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Streaming Options for Your Favorite TV Shows and Movies

When TV first came out you had some pretty limited viewing options, then cable came along and those viewing options expanded. Satellite gave us even more viewing options. Now we also have the Internet, and thanks to the Internet we have streaming.

Now we have too many choices. I’ll leave it up to you to decide cable or satellite, but I will help you decide between streaming options and maybe introduce you to a few you didn’t know existed.

We are listing them in Alphabetical order, because nothing else really made sense. Happy viewing.



Acorn TV

Price: $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

Free Trial: 7 days

Offerings: TV, Movies

Available on: Roku, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, iPhone, iPad, web

Their Pitch – Acorn TV is a subscription streaming service that offers world-class mysteries, dramas, comedies, and documentaries from Britain and beyond. You can binge-watch classic series like Poldark, Foyle’s War, Midsomer Murders, and  Agatha Christie’s Poirot or  discover a new favorite among our 80 exclusive programs, including  A Place  to Call Home,  Blandings,  The Brokenwood Mysteries, and  Jack  Irish. With thousands of hours of commercial-free programming and new shows added weekly, there’s always something to watch!

Our Take: If you really like British shows then this is the service for you. They have a layout similar to Netflix and seem to keep a steady rotation of new shows.



Amazon Prime Video

Price: $99 per year or $10.99 per month, with free shipping. A video-only subscription costs $8.99.
Free Trial: 30 Day for Prime.

Offerings: TV, Movies, Original Content

Available on: Echo Show, Web, Game Consoles, TVs and Blu-ray Players, Set-top boxes, Streaming Media Players,

Their Pitch: Amazon’s video streaming service lets you watch thousands of movies and TV shows, wherever and whenever you want. With Prime, enjoy access to a huge library of movies and TV shows at no additional cost, including award-winning Amazon Originals like Manchester by the Sea, The Man in the High Castle, The Grand Tour, and Mozart in the Jungle.

Our Take: They have a lot of videos, TV shows, and movies you can’t get anywhere else. The bonus for Amazon Prime is that you get free two-day shipping from Amazon and music streaming for the entire year.



Apple TV

Price: Varies according to what you want to watch

Free Trial: If they have one I haven’t found it.

Offerings: TV, Movies, Original Content

Available: iOS devices and Apple TV players

Offerings: TV, Movies, Original Content

Their Pitch: The Apple TV app lets you browse content from over 60 video services without switching from one app to the next. You’ll find movies, shows, and handpicked recommendations. The Apple TV app is already on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV and works seamlessly across them all. So if you stop watching in one place, you can start again later on a different device.

Our Take: Unless you are an Apple fan and already have the equipment, it’s just not worth it as your account isn’t good on non-Apple devices. However, that are several decent free channels.



Cinema Now / Filmon

Price: Free

Free Trial: Always

Offerings: a huge variety of everything, nothing mainstream

Available: iOS, Android, Blackberry 10, Mac, Windows, Roku, Xbox, Facebook, Apple TV, LGTV, FilmOn TV

Their Pitch: They don’t have one

Our Take: CinemaNow used to be a separate high quality streaming service, but after several starts, stops and takeovers they are now part of Filmon. They are not exactly your typical streaming service, but they have a little bit of everything. None of your mainstream TV shows, but a lot of classic films, small time shows, kids, educations, International and sports. Their TV guide is pretty good for each channel too. If you are looking to step away from mainstream, this is where to go.



CBS All Access

Price: Limited Commercials Annual Plan: $59.99 or Commercial Free Annual Plan: $99.99

Free Trial: 1 week with Limited Commercials Annual Plan or 2 week with Commercial Free Annual Plan

Offerings: TV, Sports

Available On: Apple TV, Android, Google Chromecast, Fire TV, iPad, iPhone, PS4, Roku, Windows 10, X-Box

***Please note: Annual plans are not available on iOS, Android, or Amazon apps or via third-party billing. Also, new gift card subscribers cannot purchase annual plans upon sign up. 

Their Pitch: Ready. Set. Binge! We’ve made it easier than ever to access the shows you love from America’s #1 network – live and on demand! Catch up on fan favorites like NCIS, The Young and the Restless and Madam Secretary, stream exciting new comedies & dramas or discover something you’ve never seen before!

Our Take: They provide you with access to all current CBS shows, including local NFL broadcasts. They have a large catalog of past shows for your viewing pleasure. You also get a nice selection of original programming such as the new Star Trek: Discovery. They have no monthly sign-up, it is a year or nothing.



ConTV

Price: $4.99/month

Free Trial: You can get free trials in the Comic Con Box, not sure where else.

Offerings: TV series, movies and exclusive comic convention coverage

Available: iOS, Roku, Android, web

Their Pitch: CONtv is THE digital destination for Comic Con fans! Devoted to all the weird, hilarious and terrifying content celebrated at the Cons, CONtv is a place to celebrate community, discover new movies and TV series, and revel in being a fan. We’ve got thousands of hours of programming on the service so if horror is your thing, you’re covered. Sci-fi? Tons of it… do you want classic or modern? Anime? Martial Arts? Cult Films? Check, check, annnnnnd check! Post-modern independent decopunk? Now you’re just trying to mess with us. But guess what? WE’VE GOT THAT TOO! We’re betting you’re going to find something cool to watch on CONtv, no matter what you’re in to.

Our Take: ConTV has a lot of original programming, like the series Con Man starring Alan Tudyk, and Jason David Frank’s My Morphin’ Life. You can also expect some great anime, older action films, geek culture-related flicks and more. Plus, ConTV offers exclusive video of interviews and panels from some of the biggest comic conventions of the year!



Crackle

Price: Free

Free Trial: Always

Offerings: TV, Movies, Original Content

Available: Roku 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Web, Apple TV, iOS devices, web

Their Pitch: Crackle has your favorite movies, hit TV series and can’t-miss originals you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re a comedy, action or drama addict, with fresh daily programming there’s always something new to stream.

Our Take: You can’t go wrong with free. Owned by Sony, they have an extensive collection of slightly older TV shows and movies. You are certain to find some old favorites and maybe some new.



Curiosity Stream

Price: $2.99/month for the basic plan (standard def), $5.99/month for standard plan ( HD), $11.99/month for premium plan (HD, ultra HD and 4K)

Free Trial: 7 day

Offerings: A wide variety of science and nature programs in movie and series formats.

Available: Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android, iOS, Xbox One

Their Pitch: Stream 1,500+ science, history, tech & nature documentaries without commercial interruptions, anytime & anywhere.

Our Take: This is true reality television and if you want an education, it’s a great place to start.



The CW App

Price: Free

Free Trial: Always

Offerings: TV

Available: Roku, Chromecast, AirPlay, Apple TV, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, iPad, iPhone, Android, Amazon Fire, Windows

Their Pitch: Now Available Everywhere. No login. No subscription. Just FREE.

Our Take: Everything you love about the CW and it is FREE!



DirecTV Now

Price: $35 per month (though there are various deals at different times)

Free Trial: 7 days

Offerings: TV, Movies, Original Content, Sports

Available On: Apple TV, Google ChromeCast, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS, Android, Web

Their Pitch: IT’S ON.Sign up & stream 120+ live channels and 25,000 on demand titles.TV LIVE. Catch every moment of breaking news, sports and other live events. TV ON YOUR TIME. Choose from 25,000 on-demand movies and shows. Ready when you are. TV GOTTA-HAVES.
Pick premium channels you can’t live without like HBO®, CINEMAX®, SHOWTIME®, or STARZ® from $5/month!TV UNBOUND.
Stream live, anywhere. On any screen.

Our Take: It’s DirectTV without the dish and does give you access to a lot of local programming.



Fandango Now

Price: Varies whether you want to rent or own the movie. You can also get whole series

Free Trail: No

Offerings: TV, Movies

Available: Roku, web, LGT, Vizio, Xbox One, Android TV, HiSense, Samsung, Chromecast, Google Play, iTunes
Their Pitch: From the Big Screen to your TV. Buy or rent as you go. Over 50,000 movies + TV shows. No Subscription needed

Our Take: If you just want to buy or rent random movies and tv shows, then this is ideal because everything is a la carte.



fuboTV Premier

Price: $19.99 per month for 1st two months, then $34.99/mo after

Free Trial: 7 day

Offerings: TV, Movies, Sports

Available On: Desktop, iPhone, iPad, Android Phone & Tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV (Gen 4).

Their Pitch: A REAL SPORTS PACKAGE FOR REAL SPORTS FANS.Stream 65+ live channels for $19.99/mo. fuboTV has DVR capability and content is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Our Take: If you are a true sports fan, but dont want to pay a fortune all of the different sport packages, then you might want to take a look at this.



Google Play

Price: Varies whether you want to rent or own the movie. You can also get whole series

Available: Android, Apple, Web, Chromecast, Roku, Smart TV, Apple TV

Offerings: TV, Movies

Their Pitch: They don’t have one

Our Take: Not a bad option to get a movie or TV series that you want to own or watch on the go. They have all the latest, plus a lot of favorites.



HBO Now

Price: $14.99 per month (Price may vary depending on your subscriber)

Free Trial: 30 days (typical with most subscribers)

Offerings: HBO TV, Movies

Available: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Microsoft Xbox, Roku, Samsung TVs, and PlayStation Vue.

Their Pitch: New movies every week plus talk shows, docs and more. Commercial free. Watch Original movies, hit movies and more, no cable needed. Watch on  your favorite screen.

Our Take: Subscribing for this is a little different as you need to go through a third party to get the app, or program and subscribe.  If you already have cable and HBO, this is not for you. This is for people who want HBO without paying for cable. 



Hulu

Price: $5.99/ month for 1 year, $7.99/month after $8 per month with ads or $11.99 per month without ads.

Free Trial: 30 days

Offerings: TV, Movies, Original Content

Available: Android devices, Apple TV (4th gen or later), Chromecast, Fire Tablets, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, iPhones and iPads, Roku and Roku Stick (Select models), Xbox 360, Xbox One

Their Pitch: Watch full seasons of exclusive series, current episodes, classic favorites, Hulu Originals, hit movies, kids shows, and tons more with minimal or no commercial interruptions.

Our Take: Not much different that many of the other offerings out there, except you get commercials. 



Hulu with Live TV

Price: $39.99 per month.

Free Trial: 7 days

Offerings: TV, Movies, Original Content

Available: Android devices, Apple TV (4th gen or later), Chromecast, Fire Tablets, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, iPhones and iPads, Roku and Roku Stick (Select models), Xbox 360, Xbox One

Their Pitch: Watch Live TV online and on iOS, Android, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV (4th gen), Chromecast, and Xbox. Get unlimited access to the Hulu streaming library (Limited Commercials plan) with full seasons of exclusive series, hit movies, Hulu Originals, kids shows, and more. Stream 50+ top Live and On Demand TV channels including sports, news, and entertainment

Our Take: Gives you access to some major broadcast channels, but only in a few locations, so check before you subscribe. It also gives you some good cable channels without the cable prices such as A&E, Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney, Fox News, FX, TBS, TNT, CBS Sports, ESPN, and Fox Sports. CW is rumored to join them soon.



iTunes

Price: no subscription costs, you can rent or purchase moves at varying costs.

Free Trial: Didn’t see one

Available: iOS devices

Offerings: TV, Movies

Their Pitch: All your movies and TV shows are just a tap away. Whatever you feel like watching — a Hollywood blockbuster, a hit TV series, or a documentary — iTunes keeps your entire collection of movies and TV shows organized and ready to play. So you can easily browse your library for something great to watch. Or find something entirely new on the iTunes Store.

Our Take: Limited on your devices and no TV shows, but if you are already an Apple fan and owner, then it isn’t that bad of a deal.



Netflix

Price: $7.99/month for the basic plan (1 screen standard def), $9.99/month for standard plan (2 screens, HD), $11.99/month for premium plan(4 screens, HD and ultra HD)

Free Trial: 30 days

Offerings: TV, Movies, Original Content

Available: Netflix streaming software allows you to instantly watch content from Netflix through any Internet-connected device that offers the Netflix app, including smart TVs, game consoles, streaming media players, smartphones, or tablets.

Their Pitch: Netflix is a streaming service that allows our customers to watch a wide variety of award-winning TV shows, movies, documentaries and more on thousands of Internet-connected devices. With Netflix, you can enjoy unlimited viewing of our content without having to watch a single commercial. There’s always something new to discover, and more TV shows and movies are added every month!

Our Take: They are continuously updating their library of movies and TV shows, old and new. Their original content has been outstanding. They have had the most stable platform for years and they don’t make you watch commercials.



PlayStation Vue

Price: $39.99/ month for Access (popular live TV),  $44.99 for Core (popular live TV and sports), $54.99 for Elite (popular live TV, sports and movies), $74.99 for Ultra (popular live TV, sports, movies and premium channels)

Free Trial: 7 day

Offerings: TV, Movies, Sports

Available: Apple TV, Android TV, Google Chromecast, iOS devices, Android, Roku, Amazon Fire TV

Their Pitch: THE RULES OF TV HAVE CHANGED PlayStation™Vue is a live streaming TV service with sports, news, and your favorite must-watch shows. Experience premium channels, a powerful cloud DVR (available in your home and on the go),* streaming on up to five devices at once,* and no annual contracts.

Our Take: A great cable alternative where you can pick and chose what stations you want. You can add the premium stations to your chosen package for a monthly fee or you can simply pick one premium station to subscribe to.



Shout Factory TV

Price: Free

Free Trial: Always Free

Offerings: Cult Favorite TV shows, movies and original content

Available: Roku, Amazon Fire, Web, Samsung TV

Their Pitch: SHOUT! FACTORY TV is a premiere digital entertainment streaming service that brings timeless and contemporary cult favorites to pop culture fans. With a uniquely curated entertainment library, the channel offers an unrivaled blend of cult TV shows, movies, comedy, original specials and more – presenting an exciting entertainment alternative to major streaming services.  SHOUT! FACTORY TV is a free-to-the viewer, ad-supported video offering containing full-length television shows, movies, specials, and original content viewable through desktop computers, mobile, tablet, and “over-the-top” devices.

Our Take: Free is always good and this is one of the best sites to go to for some great older pop culture references. See a ton of your favorites and maybe find some new.



Showtime

Price: Price starts at $8/month when you add it to an existing streaming account and goes up to $10.99/month when bought on it’s own

Free Trial: 7 days

Offerings: Showtime TV, Movies

Available: Amazon, Android, Apple, DirectTV Now, Hulu, Roku, Sling, Smart TVs. Xbox One, YouTube TV

Their Pitch: Get instant access to commercial-free, award-winning SHOWTIME original series, can’t-miss movies, groundbreaking documentaries, laugh-out-loud comedy specials, hard-hitting sports and much more. Watch live TV or catch up on-demand on your TV, tablet, phone or computer. Plus, you can download full episodes and movies to your favorite mobile devices and watch them offline, whenever and wherever.

Our Take: If you are a Showtime fan, then this lets you have Showtime without the expensive cable package. Get all of Showtime’s movies plus their original content shows.



Sling TV

Price: Sling Orange costs $20 per month; Sling Blue costs $25 per month. A combined package costs $40 per month. Add-on packs cost $5 to $15.

Free Trial: 7 days

Offerings: TV, Movies, Sports

Available: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, Xiaomi, Leeco, AirTV, ZTE, Channel Master, LG Webos

Their Pitch: Sling TV offers two domestic streaming services: The single-stream Sling Orange service and the multi-stream Sling Blue service.
The Sling Orange service offers 30 channels including ESPN, Disney Channel, AMC, CNN, HGTV, and more. The Sling Blue service offers 40+ channels like FOX, NBC, regional sports (geographic restrictions apply), NFL Network, FX, and more.

Our Take:  Still cheaper than cable and you can get a lot of your favorite cable channels for a fraction of the price. The basic Orange package gets you about 20 cable channels



Starz

Price: $8.99 per month.

Free Trial: 7 days

Offerings: Starz TV, Movies

Available: Kindle Fire Tablet 4th generation or newer, Kindle Fire Phone, Amazon Fire Stick, Amazon Fire TV, Android phone and tablets, Android TV, 3rd and 4th generation Apple TV, web, iOS devices, Roku, Xbox one, some Sony and Samsung TVs.
Their Pitch: GET YOUR FAN ON. WATCH HOW YOU WANT. You’ll soon have unlimited access to obsessable TV, movies and more. Let’s get started.

Our Take: Similar to HBONow and Showtime. It allows you access to Starz content without a cable subscription.

 



TubiTV

Price: Free

Free Trial: Always Free

Offerings: TV  and Movies

Available:  iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV,  Amazon Fire TV, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Samsung Smart TV

Their Pitch: The largest library of modern classics and cult-favorite titles. Watch anywhere, on any device. 100% legal and safe to use. No fees, AD supported content

Our Take: Free is always good and their selection looks pretty good. I’m willing to put up with a few commercials for good free movies.



Vudu

Price: Prices vary

Free Trial: Free digital movies or downloads on many video purchases at Walmart

Offerings: TV series, Movies

Available: Watch on any device, at home or on the go.

Their Pitch: Discover, watch and collect the latest movies & TV shows with Vudu

Our Take: A great source of movies new and old, also a good online, storage of your digital copies so you can access them anywhere

 



YouTube TV

Price: $35 per month

Free Trial: 14 days?  When the service launched they offered 30 days, now I can’t find the information on their website and I click the link it wants me to sign up before it will even tell me the length of the trial. I went to reddit to get the possible answer.

“YouTube TV comes with a free trial. When you start your free trial, YouTube TV will authorize your credit card with a small fee. Your financial institution will receive an authorization request from us, and the fee will be reflected in your account. This authorization is required to ensure your credit card is active. This amount will be automatically removed from your account once we confirm the card is active (your financial institution can specify when this will happen). YouTube TV does not support purchases made with prepaid credit cards. “

Offerings: TV, Movies, Original Content

Available: Android, iPhone, iPad, Google Chromecast, Apple Airplay, web

Their Pitch: YouTube TV is a TV streaming service that lets you watch live TV from major broadcast and popular cable networks. Enjoy local and national live sports, and must-see shows the moment they air. Record all your favorites without storage space limits, and stream wherever you go. Share with up to 5 other roommates or family members in your household.

Our Take: Owned by Google, the odds are that it will only get bigger and better. The fact that it comes with six accounts makes it easy for you, your family and/or your roommates to watch and record your own programs. I however, do not like the fact that they do not tell me what the free trial is. Before you sign up, make sure that it is available in your location.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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