows like The Mindy Project and gave a treat to its audiences.
- The worst part with Hulu is that it comes with too many advertisements. Even if you are opting for an advertisement free package with $11.99, you still have to bear the ads.
- In comparison to the TV shows library, the movie library on Hulu is tiny. Yet, it is large enough to satisfy many people, who watch movies occasionally.
- The content on Hulu is available only in 720p HD and that also depends on your internet connection and hardware.
As the name suggests, Cloudload is a service based on the cloud, which enables you to save television programming of your choice without actually downloading it. You can then watch it later when you want to. You can also save a movie on your mobile phone and then watch it on television later on. The service starts at $4.98 per month with 10 GB storage.
- You can save content on your smart device without downloading it, and then enjoy it on another device.
- It is quite affordable in comparison to its competitors.
- Since it is a new service, it is yet to be tested for performance.
- Cloudload’s streaming depends on peer-to-peer sharing platforms.
Sling TV offers a great deal for sports lovers. Unlike most other streaming services, Sling TV actually offers live sports to its users. This is made possible by the live cable programming on Sling TV. Sling TV brings the complete cable experience to you, including sports channels. With its basic package of $20 per month, you can enjoy channels like AMC, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, and Disney channels among others. There are many other channels that sweeten the deal further. You can visit Sling TV on its website from PCs, including MacBook. In addition, it can also be availed on Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, select Samsung/LG smart TVs, Roku players and TV models.
- It provides 20+ LIVE channels and you can also purchase add-ons like sports packages, Kids’ programming, and so on.
- It comes with a free 7 day trial, which allows you to experience most of the content before making any investment.
- Subscription to Sling TV does not require any contract or hardware installation.
- There is also a sizeable library of on-demand content.
- Sling TV can be streamed on only one device at a time. For multiple device streams, you should buy higher packages.
- There is only limited on-demand content and there is none for ESPN.
- More expensive in comparison to others in the market.