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Streaming video services are fast taking over. It’s time to dive in and get acquainted with some of the top choices, all of which are available on desktops, smart TVs, streaming players, game consoles, tablets and mobile phones.
Netflix is the leader when it comes to streaming video services. Even after a risky marketing transition with Qwikster, they’re still tops in the market. Did you know that traffic to Netflix makes up approximately one third of the bandwidth use in North America?
Netflix has a great selection of new releases, old classics, and Indie movies. Plus, its television content is currently unmatched. Netflix also has a huge selection of children’s programming. At $7.99 a month, Netflix is just too good to be true. If you’re not streaming with Netflix now, its time you tried it out. Netflix is significantly better than any other streaming video service out there.
Hulu is the next best option to Netflix. Hulu is free online, but costs $7.99 a month for its mobile, smart TV, and player-streaming app, Hulu Plus. Hulu is mainly for television. In most cases, you can view television shows the day after they air! Unfortunately, Hulu Plus still has ads, even in their movies, which is a drawback when you’re already paying a monthly fee. But if you really love Saturday Night Live, The Office and 30 Rock, you can watch them all on Hulu.
Amazon Instant is slightly cheaper than Netflix or Hulu Plus and will run you approximately $6.67 per month. You get access to all the streaming titles on Amazon Instant Video, plus free two-day shipping on all products sold by Amazon. Like Netflix, Amazon Instant is also commercial free. If you want The Waking Dead, you’re going to pay extra, which is something to think about before signing up.
VUDU showcases on-demand new releases and television streaming. It’s free to sign-up and can be used on smart TVs, gaming consoles, streaming devices, tablets and desktop computers. VUDU stands out because movies are available the same day they are released on DVD, which makes it a great option. Another good reason to use VUDU is because of HDX, the highest quality High-Definition content available, also in Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound. If quality is important to you, definitely check out VUDU.
HBO GO is, without a doubt, the top mobile streaming app available right now. They have one of the best-looking iPad apps around. Like Netflix, HBO gambled on being the first cable network mobile streaming app and that gamble has seriously paid off. At present, the player streams best on a WiFi connection, while the audio is best with headphones, not speakers. The app would really dominate if it was a direct-to-consumer app rather than a “subscription-only” service. Hopefully, that is in the works.
Unfortunately, there are still some hurdles to be overcome with streaming. Not every movie and TV show can be streamed and you can’t stream sports or local news; however, video streaming is a wonderful companion. All you need is a High-Speed Internet connection—test your Internet speed with a bandwidth speed test—and a streaming device. What are you waiting for?
Paul Williams brings a wide range of experiences to his writing. He worked extensively in technology, as a software engineer, technical writer, and now a technology writer. Known as the leader of one of the top American Spacerock bands, his forward-looking music continues to be heard all over the world.