Before now, cable TV was a major source of entertainment.
You could watch several channels even from your phone, provided there’s an internet connection and a cable subscription.
But most of the time, you end up watching only a few channels before your subscription expires.
Not everyone is willing to pay over one hundred dollars every month for something they barely use.
But with the rise in streaming services, smart TVs, and streaming devices, you can now watch live sports, shows, and movies on demand.
Since the pandemic, live TV streaming services have been in vogue and may wipe out the traditional cable TV experience.
With new services springing up every day, it might be difficult for you to choose which streaming platform to sign up for if you’re considering cutting the cord.
So, we’ve lined up a list of video streaming services.
They boast of old, new, and original content.
Whether you’re a fan of classic movies, sports, or all things entertainment, you’ll find a service that suits you.
Best Video Streaming Services Compared (Overview)
We’ve included an overview of our top picks below. For detailed information on each pick, scroll down.
- Apple TV Plus
- HBO Max
- Disney Plus
- Amazon Prime Video
- YouTube TV
- Paramount Plus
- Sling TV
What Are Video Streaming Services?
Video streaming services are entertainment sources for live TV streaming and on-demand programs.
They provide a cost-effective alternative to cable TV if you have an internet connection.
You can pay for only what you watch or choose a bundle and pay a monthly subscription fee.
Some platforms offer free video streaming services but with limitations.
However, you can unlock more movies and watch on-demand content at a cost.
Some video streaming services are compatible with multiple devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart TVs.
Others support specific devices.
For instance, you can only access iTunes from Apple devices.
Best Video Streaming Services Compared
The video streaming service industry is growing bigger by the day.
With the number of options available, it may not be easy to pinpoint where to put your money.
Here’s a comparison of the best video streaming services:
|$9.99 per month
|Apple TV Plus
|Amazon Prime Video
|Yes (via membership)
Let’s discuss them in detail.
Netflix is a household name when it comes to video streaming.
It offers a wide range of original and third-party content.
Netflix has everything from documentaries, TV shows, movies, and animes, to web series.
The platform is ad-free, and you can expect to watch new content each week.
Sadly, Netflix no longer offers a 30-day free trial, but you can choose the basic, standard, or premium plan.
The difference is in the video quality and the number of devices that can access the platform from a single account.
The basic plan costs $9.99 per month and offers DVD picture quality and streaming on a single device.
The standard plan costs $15.49 per month. You get to watch content in HD and stream on two devices at the same time.
For $19.99 per month, you can access Netflix’s premium content in 4K Ultra HD.
The plan also permits four simultaneous streams.
Netflix has parental controls, allowing you to streamline content to suit the entire family.
- Ad-free experience
- High-quality videos
- Available globally
- Allows you to download content for offline viewing
- Simultaneous streams
- User-friendly interface
- No free trials
2. Apple TV Plus
Apple Inc. joined the league of video streaming services in 2019 by launching Apple TV Plus.
The market was already saturated then, but the company relied on displaying its original shows and movies to beat the competition.
However, it doesn’t have enough content to match the big names in the industry.
Apple TV Plus offers ad-free content in 4K. You can also download shows and movies, starting at $6.99 per month or an annual subscription of $69.99.
You can subscribe to the family plan if you have a big family.
It accommodates up to six persons on the same account.
Additionally, Apple Music subscribers can benefit more from an Apple One.
For $16.95 per month, you’ll get Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and up to 50 GB on iCloud.
Although Apple TV Plus is for iPhone users, Android users can now access it via a chrome or Firefox browser.
It’s also available on Amazon Fire TV.
- Offers affordable plans
- Ad-free video streaming service
- Original content
- Allows offline viewing
- Offers a small collection of movies
3. HBO Max
Before the coming of streaming services, HBO reigned supreme in delivering quality entertainment.
It offered HBO Now and HBO Go, which have been replaced with HBO Max.
With HBO Max, the party is now more interesting.
With over ten thousand hours of series and movies, you can always access classic, new, and original HBO content.
You can also get exclusive content from DC Comics, Warner Bros., CNN, the Turner library, and Looney Tunes.
HBO Max has an on-demand library and showcases animated series for kids and adults who miss their childhood.
Unfortunately, it no longer offers a free trial. But you can choose between one of its pricing tiers.
The first one costs $9.99 per month with ads, while the second costs $14.99 without ads.
Subscribing to the ad-supported version means you can’t watch any Warner Bros. movie on the same day it’s released.
ou also can’t stream 4k videos or download them for offline viewing.
But the ad-free version allows 4K streaming on up to three devices.
You can download HBO Max on your phone through the Google Play Store or App store.
You can also access it via a web browser, a game console, Samsung TV, and other media streaming devices such as Fire TV, Android TV, Roku, and Apple TV.
HBO Max has parental control features.
You can set up a profile for your kids with their birth month and PIN.
HBO automatically streamlines its programs to suit the age, or you can manually choose what your kids should watch.
- Original shows and movies
- Parental control
- Three simultaneous streams
- Compatible with several media streaming devices and cable TV
- Not available in every country
- More expensive than its competitors
4. Disney Plus
Disney is an entertainment company that’s synonymous with family-friendly content.
In 2019, it launched Disney Plus, which is gradually becoming a well-known name among top video streaming services.
The platform offers a rich collection of Disney movies, including National Geographic, Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel Studios.
You can watch new releases very often as well as exclusive Disney content that you won’t find on other streaming services.
You can also download movies to watch offline and stream on four devices simultaneously.
Disney Plus offers 4k streaming at $7.99 per month.
There are no free trials, but you can bundle it with ESPN and the Hulu+ ad-supported plan for $13.99 per month, which is more economical than subscribing to them individually.
You can access the streaming service on Apple and Android mobile devices, gaming consoles, and media streaming services like Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Lg TV, and Samsung Smart TVs.
Each account supports seven unique user profiles and ten connected devices, a big offer for large families.
Like other video streaming services, Disney offers improved parental control features.
Upon logging in, you can choose whether you want your kids to access all content or selected content based on its rating.
You can also ensure that your kids don’t switch to another account or create another user profile.
- Ad-free streaming
- Offline viewing
- Includes National Geographic
- Offers exclusive access to Marvel, Star wars, and Pixel
- More affordable than most video streaming services
- A few adult contents
- Not available in every country
5. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon started its video downloading service in 2006, but in 2011, it launched Amazon Prime Video, one of the best on-demand streaming services.
You can subscribe to the platform as a standalone service for $8.99 per month to access Amazon’s ad-free video library.
However, it’ll cost you $14.99 per month to sign up for an Amazon Prime membership.
Upon signing up, Amazon gives you 30 days of free streaming service; then, if you don’t cancel at the end of the trial, your account will be debited.
Amazon Prime membership grants you access to video content as well as shopping perks (same-day delivery and two days free), Amazon Prime Music, Prime Books, and Prime Gaming.
You can also add other subscriptions such as PBS Documentaries, Starz, Cinemax, and Showtime at a fee.
Students can sign up for an Amazon Prime subscription at $6.49 per month, while Medicaid recipients can access it at $6.99.
And if you don’t want to subscribe, you can rent movies based on titles.
Amazon Prime Video offers high-quality original content that’s close to what you can find on Netflix.
You can also watch Thursday Night Football games, WNBA games, and certain MLB matchups.
The streaming service works on multiple devices, web browsers, game consoles, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, LG Blu-Ray Players, cable TV, and Smart TV. There’s also an app for Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon allows you to have up to six profiles on one account.
You can stream videos on three devices simultaneously, but you can’t stream the same content on more than two devices at the same time.
Also, the platform allows downloads, which you can only access for 30 days.
- 4K streaming
- Allows you to rent movies and shows
- Original content
- Allows add-ons like sports channels
- Free trial for Amazon Prime membership
- Some content requires an additional fee to view
- You may lose some third-party content
6. YouTube TV
YouTube has been among the highly demanded free streaming services.
Not only does it provide free content for mobile phone users, but it also allows content creators to create and publish videos.
So, if you want to cut the cord without commitments, you may want to check out YouTube TV.
YouTube is building its live TV service by asking subscribers to pay a token for an ad-free experience.
It also offers original content like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
You should expect to find over 85 entertainment channels, including news and sports channels.
It also carries PBS channels that are specific to certain regions.
YouTube TV does an amazing job in the sports category.
It displays sports-specific channels like NFL Network, MLB Network, and NBA TV.
Although the streaming service doesn’t have regional sports networks, for an extra fee, sports fans can access NFL RedZone, GOLTV, TVG, and more.
You can subscribe to YouTube TV at $64.99 per month.
You’ll get up to six accounts, three simultaneous streams, and unlimited recordings of your favorite shows.
YouTube has one of the best digital video recording features.
It has unlimited storage and you can access your recordings for nine months at no cost.
You can also fast-forward or rewind recordings.
Add-ons come at an additional fee.
They include Acorn TV, CuriosityStream, NBA League Pass, and AMC Premiere.
You can watch YouTube TV on Android and Apple devices, web browsers, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Smart TVs like Sony, Samsung, and LG.
- Offers over 85 channels for news, sports, and entertainment
- Unlimited video recording storage
- Robust add-ons
- Six accounts and three simultaneous streams
- The parental control features are basic
Hulu started as a joint venture and a plan to become Netflix’s biggest competitor.
It offered new TV episodes until Disney joined the team, bringing a whole new vibe to the live TV streaming service.
All of Disney’s content that can’t go live on its family-friendly streaming platforms will be showcased on Hulu.
Although Hulu still displays new episodes, it has over 70 channels.
The entertainment channels include Food Network, TNT, TLC, HGTV, Disney, Discovery, and Cartoon Network.
It also showcases News channels such as Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, CNN, and ABC news.
The lineup for sports streaming includes the Olympic Channel, Golf Channel, and more.
Hulu’s basic plan starts at $6.99 per month, offering two simultaneous streams or $12.99 for an ad-free video streaming service.
Students can subscribe to the ad-free plan for $1.99 per month.
You can also bundle Hulu with ESPN and Disney+ for $13.99 per month or $19.99 for an ad-free plan.
The company’s live TV streaming service costs $64.99 with ads.
But if you don’t want ads, you should be prepared to pay $75.99 per month.
Hulu allows you to add Viacom’s channels like Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV.
You can also add the NFL RedZone channel for streaming NFL games, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, and HBO Max.
For a fee, the live TV streaming service offers unlimited screens on one account and up to 50 storage hours (which you can extend to 200 hours) for its direct video recording, and you can skip ads.
Additionally, the platform has original content like other top video streaming services.
However, only iOS premium subscribers can download them and the downloads are available for 30 days.
And as soon as you start playback, you should finish it within two days before it disappears.
You can stream Hulu on the web or mobile devices.
It’s also compatible with game consoles such as Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox One.
If you don’t want your kids to watch random channels, you can set up a kid’s profile for them.
- Affordable basic plan
- Great lineup of shows, news, and sports
- Original content
- Not all shows are in HD
- Only premium subscribers can download videos
- The basic plan isn’t ads-free
8. Paramount Plus
Paramount Plus, formerly known as CBS All Access, offers original content and live sports at an affordable cost.
But if you want more features like offline downloads, 4K streaming, and local channels, you should consider subscribing to the premium plan.
Paramount offers on-demand shows like BET, CBS, MTV, Smithsonian Channel, Nickelodeon, and Comedy central.
It also has several reality series and music shows.
Since Paramount owns Nickelodeon, you can expect more family-friendly content from the streaming service.
On the sports angle, Paramount packs a punch of sports content for those on a tight budget.
It covers college basketball, football, and golf. Additionally, sports fans can find NFL games, NCAA men’s basketball championships, and PGA tours.
It also streams several soccer games, such as UEFA Champions League, Série A, National Women’s Soccer League, UEFA Europa Conference League, and UEFA Europa League.
Paramount Plus starts at $4.99 per month.
This plan contains ads and doesn’t include CBS local stations, but you can watch NFL games and UEFA Champions League.
The premium plan costs $9.99 per month. If you’re yet to decide whether Paramount is good for you, you should take advantage of its 7-day free trial.
The streaming service doesn’t have a digital video recorder for sports channels.
As a result, fans can’t access games unless they watch live TV.
Upon signup, you can create up to six separate accounts on one plan with three simultaneous streams per account.
When it comes to parental control, Paramount Plus shows a bit of laxity.
You can create a profile for kids and streamline their content based on age, but there’s no password for switching from one profile to another.
You can access Paramount Plus on a web browser or its mobile app.
It’s also compatible with Smart TVs like Vizio, Samsung, and LG.
- Affordable basic plan
- Free trial
- Access to live sports
- Six profiles on one account and three simultaneous streams
- No video recording feature for sports channels
- Requires premium subscription for 4K viewing and downloads
9. Sling TV
Sling is an inexpensive live TV streaming service. It has three plans: Orange and Blue, Blue, and Orange.
Some channels overlap, so you may get confused when making a choice.
Sling Blue and Sling Orange cost $40 each per month, while Sling Orange & Blue costs $55 per month.
Sling Orange has 31 live TV channels for sports and kids’ content.
They include History Channel, Food Network, BBC America, HGTV, ESPN, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, Disney, Travel Channel, TNT, TBS, and IFC.
The Blue plan has 41 channels for entertainment and news.
They include Fox, Fox News, BBC America, TBS, TNT, CNN, NBC, Nick Jr., and Investigation Discovery.
Sling Orange & Blue contains everything you can find in the single plans, including NFL Network, Stadium, FS1, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3.
For an additional $11, you can add more sports channels to the Orange and Blue plans.
They include NFL RedZone, FS2, ACC Network, Tennis Channel, Golf Channel, Big Ten Network, and Longhorn Network.
For another $10, you can access extras like Hollywood, Lifestyle, Comedy, News, and Kids.
The Sling Orange plan allows one streaming, while the Blue plan allows concurrent streaming on three devices.
But the combined plan offers three simultaneous streaming.
When you subscribe to Sling TV, you’ll get 50 storage hours for video recording, which can be extended to 200 hours for a monthly fee of $5.
Sling TV offers add-ons, such as Showtime, Epix, and Starz, for an improved viewing experience.
It’s compatible with Android and iOS devices, Samsung Smart TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Xbox One, and Roku.
- Large sports content at an affordable cost
- Allows add-ons
- Offers two basic plans
- Confusing content distribution
- Limited streaming from one account
We’ve discussed the best video streaming services available.
It’s up to you to choose which streaming service suits your viewing appetite and your pocket.
TV streaming services like Paramount Plus offer as low as $4.99 per month, while YouTube TV starts at $64.99 per month.
Each streaming platform has unique offerings, with Netflix topping the list of original content and a large on-demand library.
So, before you settle for one, see if it has a free trial, then decide whether to cancel or continue.