Netflix and chill- not just for millennials
Ever since the pandemic hit us, we’ve seen a rise in demand for OTT platforms. Digital services were gaining popularity ever so slowly but the pandemic really set the motion for them to take over the world by storm. The expensive cost associated with cable and satellite TV meant that more and more people were looking for cheaper, affordable options for streaming Live Tv, movies and shows.
The three main categories of streaming services are on-demand, live TV and channel-specific. Factors to keep in mind while choosing the best streaming service for yourself are your budget, which exclusive programs you like, how many screens you watch on and more.
We have prepared a handy guide in collaboration with StreamingRant to help you make an informed decision to choose one of the most entertaining streaming platforms.
Top Ten On-Demand Streaming Services:
These are some of the best streaming services from all around the world.
Netflix remains to reign in the streaming services world, with its exclusive content and seamless 4K quality.
- Netflix Basic: Standard definition (SD) streaming, $9 per month.
- Netflix Standard: High definition (HD) streaming on up to two devices at the same time, $14 per month.
- Netflix Premium: 4K HDR streaming with Dolby Atmos on up to four devices at the same time will set you back by $18 per month.
Pros: Wonderful app support, controlled interface for kids, no commercials, extensive library of original content, high video quality.
Cons: Movie selection might be limited compared to other newer services, marginally more expansion than the competition.
Netflix has recently released a collection of original content such as exclusive movies, TV shows, documentaries and comedy specials. To name a few Netflix exclusives, “Bridgerton”, “Stranger things” and “The Witcher” have seen phenomenal success. Keeping this in mind, many competitors have also vyed for the same popularity by also creating original titles in hopes of creating more value for their customers.
The platform is great for families with multiple users, especially children. The interface is easy to use and allows kids to choose their own shows, making it a favourite among families.
The best part about Netflix is its app support, where it’s available on any streaming device in the house, be it a desktop computer, to smartphones, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Smart TV’s and much more.
It offers support for all video and audio formats, including 4K, HDR and Dolby Atmos, though it charges a premium for these additional knick knacks.
Hulu remains to be the preferred choice for affordable streaming of diverse content.
- Hulu Basic: $7 per month, ad-supported on-demand streaming
- Hulu Premium: $13 per month, ad-supported on-demand streaming
- Hulu Basic + Live TV: $65 per month, ad-supported on-demand and live TV streaming
- Hulu Premium + Live TV: $71 per month for ad-free, on-demand and ad-supported live TV streaming
Pros: You can subscribe to channels like HBO, there’s also an option for a combined discount with Disney Plus and ESPN+. The ondemand library has a live TV option as well.
Cons: Basic plan bombards you with commercials, two-device limit which makes sharing difficult.
Hulu also offers upgrade packages that add Live TV channels to your existing Basic or premium plan. Hulu has an impressive TV show library with a wider range of new and classic shows than Netflix or Amazon.
This also includes next-day streaming access to selected broadcast series on networks like ABC, FX and Fox. Hulu has some original shows to also offer such as “The Handmaids Tale”.
Hulu also offers 4K and HDR streaming on selected devices but its offering is quite limited compared to Netflix, Amazon and Disney Plus.
Hulu allows only two devices to stream at a time, which greatly limits users sharing ability but you can remove this limit with HUlu + live TV subscription and get unlimited screens for just $10 add-on. You can also add other channels such as HBO, Showtime and Starz for an extra monthly fee. Along With that, you can also get almost 30% discount on the monthly price for Hulu, disney plus and ESPN bundled together.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video has also been giving its competitors a run for their money by offering customers movie rentals options and much more at a nominal fee.
- Amazon Prime with Prime Video: $119 a year or $13 a month as part of an Amazon Prime membership
- Prime Video (Standalone): $9 a month for Prime Video on its own
Pros: Included with Amazon Prime, offers extra movie rental and purchase options, plethora of International titles, 4k HDR support included in basic plan as well as streaming channels.
Cons: Vague and limited Prime Video Library as compared to competitors.
Prime Video is a mix of movies and shows that are practically free with memberships such as “The Boys” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. The most notable feature of the service which sets it apart from others is that you can buy or rent any film available on home video for your personal collection and watch it on the Prime Video app at any given time.
Since 2013, Prime Video has launched many award-winning original shows as well as imported many series from BBC as well as Hindi Language films from India. You will get 4k streaming support for HDR10 + playback on select titles without any extra charge, unlike Netflix.
Prime Video is a part of the Prime Membership and you can subscribe to the service on its own for $9 a month if you want. Additionally, you can also sign up for add-on channels to other services such as Showtime, AMC Plus and even Paramount Plus.
Disney Plus remains the top streaming choice amongst kids and families alike.
Disney Plus: Either $8 a month or $80 for the year.
Bundle offer: Disney Plus with ESPN + and Hulu, $14 per month.
Pros: Classic movies and shows, 4K HDR, Marvel and “Star Wars” titles.
Cons: Library of original content is limited compared to competition, lack of mature content.
Disney Plus has emerged as the fastest growing streaming service in the industry. The platform happens to be the sole subscription streaming home of Disney’s classic animated films as well as movies like “Star Wars” and “The Simpsons”.
Users are drawn to its immersive catalog of Disney, “Star Wars”. “Marvel” and “Pixar” movies and shows. The platform is designed to be family-oriented so Disney exclusive shoes like “The Mandalorian” and “Loki” are rated for teen viewers. There is no R-rated content making it easier for families to allow their children to browse the platforms and watch their favorite movies and TV shows.
At just $8 per month, Disney Plus offers the best combination of titles, streaming qualities and value, that too without intrusive commercials. You can bundle Disney Plus with Hulu and ESPN+ for $14 a month. In this manner, you save about $8 a month compared to signing up for each service separately.
HBO Max has slowly gained popularity and is a tough contender to competitors, by providing viewers a chance to watch the latest titles as well a chance to revisit old favourites, all from within the comfort of their homes.
- HBO Max (Ad Free): $15 a month for ad-free access to full HBO Max library
- HBO Max (Ad- supported): $10 a month for ad-supported access to HBO Max library with the exception of Warner Bros in-theater releases.
Pros: Day-and-date streaming for Warner Bros. theatrical releases, prestige shows and films, Sesame Street.
Cons: Expensive than competities, fewer 4K titles.
HBO Max has an extensive library of critically acclaimed shows and movies from its own cable networks with new originals, additional Warner Media films, classic shows like “Friends” and collections from channels like Adult Swim, TCM, DC Universe and Crunchyroll, an anime streaming service.
HBO Max takes pride in having some of the best movies recently released on home video. HBO Max remains to be the best way to catch up on past hits such as “The Wire” and “Game of Thrones”
The best part is HBO Max’s family offerings, where new episodes of “Sesame Street” are added regularly.
Additionally, you get to view exclusive content the day a movie premiers in theaters. Viewers were enthralled to view “Wonder Woman 1984” in this manner with many more such as “The Matrix 4” which is also scheduled to be released this way.
The only drawback of HBO Max is its technological issues. Currently HBO Max doesn’t offer 4k or HDR support yet, thus limiting the quality of movies and shows.
Paramount Plus takes you down memory lane, revisiting classic cable Tv shows.
- Paramount Plus (Essential): $5 a month or %50 a year for ad-supported streaming. Paramount
- Plus (Premium): $10 a month or $100 per year for commercial-free streaming and live CBS.
Pros: Massive library of classic TV shows, live CBS with Premium plan, new release 45 days after theater release.
Cons: Less exclusive content than competition
Paramount Plus is a daily new on-demand streaming service from Viacom CBS, having replaced CBS All Access. Viewers have access to live CBS channels (only in the Premium Plan) along with a large collection of TV shows and movies.
Paramount plus also gives viewers a peek into exclusive content such as the reboot of “iCarly” and many “Star Trek” shows.
Provides users with free streaming options that can be upgraded to the Premium package.
- Peacock: Free for ad-supported streaming access to a limited library of content
- Peacock Premium: $5 a month for ad-supported streaming access to the full Peacock library
- Peacock Premium Plus: $10 a month for ad-free access to the full Peacock library
Pros: Absolutely free to watch shows and movies, live news and sporting events.
Cons: The Premium plan doesn’t offer many exclusives, movie library lacks newer releases, no 4K or HDR support
Peacock is a free streaming service which has a plethora of famous titles on its platform such as “30 Rock”, “Cheers” and “The Office” as well as some new titles as well. The basic plan is free but has a limited library and is ad-supported. For absolute ad-free access, you will need to pay $10 a month for the Peacock Premium Plus plan.
News is that in the year 2022, the service will be streaming brand-new Universal movies content within just four months of their theatrical release.
Peacock also has some live news and sports broadcasts as well. The platform has also previously streamed highlights from the 2021 Olympics as well as some exclusive content off the WWE Network.
Peacock does not stream in 4K which really doesn’t bother users as the platform primarily has more television and older films.
Apple TV Plus
Best for extended free trials, at just $5 a month, Apple TV Plus is one of the lowest priced, ad-free streaming services available with high-end features like 4K resolution, HDR and mobile downloads providing both value and quality for its customers.
● Apple TV Plus: $5 a month or $50 a year for ad-free streaming
● Apple One: $15 a month for Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, 50GB of iCloud, and Apple Arcade.
Pros: Economical price, exclusive shows, movie rental and purchase option, 4K HDR support along with the provision to add streaming channels too.
Cons: Small lineup of movies and shows compared to other services.
Apple TV plus happens to be the choice for people looking for an affordable streaming service. For just $5 a month, you get ad-free access to an ample collection of movies and shows.
Though the price is attractive, the Apple TV Plus library is relatively smaller when compared to other platforms such as Netflix, Disney Plus and Hulu. The main drawback is a lack of movies and shows from other networks and studios.
If you are an Apple user, you should consider the Apple One bundle. The package includes Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for just $15 a month.
Best Live TV Streaming Services
There are many Live TV streaming services available to choose from. You can most certainly save a considerable amount of money with these services but to choose the right package for yourself will require you to determine which TV stations are absolutely essential for you to have.
Here’s a rundown of the leading live TV services available now:
Two Packages – Sling Blue and Sling Orange, $35 a month each or $50 a month bundled together.
- Sling Blue: Streaming on up to three devices (MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and the NFL Network)
- Sling Orange: Disney channel and ESPN family of channels, only one streaming device allowed at a time.
Hulu + Live TV
- Plan costs $65 a month, access to around 75 channels.
- Upgrade to stream on more than two devices at a time.
- Extra cost for more than 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage.
- Includes Hulu’s on-demand service.
- Base Bundle has: all major local networks, the ESPN family of channels, Fox and NBC Sports channels, and SEC Network.
- No access to the NFL Network, NBA TV, and the MLB Network.
- Priced at $65 a month
- Over 100 channels
- 250 hours of cloud DVR space
- Allows streaming on up to three devices.
- Extra charge for sports channels like the SEC Network, NBA TV, and the MLB Network.
- No additional cost for local channels
- YouTube TV costs $65 a month
- More than 85 channels
- Unlimited cloud DVR storage and allows streaming on up to three devices at once.
- YouTube TV includes ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, the NFL Network, NBA TV, and the MLB Network.
- Currently also offers PBS alongside local affiliate networks from CBS, Fox, ABC, and NBC.
- DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) – Starts at $70 a month for a no-contract plan.
- Because DirecTV Stream comes from AT&T, which is HBO Max’s parent company, most of the packages also include an HBO Max subscription, which would cost $15 a month separately.
- Philo TV – $25 a month for 60+ channels.
- No access to local affiliate networks
- The service doesn’t offer many upgrade options for watching sports or cable news.
- Offers popular channels like Comedy Central, MTV, and AMC.
Best Streaming (Channel Specific)
Some streaming services also serve as an online portal to access a specific channel. These channel specific platforms also occasionally include exclusive content, unavailable elsewhere.
Here we’ve listed down some of the best streaming channel services you can subscribe to now:
- Offers a lineup of acclaimed original shows and blockbuster movies from the premium cable channel.
- You can stream Showtime directly from the official website or app for $11 a month, or sign up through Prime Video or Hulu.
- offers on-demand streaming of its original shows and a rotating catalog of movies.
- It’s the exclusive premium network home for Sony films like “Spider-Man” and “Jumanji.”
- It costs $9 a month, though new subscribers can get their first three months for $3 a month.
- Offers exclusive live broadcasts of sporting events such as exclusive access to niche coverage of sports like UFC and “League of Legends.”
- The service costs $7 a month, and you can bundle it with Disney Plus and Hulu for $14 a month.
Streaming services are here to stay, evidently from the phenomenal increase in number of subscribers particularly during the pandemic. The question remains if it will replace cable and satellite television service once and for all, something we’re all curious to know since each has their pros and cons.