Best Streaming Service

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antiqueman
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:22 pm

Best Streaming Service

Post by antiqueman »

I am considering going to a streaming service for TV now that I have high speed internet.

I have researched the available streaming services. To confusing. I realize each providers have packages different from other providers For those of you who use a streaming TV service I would appreciate you advising me what service you use and why you picked that service over other services.

Thank you.
toocold
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by toocold »

My general advice is rotate services rather than buying a number of streaming services. It's easy enough to cancel one and start another. For me personally, I went from Netflix to Hulu (premium). Both are good. Netflix has more content but charges you more for more screens. Hulu has more up to date tv shows. Amazon is good if you already use prime (which I don't). I did the free trial for disney+ but they don't have enough content to pay an ongoing fee.
Blake7
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Location: USA

Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by Blake7 »

Netflix has the deepest selection, if you want to pick one. More than enough content for our family, and our only service. However, there may be a specific series you may want, but can only get on other services. We just settle for what’s on Netflix (and sometimes what’s free on other Roku channels).
otinkyad
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by otinkyad »

There are lots of threads on this topic. It depends a great deal on whether you want news, sports, or the shows people talk about at work (still mostly network and cable, in my experience). We haven’t had cable or OTA for 6 years.

Netflix: first, cheapest, good selection
Prime: already had it, decent selection, option to rent or buy newer releases
PBS Passport: Masterpiece (Amazon might be better now)
Hulu: occasional use, sometimes with live TV
Sling or ESPN: occasional use for sports
HBO: occasional use, though really only GoT
Disney+: occasional use (still on first stint)
others: want some shows, not enough to try them
crefwatch
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by crefwatch »

Note that Amazon Prime has a large number of titles that turn out to be extra-cost, beyond the Amazon Prime membership. They have movies to be bought as single item sales, and series that require buying access to a whole channel, like PBS passport. They also sometimes have such series, one or two ,free for a month. But it's necessary to learn about them and watch them in a hurry.

You only need 10-20 Meg internet to watch HD streaming, as far as I know. Of course it's different in a family with heavy usage on multiple screens and computer devices.

Netflix charges extra for 4K, Prime does not. But Netflix may have more 4K content.

It really depends on what shows you want to see. But I agree with the other replies so far. If you have two services, the differences in their interfaces can be confusing. For example, right now, Netflix is much more likely to start showing you the next episode automatically, while I've read that Amazon abandoned that policy. One problem can be that the pointed to where you are occasionally gets lost, and you need to realize that you're watching the last episode (tomorrow), or you're halfway through an episode you thought you were ten seconds into when you shut it down for the night.

Out TV happens to have wired ethernet, not WiFi. You should certainly check your Wifi quality if you have no network wiring.
radius9918
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by radius9918 »

We have YouTube TV which is a great replacement for the cable we used to get. Unlimited DVR with no set top box needed.

We also get Hulu free with our Spotify subscription (watch it rarely)
We pay for Netflix’s the lowest tier, and frequently consider cancelling but they do put out a lot of content.

We have Disney Plus for free for a month, we won’t renew. Not enough content for adults.
Amazon prime, which we watch rarely but would be paying for anyway.
We got a free year of Apple TV with our iPhones last year, which has been alright, but not enough content to pay for.
Katietsu
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by Katietsu »

If you want more targeted useful advice, we need to know what you watch.

The biggest question is whether or not you want live TV. Live TV is usually more expensive. Depending on what channels you want and what options for cable that you have, streaming with liveTV and a wide selection of channels can be more expensive than cable.

Next question is whether you want current shows from the major broadcast networks. And, if so, which shows or networks.

Do you watch premium channels, eg HBO and Showtime? Sports? Hallmark? British detective shows? Are you an Amazon Prime member already? Do you already own a streaming device? Is your goal to cut costs? How many people in your family watching independently? Any young Disney/Nickelodeon fans?

Let us know about your viewing habits and goals and, hopefully, we can narrow it down for you.
PaunchyPirate
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by PaunchyPirate »

I’m in the camp that signs up for one service at a time, watches what I want, then move on to the next service. After about 1 year, I’ve watched what I want on the current service and am looking for new things. It’s easy to cancel and start multiple times. Currently, I’m on Amazon Prime. Will move on when my Prime membership ends.
mnsportsgeek
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by mnsportsgeek »

This is a very broad question. Are you trying to watch live TV networks? Or do you just want the most good content for your buck?

Live TV Options: YouTube TV, Fubo, Hulu + Live TV, and Sling are all viable options. YTTV, Fubo, and Hulu are all pretty similar. Sling is more budget friendly but at the cost of fewer channels.

Other "non-live" services: Netflix, HBO, and Disney+, Amazon, and Hulu are largely considered the big guns. Followed by more streaming services than you can imagine (CBS All Access, Peacock, Epix, Showtime, Apple TV+, Crunchyroll, etc. etc. etc).

Look into what each offer and make the choice that suits your needs.
Last edited by mnsportsgeek on Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bertilak
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by bertilak »

One service is probably not enough. I use the following:

"Base" services to which more specialized services can be added.
  • Netflix (probably the best of these two}
    Amazon Prime Video: Second best to Netflix. I don't like that you need to pay extra for some content.
The next get me British TV (including Australia and New Zealand). I think British television is light years better than US television and consider these essential.
  • Britbox (best of these two)
    Acorn (close behind Britbox)
Prime Video has only a partial set of the original Perry Mason so I got a temporary subscription to
  • CBS All Access
which has a bigger (although also incomplete) Mason selection. Otherwise CBS is the epitome of second rate US television. I will drop this when I finish the Perry Masons.

I also get
  • Disney+
because it includes National Geographic. So far I only watch Dr. Pol and Dr. Oakley and an occasional special as some are very good. I may or may not continue it.
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MDfan
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by MDfan »

I assume he meant a streaming service like YTTV or Hulu Live. We switched to YTTV from FIOS a few months ago. While the picture on our basement TV (where our FIOS router is located) is good, the quality of the picture on the two upstairs TV, especially for live sports, is not as good as FIOS. Definitely grainier at times. We have 200 mbps internet speed but I'm thinking maybe a mesh system would help.
Afty
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by Afty »

I’ve used the following for live TV via streaming:

Sling: Cheapest at $30/mo. Includes ESPN, ESPN2, and TNT for live sports, but no local channels. It was very unreliable when we used it via Chromecast, but much better via Roku. Verdict: cheapest for a reason

AT&T Now: $55/mo, includes local channels. It actually worked pretty well when we had it, but my sense is that they are losing subscribers now and quality might be declining. I would pick Hulu Live TV over this for the same price.

Youtube TV: $65/mo, includes local channels. Best streaming experience. Includes unlimited DVR. Most expensive service, but also best experience.
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beyou
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by beyou »

Most have free trials, so you can see what you like. My suggestion is to sign up for a free trial, freeze the subscription at end of free trial or maybe after short paid period if enjoying something in particular. Then try next service with another free trial. You’ll spend little and learn alot.

The main issue is live sports. This can narrow your choices in a normal pandemic-free year. If you don’t need that, all the services are inexpensive and can get not only a free week or month, sometimes even a free year. Got free year of Disney+ from Verizon, and Apple tv from Apple after buying a new iphone. I don’t think I will pay for either. Most of the ones with lots of content and customers give short free trials, but sufficient if you sign up when you have time to really try them out, and see.
mike512usa
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by mike512usa »

I pay for Netflix & Hulu and occasionally use the free stuff with commercials. Crackle has several shows that I like which are unique to Crackle. The Roku channel, Tubi, Pluto and even Youtube has occasional stuff worth watching.
bloom2708
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by bloom2708 »

Are you into sports or not?

Best to compare channels, price and device availability. Roku or Fire TV or Apple TV or other. YouTube TV likely has the best experience, but they raised the price to $65/month recently. Hulu Live (or one of their bundles are pretty good. You can get Disney+ and ESPN+ in a package.

Currently we have Netflix, Hulu (no ads), Philo (no sports TV) and Disney +. Recently got 12 months of Apple TV + with a MacBook purchase. Always check what you get "Over The Air" as well with an indoor or outdoor antenna.

As usual, much more to watch than time/desire to watch. But, the LONG winter is coming....north of the wall...
Last edited by bloom2708 on Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DaftInvestor
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by DaftInvestor »

Recent Article comparing services (Streaming and Streaming+Live options) with costs:

https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-fina ... g-services
sailaway
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by sailaway »

toocold wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:34 pm My general advice is rotate services rather than buying a number of streaming services. It's easy enough to cancel one and start another. For me personally, I went from Netflix to Hulu (premium). Both are good. Netflix has more content but charges you more for more screens. Hulu has more up to date tv shows. Amazon is good if you already use prime (which I don't). I did the free trial for disney+ but they don't have enough content to pay an ongoing fee.
This is what we do.

PBS Passport charges by the year and we want to support PBS, so we always have this one.

We have had Britbox for a year (expires next month). It was cheaper by the year and I certainly made use of it because it is my go to for background noise.

We had Disney for a few months and watched the latest Star Wars, including Mandalorian, and DH watched all the Marvel movies. We may pay for another month once the Mandalorian Season 2 is complete.

We used to have Netflix, but a lot of what we were watching were British and Australian shows that got moved to Britbox.

We did the free month of Amazon Prime, but neither of us found anything worth paying for.

We will probably stick with PBS and free youtube for awhile through the Fall.
rich126
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by rich126 »

Kind of like a number of things, "best" depends on your "wants".

Disney: No plans to keep it long term (no kids) but I've enjoyed some of the documentary shows about the history of building Disney and Walt Disney. Shows like Imagineering were interesting to me. Jeff Goldblum has a wacky show looking at various things from denim to bbq to tattoos. The Prop Culture show is interesting with a collector of props from various movies and in the process often talks to actors from those movies as well as special effect people. The "brain" show is quite interesting as well. The old childhood memories of movies I've found it is best to leave them as memories. Some don't age well.

Netflix: My oldest service but I watch it less and less as they lose content. They have some new self created content but the older stuff was nice because you could binge on it or you knew it had an ending. Netflix content can come and go like broadcast shows and shows have no real conclusion. I actually miss Friends since that was my late night relaxation show. I can record it many other ways but the ads are annoying.

Prime: According to the numbers, I use this the most by far. Part of that is due to subscribing to channels within Prime such as CBS (I've canceled that), Acorn (long time subscriber of that) and BritBox (just had it a few months). Amazon has a chunk of shows free and it is pretty easy to search for them as well as pay per view shows (rental or buying).

Acorn: I think I got this first to watch more of Murdoch Mysteries but it has a number of good British shows as well as NZ/Australian stuff as well. Sometimes it is annoying because they may have only some of the seasons and not all of them (I think unless I'm getting this mixed up with BritBox). Foyle's war is a great show (I think it is on Acorn).

BritBox: If you like British mysteries this is a good one. I think shows like Inspector Morse, Endeavour are on it.

CBS: I canceled this once I finished Picard (I thought that was excellent). My big gripe with this is that I though I would have access to all CBS shows. Instead I had access to the current season but most other seasons require payment.

Hulu: I canceled this during the free trial. Too many commercials.

YoutubeTV: Getting costly ($65) but the unlimited DVR that collects shows for you is very good. Most things are kept for a year. Local channels, NFL network, etc. I honestly watch more older shows so if need be, I could get rid of this. Often you can FF through ads but not always. It depends on the channel.

As others mentioned through a device like Roku you have access to a number of free channels. Some have mostly junk but some, especially if you like older tv shows or movies may be of interest. You generally have to deal with ads although often at a lesser frequency than normal TV.

Roku: They have their own channel with free content of tv shows (Batman, I Dream of Jeannie, etc.) and movies. Usually not the entire collection of the show but just a few seasons.

Pluto: Movies and TV shows with ads. Some are somewhat new.

And a bunch of other stuff like PBS network, etc. I am surprised how some want a monthly fee and then another fee to watch certain shows. I often cancel those quickly.

For some people the free stuff would be plenty, others have different needs.
mrmass
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by mrmass »

Suppose.tv is a handy site. You click the networks you watch, and it builds the services/providers.

https://www.suppose.tv/tv
Topic Author
antiqueman
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:22 pm

Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by antiqueman »

Thank you everyone for your replies.

I watch a lot of college football so I would like a service that streams college sports. I do not need NFL service.

Thank you.
Exchme
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by Exchme »

We are in the 2 week free introductory phase of YouTube TV and we like it very much. For college football, I see the Big 10 and SEC networks, plus ESPN, ESPNHD, broadcast networks, etc. We have had DirectTV for years but it's become very expensive as we have multiple recorders to grab all that college football. Youtube TV will save us a lot on the bill and even cures frustrations like missing the end of the game since it is smart enough to know when the broadcast ends. Enjoy!
fishnhunt
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by fishnhunt »

We rotate between the different streaming options but usually end up keeping Netflix the longest. After a while when nothing interests us, we cancel and try some other options. Usually switch back 3-6 months later and there is new movies and shows to watch.
four7s
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by four7s »

I'm surprised that MHZ streaming is not on anyone's list. We've subscibed for years and love it. It is the best of European TV. Mostly French, Italian, German and Scandinavian 'hit' series. It is all subtitles. We dropped Netflix for political reasons (Cuties.....really?) and we also subsribe to Acorn and even though it's all English programs we use their subtitle option.
oxothuk
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by oxothuk »

four7s wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:04 pm I'm surprised that MHZ streaming is not on anyone's list. We've subscibed for years and love it. It is the best of European TV. Mostly French, Italian, German and Scandinavian 'hit' series. It is all subtitles. We dropped Netflix for political reasons..
My wife and I loved MHZ when it was carried by our local PBS station, but unfortunately that ended last year. We've been debating whether to subscribe to their streaming channel, but have not pulled the trigger yet.

Another thing we liked about MHz was that any "political" themes there might be in their shows were invisible to us as non-natives.
sixtyforty
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Re: Best Streaming Service

Post by sixtyforty »

We recently cut the cord and signed up Hulu + Live TV. We also have Netflix and AP. Hulu + Live TV includes the networks for college sports such as SEC, ESPNU, ESPN, ACC etc. You can also track or follow the teams you want. Love the ability to record and replay etc. I should have cut the cord sooner !
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