As technology improves we seem to become more and more impatient with merely “surfing the channels.” So many streaming services are available these days that you can have your pick of the litter when it comes to watching your favorite TV shows. No longer do we have to wait until a certain time and date to watch. With the versatility of streaming services these days you can watch as many episodes as you like, at your own convenience, with the ability to pause and rewind at your fingertips. Whether you are looking for a program that will blow your mind or just looking to pass the time, there is a streaming service that will cater to your desires. Here is your comprehensive guide about the best online streaming services available today.
The first stop for online streaming services has to be Netflix. Society has fallen in love with Netflix so much that the phrase “Netflix and chill” is a common way to say I’m staying at home and watching TV all night. Netflix has grown rapidly to become the number one service in the online streaming industry, available for subscription starting at $7.99 per month. One of the first streaming services available, Netflix has a wide array of choices ranging from the classics all the way to the modern hits. Here’s why Netflix has taken such a big leap in this industry:
- No commercials. Ever.
- Diverse library of movies and TV shows
- Simple interface
- Recommendations based on your previous likings
- Netflix originals like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and Daredevil
- Found on basically any device that has internet (Smart TVs, Bluray players, gaming consoles, tablets and smartphones).
You may have heard of HBO Go but HBO has recently come out with HBO Now. HBO Now is essentially the same as HBO Go but it does not require a cable subscription to work. If you want to eliminate paying your cable bill but still need your fix of Game of Thrones then this is the right service for you. HBO Now is a little more expensive considering it is available for $15 a month but for all the great content HBO has it seems to be worth it. Here are the pros of HBO Now:
- Free one month trial before you pay
- Watch shows the second they air (not available on many streaming sites)
- HBO Original Series
- Can share with family on 2 devices
- Kids Lock and Parental Controls
- Ability to pause and continue watching on a different platform.
Looking for a variety of recent episodes from your favorite shows? Hulu is the place to go. You can access Hulu for free but it only gives you the option to watch recent episodes. If you’re looking to watch a show from beginning to end then that is probably not the right move for you. However, Hulu Plus gives you the entire TV programs’ episodes for just $7.99 per month. If you’d like to avoid advertisements then it is $11.99 per month. Pros of Hulu and Hulu Plus:
- Free 1 week trial of Hulu Plus
- Available on the web, gaming consoles, Roku’s streaming player, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire, phone and tablet apps
- Full seasons of some really excellent shows (Family Guy, SNL, Shark Tank, Top Chef, American Horror Story, Modern Family)
If gaming is your thing then you should know about Twitch.tv. It is basically a live streaming service for gamers to watch other gamers. Amazon actually bought the twitch.tv service for $970 million because of the popularity it has gained over the past few years. Twitch.tv is available for free on iOS, Android, Xbox One, PS4, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV. Esports is the fastest growing sport in the world and it is estimated that in 2017, 335 million gamers will be tuning in to watch. Here’s why Twitch is really a great streaming service:
- Live streaming of League of Legends, Dota 2, CounterStrike, Overwatch, Pokémon Go, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty Black Ops II, Fifa and NBA 2K
- Twitch sends out notification when a broadcast you want to see goes live
- Features top teams, leagues, players and every major event
With cable going by the wayside in the coming years, streaming services are becoming more and more popular. Whether you are looking to binge watch the classics, watch your favorite eSports, or keep up with your current favorites you can find a streaming service that’s right for you.
Cian Laurence, a Brooklyn-based writer hailing from Dublin, has a passion for technology & apps and uses free Wi-Fi whenever it’s available.
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