I have a very healthy addiction to streaming apps. Netflix was the gateway drug, then it was Amazon Prime, then STARZ and HBO, finally I got to Hulu. There have been many debates on whether it is more effective to have no cable and just use streaming services or have cable and just one service. My family has tried both options and I can say there are pros and cons to both. Just like there are pros and cons to each streaming service and which device to watch those apps on. This post will give you the run-down of the streaming apps I have used and my opinions on them.
First things first: Cable or Streaming. Both are great options, it all depends on what you enjoying watching and how much you want to pay for the shows you want to watch. So, if you are the type of person who loves watching shows live and love sports or news, I would say go with cable and some streaming. When it comes to the cost of this option, it really depends on the which company you choose to go with. Now, there are some streaming apps, such as Hulu, that offer some sports and news channels. However, it is limited compared to cable TV. On the other side, if you are a binge watcher and like watching new shows pretty often, I would suggest streaming. Also, for the most part, it is cheaper to buy streaming service than cable. Here is a table to compare the services:
The most common and most trusted streaming service: Netflix. This is a great service to pair with cable, but also to pair with other streaming services. Netflix offers thousands of shows and movies, including Netflix originals. There are 3 types of plans and the biggestdifferences are the video qualities and number of screens that can be playing at the same time. Netflix works on almost any device you can watch shows on.I love Netflix and have been a subscriber for years. It gives you the ability to watch a show from the first season to the last. This service works well for my family because we have a lot of people with very different preferences, so the multiple accounts on one subscription feature is very useful. I also love the recommended section and how it says by percentage if it is similar to shows I have previously liked. The notifications for new episodes of shows I watch is also one of my favorite features. It’s one of the most user friendly streaming services I have used. However, there are some downsides to Netflix. I have on multiple occasions put shows or movies on my watchlist, then later, when I go to watch it, it has been removed from Netflix. This can be very frustrating and has been a big reason that I started to subscribe to other streaming services as well.
Hulu is similar to Netflix, but it posts shows by episode instead of by season. This means that for some shows, Hulu posts the episode the day after it premiers on TV. Hulu has two subscription options: Hulu and Hulu Live TV, that is why the price difference is so large. With Hulu Live TV, you have the ability to watch news, sports and other live TV. Hulu also offers a different variety of shows, usually if you can’t find it on Netflix or Amazon Prime, it’s on Hulu. Hulu also allows you to purchase other subscriptions through it such as HBO or STARZ. This is a service that I just started using, so there is probably a lot that will learn about this service, but so far I love it. Whenever a show is deleted off Netflix, I am able to find it on Hulu. It also provides the same service of multiple accounts for one subscription. I’ll be honest, I love the color scheme, it’s so much more fun than Netflix or Amazon Prime! One thing I don’t like about it is the amount of extra stuff; it seem like they’re trying to sell too many shows at once, it gets a little overwhelming. However, I do like what I have seen so far from this streaming service.
Amazon is a great company for instant gratification. Amazon Prime Video is a good place to watch shows. It offers more movies than the other services, and a few different shows. However, it is more of the same when it comes to Netflix and Hulu. This service does not accommodate multiple accounts on one subscription, but it does have a pretty decent student discount. Amazon Prime rotates the movies and some of the shows that they offer on prime. It is also really easy to rent movies on Amazon Prime. I would say I use Amazon for more of my movie needs than my TV needs. It’s also great for movies that have just come out on DVD; it is one of the quickest providers of new movies that I have seen. On the TV shows selection front, Amazon is unique in that it offers some seasons on prime and others must be purchased or rented. However, they do have so great original shows, such as Man in the High Castle, that I highly suggest watching! (It will literally blow your mind!). In all honesty, I probably would not purchase Amazon prime for the video services. However, because I am already paying for shopping and music services, I use the video portion of the membership a fair amount.
STARZ is one of the streaming services that you can purchase on its own, through Amazon or Hulu, or through your cable service. This is one of the streaming services that I recommend you use that free trial before purchasing, because this is really dependent on if you like their content. STARZ produces a lot of original series (that are fantastic), and offers many movies as well. If you do not like the shows produced by STARZ then there really is no reason to have this subscription because it honestly gives you the same movie selection as Netflix or HBO. That being said, STARZ is home to one of my top 5 shows, Outlander. I also love other shows, like the White Princess/Queen series, that are exclusive STARZ content.Now, I will warn you, STARZ does not have to follow the same laws as most TV providers because it is a paid subscription. This means that some shows contain content that is not family friendly. Keep this in mind when considering buying this subscription. Overall, this can be a hit or miss subscription, but is definitely worth testing out with the free trial.
HBO is much like STARZ, where you are basically paying for their original series as well as movies. It is also available on its own, through Hulu or Amazon, or through cable providers. If you haven’t heard it a million times already, the reason most people buyHBO is for Game of Thrones. I am a huge fan of this show, therefore I pay for this subscription to watch it. Until recently, I would only pay for the months in which Game of Thrones was one. Now I pay for it year round, because I found I liked the other content HBO produces. I suggest the same thing as I did for STARZ: use the free trial to see if you like the content and want to pay for it. Like STARZ, this is a paid subscription, meaning there is a lot of adult content (more so than STARZ). Most of the shows on HBO contain nudity, extreme violence and other things that may not be family-friendly, so keep that in mind when buying this subscription. As with STARZ, I love this subscription and have no qualms about paying for it, but try before you buy!
I hope you found this guide helpful! I know there are other streaming services out there that I did not cover, so if you have advice or a favorite, leave a comment!