Streaming is now the best way to watch your favorite shows. You can stream content from your phone, tablet or computer, but if you want to watch on a big screen and use a remote control, there are some things you need to know before signing up for any streaming service.
This blog post will cover among other things, available streaming services, how they work and what to look for in a good streaming service. By the end of the article, you will have a good idea of which streaming service is best for your household.
There are over 200 streaming services available in the USA which makes it unreasonable to list them all in this blog post.
Some of the most popular streaming services include Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV and Philo. But streaming services also includes networks like CBS, CNN, Discovery, ESPN, Fox and NBC.
How do Streaming Services Work
Streaming services work by using the internet to access shows or movies hosted on specific streaming websites. To stream TV shows or movies, you need a device capable of streaming, an account on a streaming service, and a suitable internet connection.
Streaming high-quality shows or movies requires a broadband speed of at least 5 Mbps per user. If you have 3 people in your household who need to stream movies at the same time, you should have an internet connection of at least 15 Mbps.
What to Consider When Choosing a Streaming Service
- Price: If you’re looking for the cheapest live tv streaming option, Philo is your best choice at $25 per month with no contract required. However, if live TV isn’t important to you, then the Basic plan on Netflix for $6.99/month may be a better option for you.
- Content: When choosing a streaming service, it’s important to consider what kind of programming they offer–and whether or not programming aligns with your interests. For example: Netflix has an enormous library of movies and TV shows; Hulu offers access to current seasons of popular shows; Amazon Prime Video offers original content like The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and YouTube TV or Fubo TV has sports.
- Streaming Quality: Most services offer HD video quality at 720p resolution (1280×720 pixels) with many offering 1080p resolution (1920×1080 pixels) or 4K Ultra High Definition resolution.
Popular Streaming Services
Netflix is the most popular streaming service in the United States. It has over 230 million subscribers worldwide, many of whom want to watch original content such as Stranger Things and Black Mirror. Netflix also offers a large library of movies, documentaries, stand-up comedy specials, kids’ programming and TV series from other networks (such as The Office).
You can watch Netflix on your phone or tablet through the app; on your computer via the website; or on your TV using an HDMI cable connection with an Apple TV device (or other similar devices) connected to it.
Netflix’s price plans start at $6.99 per month for one screen with 720p resolution. If you are willing to pay more, you can opt for the Premium plan for $19.99 per month for six simultaneous screens in 4k resolution.
Comparing Netflix and Hulu
Netflix and Hulu are the two most popular streaming services, but they’re different.
In terms of price, Netflix costs $6.99 per month for their least expensive plan, while Hulu costs $7.99 per month for their cheapest.
Both services have a ton of shows available to watch on demand, but Netflix has a larger library of on-demand content, including anime and foreign films.
Comparing Amazon Prime Video and Disney+
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video costs $8.99 per month as a standalone service. With this subscription, you get access to over 25,000 movies, TV shows, Amazon originals and live sports programming like NFL football.
If you have an Amazon Prime membership, Amazon Prime Video is included. An Amazon Prime membership costs $14.99 per month or $139 per individual. Other benefits of an Amazon Prime membership include free one-day delivery and same-day delivery on some orders.
Disney+ Basic is $7.99 per month. This plan includes the full catalog of Disney+ content from original series to movies from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic. However, on this plan, you won’t have access to Premium features like GroupWatch or Dolby Atmos.
Subscribers can expect four minutes of ads per hour with 15- to 30-second commercial breaks.
Disney+ Basic allows you to watch on four screens at once at no extra cost.
Other factors to consider besides price are streaming quality and device compatibility.
Both services offer 4K HDR streaming on compatible devices like Apple TV 4K or Roku Ultra (or any other device that supports Dolby Vision), and Dolby Atmos surround sound. Atmos surround sound is becoming increasingly important as more people adopt 4K TVs over HD because of improved picture quality.
Comparing Apple TV+ and Other Services
Apple TV+ is a subscription-based streaming service available on multiple platforms.
Apple TV+ is $6.99/month and has original films, series, documentaries, and kids’ entertainment. Some of the most popular shows right now include Ted Lasso, Foundation and The Morning Show. It’s library of content is not as extensive as Netflix or Hulu.
Apple TV+ offers high-quality streaming for its original content, including 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos sound. In many instances, Apple TV+ offers the highest quality 4K streaming when compared to it’s competitors.
How to Find the Best Streaming Service for You
When it comes to finding the best streaming service for you, consider your options. If price is an important factor, you might be interested in the least expensive streaming services. Or perhaps your streaming service of choice is based heavily on content. Do you want all the latest movies and TV shows? Or is sports and news more important to you?
Other factors to consider in your selection process include user interface, and device compatibility.
There are many streaming TV options and they all come with their pros and cons. Do your best to compare and contrast them by looking at their channel packages, features, DVR capabilities, price and more.
Take advantage of free trials and limited-time offers to test out different services before committing to a subscription. A good benefit to streaming is there are no contracts and obligations, so if a service doesn’t fit your needs, you can cancel at any time.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
What streaming service do you use? Are you happy with it and would you recommend it? Do you use more than one streaming service to fulfil your viewing needs? Let us know in the comments below in order to help others who may be new to streaming.
Read Battle of the Streaming Giants; YouTube TV vs Hule with Live TV vs Sling TV vs Fubo here.
Read FOX Nation: A Deep Dive into the Streaming Service, here.
Read What is Peacock TV?, here.
Read Which is Better Neflix or Hulu? here.