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Over the past several years, television has changed so much as has the television watching lifestyle. Evenings and weekends are taken over by late nights doing schoolwork, soccer practice, dance lessons, or band rehearsal. Shows are recorded or selected from video streaming services. Cable has become obsolete for most families. It is rare to sit down in front of the television at the exact time a favorite show comes on or head to a movie theater to check out new releases. If cutting the cable is on your summer to-do list because you are tired of dealing with it all, check out new up and coming services to choose from.
Video Streaming Services
Who would have thought Netflix and chill and binge-watching TV would become so popular and fun to do for favorite shows or movie series. Video streaming offers live and on-demand tv with and without commercials depending on the service. Video streaming is the best option for a cable alternative and with internet speeds only getting faster, this could be the new future.
Most are familiar with the extremely popular video streaming services of Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube. It looks like there are some new guys on the block looking to dabble into this realm a little and explore some different options. A few of these newer services on the block are Disney +, Apple TV+, HBO Max, NBCUniversal’s Peacock Services, and Quibi. Now deciding which of these to get can be tricky so here is a synopsis of each.
This is a great video streaming service for the whole family. Disney+ offers of course the Disney classics, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more! Disney+ launched near the end of 2019 and is priced at $7 per month, or $70 if you pay annually. Disney has partnered with Hulu and ESPN+ and is offering a bundle to purchase all three streaming services for $13 per month, which is a great deal! if you are a Verizon customer, Disney+ could be free to try for one year with select plans.
Some of the great features about the Disney+ app are that it features individual tiles for each of the Disney brands and is available on your favorite devices including Samsung, Roku, and LG smart TVs. In addition, you can also access this app through your computer’s web browser, Android, and iOS devices and game consoles such as Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Disney has made it very easy to access this app at home and on the go!
Apple TV+ though currently more limited in content than its other video streaming service competitors has a pretty nice price point of just $5 per month. This puts Apple TV+ considerably less than Netflix’s standard plan of $13 per month and $2 less than Disney+. A monthly subscription to Apple TV+ only includes access to Apple TV original series and movies, which is not a terrible thing, however, it does limit choices.
The good news about Apple TV+ is that you no longer need an Apple TV device for Apple content. Apple TV comes installed on Apple hardware which provides access to Apple TV+, and is also available on select Samsung smart TVs now. Apple TV+ has a big future and the quality should improve over time as Apple has agreed to release new shows each month and new episodes weekly.
The newest addition to the HBO family is HBO Max coming from AT&T’s Warner Media division running at $15 per month. HBO and HBO NOW subscribers might have the opportunity to receive HBO Max for free depending on which subscriber is used. A downside for HBO Max is that it is not available on two of the biggest streaming platforms: Amazon Fire TV and Roku. So if you currently have HBO that is supported by either of those streaming platforms, you are out of luck for HBO Max.
Some might say that one of the greatest features of HBO Max is their catalog of shows along with their promise to keep it fresh and up to date with new Max Originals. In addition, HBO Max offers a great selection of movies and top streaming options with offline downloads and the ability to have multiple profiles. HBO Max is available on iOS, Android devices, video gaming consoles, and Chromecast.
The colorful bird is getting pretty creative and stepping into the world of video streaming service. NBCUniversal/Peacock currently is only available to Comcast subscribers or those that have the Xfinity Flex streaming device. So this service will not be available to all, sorry! The current monthly price comes with a tiered option starting with a free version which only provided limited NBCUniversal content and ads. The next level costs $5 per month and offers a larger library of content but still has advertisements. The final tier is $10 per month for ad-free watching. NBCUniversal/Peacock is set to go live nationally in July 2020.
This is not your typical video streaming service. At just $5 a month for the ad supported version or $8 with no ads, Quibi is a platform that offers short snippets of entertainment of less than 10 minutes per clip with new releases daily. This service is not designed for long periods of binge watching hour long episodes but rather short bites containing multiple chapters. Quibi is not meant to be viewed on a television. This streaming service is viewed on your mobile device making it great for on the go entertainment in portrait or landscape mode.
Choosing The Best Video Streaming Service
As the list of video streaming services continues to grow, choosing the right service or mix of services could be a tough choice. Individually, each price point seems relatively inexpensive, however, when you start adding it all up, the cost could be more than a cable bill. A great feature of video streaming service is that most are on a month to month contract so there will be no need to worry about paying to stop services like you would with a cable company. Additionally, there is the option to rotate month to month between services or even check out a free trial to see which service is best.
Choosing a video streaming service is like choosing off an a la carte menu and depending on which service is chosen, they could offer a bundle discount if they are partnering with other platforms. For example, Disney+ offers a monthly bundle with Hulu and ESPN+. All in all, selecting the best service or services is really going to depend largely on television watching preference. Does the American crime drama of the Soprano’s take over every evening or is it more fun to watch Rachel and Ross falling in and out of love on Friends re-runs. Whatever your television vice may be, the good news is that choosing just one service or multiples can satisfy those binge-watching bugs.
Having cable is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Adding a video streaming service or two to the nightly screen time allowance could help with cutting the cost of the cable bill. But buyers beware, each of these services has an associated monthly cost so figure out which service will give you the most bang for your buck or plan for show releases and rotate between a few services. Either way, it is time to push out the old and bring in the new. Video streaming services are getting us through 2020!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on What Is Net Neutrality?
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