Search
  • bryan.aldridge77

Streaming Services Overview


Streaming services has gained tremendous popularity over the recent years. With faster internet speeds, ever increasing storage capacity of providers, and the acquisition of massive collections of titles, these services are passing traditional cable and satellite options for entertainment. This is especially true with younger generations. Cutting the cord is now starting to pay out some nice savings. Now there are some things that streaming services cannot do, but can you make the sacrifice to earn these saving? Let's look at some of the big competitors in this category.

PROS:

Youtube is the most recent entry into the streaming subscription services. It has been offering free content for many years using ads to generate revenue. Now they are offering a different service which includes live tv and DVR content via customer subscription. This is by the largest holder of content and now they are offering their own productions. Most popular now is the series "Cobra Kai." The show is the continuation of the original Karate Kid from the 80's. Now combine that with over 70+ channels of actual TV stations including ABC, NBC and Fox. You also receive Youtube Kids with your subscription, which you should make them use. They boast having the most, 63 of the Top 100, cable stations in their service. There are 2 versions of the paid service. Youtube Premium basic is simply ad free Youtube Videos and All Youtube produced movies and series. You can add some movie channels like Showtime and Starz onto your package. Fast forwarding through commercials on the DVR comes included. Voted Best Streaming Service by Sports Illustrated! Best part is your first month is FREE!

CONS:

Even though there are ridiculous amounts of content, it may not be what you are looking for. The Premium TV is priced on the higher side of the streaming range. Their service is $49.99 a month for up to 3 devices. Youtube TV does not offer HBO, but now that Game of Thrones is gone, that may not be an issue. Many of the premium sports stations are not included and they carry no services like NFL Sunday ticket, but that can be purchased separately through your streaming device. Youtube Premium and Youtube TV are separate subscriptions. To get both is will run $62.98 plus applicable taxes. Because of the Voice assistant race between Google and Amazon, this app is not available on FireTv from Amazon.

PROS:

Hulu with Live TV has been a player in the streaming game since the beginning. They have helped pave the path we all walk today cutting the cord. Their main package also carries local tv and games, original programming and carries 58 of the Top 100 cable stations. At $45 a month for service, they are by far the best priced streamer in our lineup. They offer a FREE one week trial to try the service. There is also a DVR in the cloud drive. You can fast forward through commercials on recorded shows, but it cost more. Their services include 60+ channels with mostly HD content.

CONS:

Premium channels add extra cost. Only two streams at a time are allowed. You can get additional streams, but at an extra $15 a month for unlimited streams, this could price them out of competition. Next add another $15 for the ability to fast forward commercials and you get to $75 a month with less channels than a traditional cable package and more cost. No additional packages to get more channels without purchasing premiums.

PROS:

Sling TV has gained much notoriety recently with their hilarious commercials. The service is a great middle of the road approach to balance their product. They offer 2 1/2 different plans. The first two are the same price at $25 a month and simply come with a variety of different channels with some similar in each, 33 or 47 channels depending. The third package is a combination of the first two giving you all the channels they offer, 55 channels for $40 a month. Many of the channels available through Sling are not available anywhere else other than Cable TV. This is what makes this Sling TV service so attractive. They offer local channels in your area, via a digital antenna that they provide for FREE. You can also add premium channels to any package. Plus you get 40% of your first month! Like all the rest, you get a DVR cloud account.

CONS:

No additional packages with more channels. You are limited to the channels they have pre-arranged into the packages so you will still pay for some channels you never watch. Their own in house premium content produced by Sling is very limited and so is your DVR space. Sling TV is a company owned by Dish Network, which is why Dish does not offer their own Stream only packages. Overall, not bad for the price.

PROS:

Netflix is the spot for original programming, they have more premium original programming than any other service. Their service is by far the most inexpensive coming in at $12 a month for the highest package which includes Ultra HD TV and Movies. Netflix offers several packages with the cheapest being only $8 a month for normal resolution. The online library is massive and growing by the day. It is very easy to setup and use, plus the fact that there are no commercials, ever! You can download and store content offline, so you can play it back even when you are experiencing issues with your internet or have loss of service due to storms.

CONS:

The biggest downfall of Netflix is there is no live tv offered. You can get an antenna to view local channel live tv and use this as a secondary. If you want to watch a show that was on television, it may take weeks or at minimum days for the show to be uploaded to their server so you will always be playing catch up with normal programming. Your programming selection may be drastically reduced depending on where you live in the country. Some things are not available in certain markets.

PROS:

Your normal Amazon Prime account comes included with not only fast shipping, but Prime Video included. It works very similar to Netflix in the way it delivers your entertainment. Like cable companies, they also offer Pay-Per-View services to get the latest movies. Though this can add up quickly defeating the purpose of cutting the cord. You can even browse by channel, something other sites like Netflix don’t allow. There is also a “skip” button similar to Netflix, which means you can skip a TV show’s intro and get right to the show. Amazon also offers a free trial period to test the service.

CONS:

It works very similar to Netflix, most videos and tv shows are free, but they will not play or be available until days after. This service doesn’t make personalized recommendations and instead leaves you to browse yourself. You have to pay for unlimited access to most popular channels individually for not only channels like HBO, but also for History Channel. When you search for movies or shows, there is no free category, so be careful on what you watch now. Once your trial period is up though, the website’s information page says you don’t get access to Amazon Prime benefits with a Prime Video membership alone. You can, however, pay more for an all-encompassing Prime membership and get free two-day shipping, Prime Video, Prime Music and the Kindle lending library.

PROS:

FuboTV was launched in 2015, and at the time was known mainly as a sports streaming network (mainly for soccer content), with channels like Fox Sports, CBS Sports, BeIN sports and more.

fuboTV has since been expanding their offerings inking deals with networks like Bravo, Lifetime, HGTV, Fox News, NatGeo, SyFy, Travel Channel, NFL Network and more. They have become a much more attractive offering, rivaling packages from services like Sling, Hulu, DirectTV NOW and other services. The basic package begins at only $39.99 and their most popular is $55 a month for 100+ channels, making it the service with the most channels available. They are right behind Youtube TV with 62 of the Top 100 cable channels. You get a FREE cloud DVR with 30 hours. You can purchase 500 hours of cloud storage, but that's an additional $9.99 a month. Probably the coolest feature is "LookBack Viewing" that enables you to watch any program up to 3 days after it aired even if you forgot to record it. All this with a seven day FREE trial.

CONS:

With fuboTV you can only stream to 2 devices whether at home or on the go.Not all of the live local broadcast network stations are currently available, with mainly CBS and Fox affiliates currently being available. With fuboTV some networks you may see on most other services may not be available. For example, for my family the ESPN networks and TLC are not currently available. You have to purchase an antenna to get your local channels. They have way too many add on features for Kids, sports, action and premiums which can put your bill for only cable over the cost of a bundle from other providers.

THINGS THEY ALL HAVE IN COMMON:

- Streaming these services can be done on Smart Tv's or streaming devices that are reaaly inexpensive to purchase, mimus the Apple TV. Meaning NO equipment rental like the cable or satellite companies.

- All have some type of DVR or Cloud storage for your favorite shows.

- They all offer FREE trials to make sure you actually like the service!

- There are no contracts with any of these services. They change and you don't like it, simply cancel.

In conclusion, many of these services are cheaper than traditional cable or satellite services, even though there may be smaller content. Many of these services are cheap enough that they can be combined with each other or multiple services and you would still be coming out half as expensive than Spectrum getting Regular Hulu, Prime TV and Netflix together. Once again, check all the packages offered and see if many of the channels you like are offered in these plans to find the one that's right for your situation.


23 views

© 2020 by Connected Home Inc.

Connected Home in Leland NC has 8 Cedia Certified AV Technicians