Best Movie & TV Streaming Services 2017

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Which is the Best TV Streaming Service for You?

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Last updated: February 15th, 2017. The success of streaming services has turned the entertainment industry upside down. There was a time when people had no other option for television entertainment other than cable or satellite TV. Today, cable and satellite services do not enjoy that monopoly, nor does a TV set as the primary source of entertainment. Even within the space of online streaming services, there are a lot of players that have made the market highly competitive and have ensured that the service providers keep their offerings affordably priced.

Every player in the market has their own unique selling point. So price alone cannot be used to decide which service offers the best value. You should look at the content offered, how frequently content is updated, the size of the content library, and consider other factors as well. You should also take care of the hardware compatibility of the service being offered and how much extra cost that means to you. Here is a compilation of all the top services in the industry that will offer online streaming. Make sure that you compare the TV streaming services offered and and figure out exactly what you are paying for, so that you are not in for any surprises. This page will be updated periodically to feature newer streaming services like VIDGO. We recently added a section for DIRECTV Now!

 

1. Netflix Reviewnetflix-orange-new-black

If you have ever done a simple Google search on streaming services, or if you have not been living under a rock for the past decade, then it is impossible that you have not heard of Netflix. This service is wildly popular among people of all ages and groups. They have also made it a part of the popular culture now by coining the term ‘Netflix & Chill’.

So why is Netflix so popular with the masses? Well, Netflix is one of the first services to become a part of the streaming phenomenon. What started as a DVD mailing service transformed into this streaming giant that it is today. 

2. Amazon Instant Video Reviewamazon-instant-video

This is the service that is backed by the online retail giant, Amazon. Amazon Prime Instant Video comes with a lot of offerings for its users, which are quite similar to Netflix. There are many movie titles, but relatively less TV shows. This service has actually built its extensive library in a short time by forging relationships with big players like CBS Corp, Viacom, Warner Bros., Sony Corp, News Corp’s Fox, Comcast Corp’s NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co. These partnerships have allowed it to get high quality content in large quantity. However, the latest movies and episodes of current shows will require you to pay additional charges for viewing, even with a Prime subscription. 

Hulu plus online streaming service3. Hulu Plus Review

Hulu was one of the first video platforms that enabled viewers to watch their favorite TV shows online. Hulu Plus is the streaming TV and movie service offered by Hulu for a low monthly subscription rate. In early 2017, Hulu plans to introduce a new live streaming TV service known as Hulu Live.

Hulu’s major competitive advantage against other streaming services is its ability to offer the largest collection of current season TV shows. Moreover, unlike other streaming services that also provides TV shows, Hulu updates its shows regularly. Almost every single episode is available the next day after originally appearing on broadcast or cable TV.

4. Sling TV Review

Sling TVSling TV launched with much pomp and show at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in 2015. The service has ushered in a new era, where a streaming service is no longer only a content library, but a place where users can also watch live television. Sling TV offers both video-on-demand and live programming for its users. There are lots of live channels and the best part is that Sling TV users will also be able to get ESPN and ESPN 2. This is definitely something to rejoice about for the sports lovers, as no other streaming service offered sports programming before Sling TV arrived. The service offers niche programming with extra packages for sports, kids’ programming, news, and so on.
For some channels, it is possible to pause, fast forward or rewind the content. It also offers 3D-replay for selected channels, where users can watch any show that aired on the channel in the past three days. 

PlayStation Vue5. PlayStation Vue Review

As the name clearly reveals, this streaming service is from the house of Sony. This service streams everything – movies, sports and live TV on a variety of devices. This service is pretty much a cable connection without a contract and credit check, and is available at similar prices as well. However, the service does offer an impressive selection of channels and on-demand content. These include CBS, Disney-ABC, NBC Universal, Viacom, CNN, ESPN, Food Network, Fox Business, Travel Channel, VH1, and many more. There are many local live channels on offer too. PlayStation Vue offers a lot of sports programming,g including national channels and local sports channels. 

HBO now6. HBO Now Review

HBO was already acclaimed for its high level of original programming, including iconic shows like “The Sopranos” and “Game of Thrones.” Its new standalone streaming-only content service, HBO Now, is a way for people to watch that content without having cable or satellite TV service. As long as you can access the Internet, such as via a Wi-Fi connection, you can access HBO Now. In fact, the slogan of HBO Now is “All you need is the Internet to get HBO.” For fans of HBO content, of course, this is an amazing offer, since they can now watch their favorite shows on just about any screen or on their TV via a third-party set-top box or gaming console.

7. Showtime Review

Showtime is now available on Roku

Showtime is another streaming service from a premium channel, Showtime. The channel has hosted popular shows like Homeland, Dexter, and Masters of Sex, among others. There are a lot of movies and sports programming on offer as well. Showtime is one of the popular channels on cable and its programming is not easily available with other streaming services. The shows that air on the channels are updated on the app pretty quickly. So, if you are a fan of the Showtime programming, then this is a great way to access it. 

8. Starz Review

starzplay is a streaming service

Starz is another premium cable network that followed in the footsteps of HBO and Showtime by offering a standalone streaming service. Just like them, Starz too provides users complete access to all of Starz content. In fact, Starz’s even followed the path taken by HBO. Quite like HBO’s first streaming offering HBO GO, Starz is not new to streaming. It had previously experimented with services like Starz Play, MoviePlex, and Encore Play. The content on these services could be accessed only by those users who had subscribed to Starz and Encore on their cable or satellite television. Later, Starz decided to also target the growing population of cord-cutters by offering standalone streaming service. Now, Starz has consolidated all the content that was previously available with its three streaming services into one power-packed service. 

9. iTunes Review

Itunes claims to be the future of television

Apple has always been one of the biggest players when it comes to entertainment. Over the years, it has partnered with most of the Hollywood’s producers, production studios, broadcasters, and other parties to offer their content on its services. Whether it is music, TV shows, or movies, Apple offers everything for its users through iTunes. Apple’s users can enjoy all of its content in SD and HD. iTunes does not come with a blanket subscription. Each video has to be purchased individually. However, in case of TV shows, users can rent or buy entire seasons of TV shows at a discount. 

10. Google Play Review

TV shows on Google Play

Google Play is another pay-per-view streaming service that is accessible to almost everyone, no matter where they are located. Sure, Google is the undoubted king of the internet, and even the biggest player when it comes to online videos, thanks to its acquisition of YouTube at the right time. But, there is a lot that needs to be done by Google in the area of Hollywood entertainment. You can find both TV shows and movies on Google Play. Quite a lot of its content is in HD, but not everything. 

youtube streaming service11. YouTube Review

YouTube is the most popular video entertainment platform in the world. As a streaming service, YouTube is available on almost every smart platform. This makes is versatile and easy to use. Much of the content on YouTube is produced by independent content creators, who are not associated with any particular production house. However, with the growing popularity of the service, quite a number of producers have also started featuring their movies on YouTube. YouTube features a lot of entertainment, most of which is free, while some of it can be rented or purchased too. Apart from this, YouTube also offers a premium subscription – YouTube Red – which provides the users access to premium content. 

VUDU streaming service online12. VUDU Review

VUDU is the most popular among the pay-per-view streaming services and is growing fast. It enjoys the backing of Walmart as it was bought by the retail giant in 2010. What used to be a set-top-box manufacturer is now a video rental service. VUDU is set to continue to be a video rental service, albeit by leveraging on the digital technology. You can rent the videos online and enjoy them on a host of devices. Thanks to Walmart’s might, VUDU has been able to consolidate a huge library of movies, TV shows, sneak previews, extras, documentaries, and what not. 

FandangoNow streaming service13. FandangoNOW Review

M-GO has now recently been rebranded into FandangoNOW, but the service, and features continue to be the same. The streaming service is a product of collaboration between Technicolor and DreamWorks entertainment. It is a relatively new service, having only started in 2013. But, within the limited time it has been in the market, FandangoNOW has been able to acquire its own loyal fan base. There is no blanket subscription, and you to rent or buy the content individually to watch them. 

CinemaNow streaming service14. CinemaNow Review

In the world of streaming services, CinemaNow is one of the oldest players. It started its journey in 1999 as a digital movie service. It was a time during which brick and mortar video rental services were slowly trying to go digital, and CinemaNow entered the market at the right time. Over the years, it has experimented with a variety of offering to the users, including multiple subscriptions, pay-per-view models, and so on. It even ownership when Best Buy bought it, and has been making long strides in the industry since then. At present, CinemaNow offers its content only on pay-per-view basis. 


15. DIRECTV Now Review: A Beginning with a Promising Future

Image result for directv nowDIRECTV Now is a new streaming service from DIRECTV, and will be competing directly against DISH’s Sling TV, and Sony’s PlayStation Vue in 2017. At just $35, DIRECTV Now offers more than 100 channels. While Sling TV and PlayStation Vue have cheaper basic packages, they offer a lot less number of channels than DIRECTV Now. At a glance, DIRECTV Now does look like a winning combination of price and number of channels. But, there’s more to a service than just cost and channels. It is the experience offered by it that counts the most in the end. On that front, the verdict is yet to be out. 


Here is a comparison of the best TV streaming services:

Streaming Service Pricing Supported Devices Features
1. Netflix Starts at $7.99 per month iOS, Android, Windows, set-top boxes, most smart TVs, Tivo, most gaming consoles Excellent on-demand movie and TV show library, with exclusive and original content. All you need is an internet connection.
2. Amazon Instant Video $10.99 per month, $99 per year iOS, Android, Windows, set-top boxes, most smart TVs, Tivo, most gaming consoles Great on-demand television and movie library on the web, with some original content.
3. Hulu and Hulu Plus Starts at $7.99 per month iOS, Android, Windows, set-top boxes, most smart TVs, Tivo, most gaming consoles Incredible selection of TV shows; soon will add live television service.
4. Sling TV Starts at $20 per month iOS, Android, Windows, set-top boxes, most smart TVs Features on-demand content and is currently the best live TV service, in comparison to cable television.
5. PlayStation Vue Starts at $29.99 per month iOS, Android, Windows, Roku, Sony smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Sony gaming consoles Some on-demand content and a live TV section.
6. HBO Now $14.99 per month iOS, Android, most set-top boxes, most smart TVs, newer XBOX consoles Vast library of HBO-original programming.
7. Showtime $10.99 per month iOS, Android, most set-top boxes, most smart TVs Extensive library of original content broadcasted on Showtime.
8. Starz $8.99 per month Android, iOS, and web Excellent original Starz content, in addition to movies and TV on demand.
9. iTunes Prices vary on movie or TV popularity/release date iOS and PC Limitless movie, TV, and music library, but no original content like Netflix or Hulu. The app is automatically downloaded onto all iPhones.
10. Google Play Prices vary on movie or TV popularity/release date Set-top boxes, smart TVs, gaming consoles that run on Android, PC, Mac, iOS Average media library, with some on-demand options; no original content. The app is supported on all Android devices.
11. YouTube Lots of free content; other content prices vary on popularity/release date iOS, Android, Windows, set-top boxes, most smart TVs, Tivo, most gaming consoles Tons of free, original media from online users; great movie catalog for new releases.
12. VUDU Prices vary on movie or TV popularity/release date iOS, Android, Windows, set-top boxes, most smart TVs, most gaming consoles Offers excellent on-demand content and a wide library of films.
13. FandangoNOW Prices vary on movie or TV popularity/release date iOS, Android, Mac, PC, set-top boxes, most smart TVs, most gaming consoles Features a video on-demand library; a great streaming service for new releases.
14. Cinema Now Prices vary on movie or TV popularity/release date iOS, Android, Mac, PC, set-top boxes, most smart TVs, most gaming consoles Not the best library of entertainment compared to other services, but does offer on-demand streaming.
15. DIRECTV Now $35 per month Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, Apple TV, iOS, and Android Live TV streaming service with over 100 channels. Just starting out, and has a few bugs.

best-streaming-tv-services

  1. Gordon Majors
    Reply

    Really in-depth guide; not sure I’ve seen a comparison that delves into each service with such description. There’s a ton on Netflix and Hulu, but you don’t usually see articles that spend an entire paragraph on CinemaNow. Really helped me make a decision; sticking with Netflix, but it’s good to weigh other options…

    • Edan Browning
      Reply

      #TeamNetflix

    • Kellsie
      Reply

      This arictle keeps it real, no doubt.

  2. Douglar
    Reply

    good reviews. i like the variety.

  3. Nickolas Mansfield
    Reply

    I still don’t really understand why/how companies continue to create pay-per-view services, because I feel like it’s just a waste of money. For new releases, sure thing, but Redbox is also a dollar to rent those movies. I guess it’s for convenience ‘s sake, but it still strikes me as odd that people are still trying to make money off of this when there’s so many more better deals out there. Thanks for enlightening me a tad, I really wasn’t aware of how many PPV services were out there still trying to make a profit!

    • Luisa Ellis
      Reply

      Agreed… my husband and i never use the pay per view services that our satellite network provides anyway…

      Don’t understand why iTunes thinks we want to buy films from them either.

      I’m sticking to my Netflix and Hulu subscriptions for now.

      Agreed though, nice guide.

  4. razu
    Reply

    Fantastic and nice site. all Information in one Place.

  5. Azizul Islam
    Reply

    Valuable information in one place.

  6. Tuminello
    Reply

    “awesome” and “great post” I Like………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Kat
    Reply

    I am a loyal Netflix subscriber and I completely love this service. They have a great selection of movies and TV shows, are always adding new content, and their original shows are awesome!

  8. Adi
    Reply

    To be honest i would say its actually only between Netflix, Amazon & Hulu. The rest don’t really have the library of content these 3 do. Yes, HBO has all their shows on their service and Starz and iTunes also have substantial archives but its still nothing compared to the top 3.

    • Davis
      Reply

      I agree with this. I think it’s nice to know about the other streaming services out there (and this guide does a good job explaining all the pros and cons), but the big 3 don’t have any real competition at this point in the game.

  9. Antonio
    Reply

    I still want Hulu to get a better movie library. Maybe their new live service will help that.

  10. Zack
    Reply

    I don’t see how there’s even any competition anymore between services! kinda strikes me as odd that services continue to beef themselves up when Netflix and Hulu are clearly the royalty of the streaming industry. Amazon Prime is like a little prince I guess. The rest are just court jesters.

  11. Carrie Andrews
    Reply

    I actually prefer Hulu to Netflix because their TV selection is better, and I’m not the biggest movie fan. Good advice here 🙂

    • Shirley Davis
      Reply

      Haha I’m the opposite. I like Netflix better because I prefer movies and don’t really watch TV shows!

  12. Curtis
    Reply

    Awesome guide!

    • Lucky
      Reply

      I just had to unsubscribe to a number of channels because of restictions. These record companies don't want Bripsih/Eurotean fans buying their music nor watch videos. They have done us a great favour by cutting out a mass market; therfore we get to save our money, and they lose. Why should we buy their stuff when they kick us in the face!

  13. Kelvin praise
    Reply

    if i cut the cord i’ll get hulu and netflix for my tv and movies, see documentries on youtube, and stream news from the web

  14. Lindsay Cheatwood
    Reply

    Rad guide! Will this be updated when newer streaming services are created/released? I know there’s an upcoming service called VIDGO TV: when will it be released? Honestly, I wasn’t even aware of 1/4 of the services featured on this guide. Thanks for the tips!

  15. Randy Williams
    Reply

    I was really hoping you’d review VIDGO Streaming TV Service.

  16. Sam Hyde
    Reply

    I’ve heard a little bit about VIDGO. Here are the questions I have about VIDGO.

    1. Exactly what is VIDGO TV?
    2. How can I enjoy the content from VIDGO?
    3. What type of content can I watch on VIDGO?
    4. What is the price of VIDGO?
    5. Should I buy any devices for using VIDGO?
    6. What channels do I get on VIDGO TV?
    7. How many channels in total does VIDGO offer?
    8. Can I get On Demand content on VIDGO?
    9. Does VIDGO offer any exclusive content?
    10. Do I get sports on VIDGO TV?
    11. Can I watch the programs after I missed their scheduled broadcast?
    12. How is VIDGO different from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu?
    13. How is VIDGO TV different from Sling TV and Sony PlayStation Vue?
    14. When will VIDGO be available in my city?
    15. I live in a remote area. Will I ever be able to use VIDGO?
    16. How many devices can I use with a single VIDGO account?
    17. What is the eligibility criteria for getting a VIDGO connection – credit checks, and the likes?
    18. Do I have to sign a contract to use VIDGO TV?
    19. Are there any hidden costs with VIDGO?
    20. Is HD content available on VIDGO?
    21. What does VIDGO TV mean by Anywhere service?
    22. How fast should my Internet connection be for me to enjoy VIDGO without any issues?

  17. Amanda Wells
    Reply

    This is a great, thorough comparison of TV streaming services. Would love to see some more free options though if you guys decide to expand this further!

  18. Hyde
    Reply

    Excellent, informative article. Streaming services are becoming the backbone of visual media.

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