Our definition of television has changed over the years. It used to be you could only watch TV on your own TV. If you wanted to watch a movie back those primitive days you really had to operate a vehicle all how you can the store to purchase or rent a DVD. Because of top speed internet we are now able to stream movies and TV from the cloud to a variety of devices from phones to computers (and yes, even on your own TV). Since video streaming has shown to be insanely popular, dozens of online streaming services came onto the scene, all competing for the attention and your money. That raises the question: which one is best?
Describing all the streaming services available will be next to impossible, but here is my top-5 list of the most used services out there.
iTunes: For the Apple Enthusiast
Like the majority of of Apple’s products, you either love iTunes or you hate it. If you already have apple products, using iTunes is a good way to sync all of your videos, music, and books on all of your devices. And whenever you pause a movie coke and popcorn alternatives, you can keep watching from where you left off, even on an alternative device. The downside to the service is that it’s only readily available for Mac products or PC. It is also slower on updating rentals than other providers. Overall, iTunes is a good option for Mac users, but it’s still worth every penny to explore other options.
Devices Supported: iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, PC/Mac
Price: $0.99 for TV show rentals, movie rentals start at $2.99
Selection: iTunes features a good selection for sale; rentals are updated slower than various other providers
Vudu: For the Videophile
Vudu began its life back 2008 as a field offering HD movies delivered via the internet. Now they got rid of their hardware and license their service to other devices. If you like only the highest quality content, here is the service for you. In addition to offering 3D content, Vudu also has the highest quality videos of any streaming service. They also have some new movies available sooner than other streaming services. The catch is that this service could possibly get expensive.
Devices Supported: Android, iPad, Roku, HDTV/Blu-ray, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC/Mac
Price:$2 for 2 days on select titles, other titles start at $4.99 for HD and $5.99 for HDX (featuring 1080p HD) and usually last for 24 hours
Selection: They have thousands of selections, and most titles are available exactly the same day the DVD happens in stores
Amazon Instant Video: The Nice Afterthought
Amazon started selling digital media utilizing a download service. They have since switched to Amazon Instant Video and have gone from downloaded content in favor of streaming. To get access to Amazon Instant Video you can register for Amazon Prime, which allows you to access some content free of charge, after the yearly subscription. Other content may be purchased.
While Amazon’s video catalog is rapidly growing, it’s degree of content is still to not exactly the same level as Netflix or Hulu. However, Amazon does possess some unique features which can be unique to the platform: free two-day shipping and reduced overnight shipping on all amazon prime products and even free monthly book rentals from Amazon Prime Lending Library.
Devices Supported: Kindle Fire, iPad, Nook, Roku, HDTV/Blu-ray, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, WiiU, PC/Mac, and more
Price: $79 yearly subscription for Amazon prime, TV shows start at $1.39 to rent and $1.99 your can purchase, new movies start at $3.99 to rent and $14.99 your can purchase
Selection: They have a good amount of older shows and movies, there’s also a great selection of BBC programs. While they’ve some new movies available to Amazon Prime members, many of them require you to pay for them
Hulu Plus: For the TV Show Junkie
Hulu Plus began as a TV series streaming site and, while they do offer some movies, the reason why to sign up to Hulu Plus is to watch TV shows. The platform offers more TV series than any service, especially current episodes, and most with this content can be seen commercial-free. Hulu also provides a free service for streaming new episodes of hit TV shows, but it is only available on your own computer.
Devices Supported: Android, iPhone, iPad, Roku, Apple TV, HDTV/Blu-ray, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, WiiU, PC/Mac
Price: $7.99 monthly subscription
Selection: The very best selection of TV shows of any provider. Hulu Plus is an especially good option for anyone wanting probably the most current episodes of hit TV series
Netflix: Obtain a Little Little bit of Everything
Netflix came onto the scene over 10 years ago and completely revolutionized video rentals. They have among the largest streaming content libraries and have millions of subscribers, making Netflix among the biggest video streaming services out there. HD quality isn’t as high as some providers, but the cheap subscription and availability on almost any device makes Netflix a must-have for almost any movie or TV lover.
Devices Supported: Android, iPhone, iPad, Nook, Roku, HDTV/Blu-ray, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, WiiU, PC/Mac, and more (really more or less anything)