What is the best streaming service? | 2021
Our definition of television has changed over the years. It used to be that you could only watch TV on a TV set. If you ever wanted to see a movie back in those primitive days, you actually had to drive all the way to the store to buy or rent a DVD. Thanks to high-speed internet, we can now stream movies and TV from the cloud to all kinds of devices from phones to computers (and yes, even on your TV). Now that video streaming has proven to be insanely popular, dozens of online streaming services have popped up on the scene, all vying for your attention and money. This raises the question: which is better?
Describing all the streaming services available would be next to impossible, but here is my top five list of the most popular ones out there.
iTunes: For Apple fans
Like most Apple products, you either love iTunes or hate it. If you already have Apple products, using iTunes is a great way to sync all your videos, music, and books on all your devices. And when you pause a video, you can continue watching where you left off, even on a different device. The downside to this service is that it is only available for Mac or PC products. It is also slower to update rentals than other providers. Overall, iTunes is a good option for Mac users, but it’s still worth exploring other options.
Supported devices: iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, PC/Mac
price: $0.99 for TV show rentals, movie rentals start at $2.99
Selection: iTunes has a good selection to buy; Rentals update more slowly than some other providers
Voodoo: For video lovers
Vudu started its life back in 2008 as a box offering HD movies delivered over the internet. Now they got rid of their devices and licensed their service to other devices. If you only want high quality content, this is the service for you. In addition to providing 3D content, Vudu also contains high-quality videos for any streaming service. They also have some new movies available sooner than other streaming services. The catch is that this service can get expensive.
Supported devices: Android, iPad, Roku, HDTV/Blu-ray, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC/Mac
price:$2 for two days on select titles, other titles start at $4.99 for HD viewing and $5.99 for HDX (featuring 1080p HD) and typically last 24 hours
Selection: They have several thousand selections, and most titles are available the same day the DVD comes out in stores
Amazon Instant Video: Cute Afterthought
Amazon started selling digital media using the download service. They have since switched to Amazon Instant Video and moved away from downloaded content in favor of streaming. To get access to Amazon Instant Video, you can subscribe to Amazon Prime, which gives you access to some content for free, after an annual subscription. Other contents can be purchased.
While Amazon’s video catalog is growing rapidly, its level of content is still not quite as high as Netflix or Hulu. However, Amazon has some unique features that are unique to this platform: free two-day shipping, discounted overnight shipping on all Amazon Prime products, and even free monthly book rentals from the Amazon Prime lending library.
Supported devices: Kindle Fire, iPad, Nook, Roku, HDTV/Blu-ray, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, WiiU, PC/Mac and more
price: $79 for an annual Amazon Prime subscription, TV shows start at $1.39 to rent and $1.99 to own, and new movies start at $3.99 to rent and $14.99 to own
Selection: They have a good number of old shows and movies, and there is also a good selection of BBC programmes. While they have some new movies available to Amazon Prime members, most of them require you to pay for them
Hulu Plus: For TV Show Junkie
Hulu Plus started as a TV series streaming site, and while they do offer some movies, the reason to subscribe to Hulu Plus is to watch TV shows. The platform offers more TV series than any other service, especially current episodes, and most of this content can be watched without commercials. Hulu also offers a free service to stream new episodes of hit TV shows, but it’s only available on your computer.
Supported devices: Android, iPhone, iPad, Roku, Apple TV, HDTV/Blu-ray, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, WiiU, PC/Mac
price: Monthly subscription $7.99
Selection: The best collection of TV shows from any provider. Hulu Plus is an especially good choice for those who want to get the latest episodes of hit TV series
Netflix: Get a Little Bit of Everything
Netflix has been on the scene for over 10 years and has revolutionized video rental. They have one of the largest libraries of streaming content and have millions of subscribers, making Netflix one of the largest video streaming services out there. The HD quality is not as high as some providers, but the cheap subscription and availability on almost any device makes Netflix a must for any movie or TV fan.
Supported devices: Android, iPhone, iPad, Nook, Roku, HDTV/Blu-ray, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, WiiU, PC/Mac and more (really just about anything)
price: Monthly subscription $7.99
Selection: With a huge selection of TV shows and a positively huge collection of movies, Netflix has the best comprehensive selection of videos.