For many people, "cutting the cord" is more about saving money than it is not wanting to enjoy video entertainment. While a broadband connection and a smart TV can let you access a wide range of entertainment, many people opt to subscribe to a premium streaming service as well.
Choosing a streaming service doesn't need to be a daunting task. There are several considerations to be aware of, and once you understand these considerations, it should be relatively easy to make the best choice for you and your family.
The primary considerations for most consumers choosing a premium service are programming, cost and ease of use. When making your decision, you may want to prioritize which of these is most important to you and your family.
In many cases, programming tops the list: After all, you are purchasing a streaming service for entertainment, and if you don't like the programming, the service ceases to have any real value. There has been a huge upswing in original contact creation for streaming services, so it may be a good idea to review new and upcoming shows, as well as the standard library of films and show episodes available to you through a particular service. Consult with family members as well, so that you can make the right decision for your household.
Here are some things to think about:
The next consideration is price. While most streaming services are generally affordable, some cost more than others. In addition, if you subscribe to more than one streaming service for your household, costs can add up quickly.
Here are some tips for reducing streaming service subscription costs:
1. Take advantage of free trials: If you are having difficulty choosing a service, a free trial can help you and your family evaluate the quality and suitability of the service. Remember, though, that you will be billed for the service once your trial period ends. Place an entry on your calendar to remind you to make a decision about keeping or canceling the service on the day before the trial ends.
2. Keep an eye out for specials. Some streaming services offer special discounts throughout the year.
3. Look for bundled options. Your internet service provider or mobile phone company may offer a longer trial period on some streaming services or, in some cases, provide you with a very deep discount on the streaming service of your choice. Just keep in mind that these perks are usually tied to your contract with your provider, and the terms can change at the end of your contract period.
4. An Amazon Prime membership includes the Prime Video streaming service. While there are featured channels that you can add to Prime Video, such as BritBox (British television) or MLB.TV (major league baseball), the basic service offers a wide selection of entertainment that could work well for your household, and at no extra cost.
5. Some streaming services, such as Hulu, offer different service levels with significant differences in price. Their lowest price offering, for example, is one that provides ad-supported on-demand streaming. Other options, at a higher price, include ad-free on-demand streaming, on-demand streaming plus additional streaming services, such as Disney+ and ESPN+, and on-demand plus live television. If you are willing to put up with ads and feel OK about using an external antenna to access local stations directly, you can save a bundle on Hulu.
6. Find out if a yearly subscription is available: You could end up saving money (and the headache of monthly credit card charges) by paying for your service annually.
The best streaming service is of little use if you have difficulty accessing it. Depending on your technical proficiency, and how well the services app operates on tablets and phones, you may want to consider how consumer or user-friendly the streaming service is. If you're constantly having to call customer service or look up ways to address glitches, you may decide to opt for a service that is less of a headache.
There are many streaming services available, and it seems like new ones pop up every week. However, many people tend to focus on the big four: Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix and Disney+. Each service has its advantages and disadvantages, and meets the needs of particular demographics and household needs. Here are some things to think about when making a purchasing decision:
Unlike the other services mention, Amazon Prime Video is not a standalone service, but the benefit of having an Amazon Prime Subscription. Because there is no extra cost for basic prime video service, this can be one of the most cost-effective streaming services available. It should be noted, however, that there are other add-on streaming services that can be added to your Amazon Prime account for an additional monthly charge.
Like Netflix, Amazon Prime is an on-demand streaming service that includes movies, episodes of popular television shows, and its own original continent which includes both movies and ongoing series. It does not provide live television streaming.
Amazon Prime Advantages: The advantages of Amazon prime video are numerous, and include the fact that there was no extra charge for this service if you already subscribe to Amazon Prime, Amazon's excellent customer service, And seamless integration with Amazon's website and Fire tablets.
Amazon Prime Disadvantages: Because this is a benefit of subscribing to Amazon prime, the basic service may not have the enormous selection of contact that some of the standalone services do. To make up for this, you can subscribe to channels within Amazon prime video, but at an extra cost. These costs can quickly add up, Though Amazon does offer free trials so that you can check out these channels before making a commitment. There is no live television, so you'll have to either use rabbit ears to access local TV, or a different streaming service or app to get these channels.
Hulu may be the most comprehensive of all streaming services. Depending on how much you are willing to pay, you can have access to a significant library of on-demand entertainment, as well as live television channels, which means that Hulu may do the best job of all streaming services at replicating the experience of having cable television. In addition, its on-demand packages allow you to choose between commercial and ad-free viewing experiences.
Hulu Advantages: Hulu offers an excellent library of on-demand contacts as well as original programming. Users have flexibility when it comes to controlling costs, and can easily opt for a full service package that includes being able to watch local and cable networks live.
Hulu Disadvantages: There is a significant gap between the cost of Hulu's lowest-priced package and its highest-priced package. In addition, Hulu has recently undergone an ownership change, which may affect the level of service subscribers can expect.
In many ways, Netflix is the great-granddaddy of modern streaming services. Back in the Late 90s, Netflix was founded as a mail-order disruptor within the Home video industry. Netflix's service allowed people to rent DVDs by mail, all for a low monthly price. No late fees, people could simply keep a DVD as long as they wished to. Eventually, this type of service became so popular that major national video rental stores went bankrupt more people preferred the convenience of subscribing to DVDs by mail.
As more households began to get broadband Internet, Netflix pivoted and started offering on-demand streaming video. This proves so popular that Netflix began to Develop its own original shows that rivaled and often surpassed the quality of the programming offered by the big three networks. To this day, many people subscribe to Netflix because of its excellent programming lineup.
Netflix is entirely on-demand programming, so there are no extras involved and its flat fee Pricing model. The amount you pay each month corresponds to the level of picture quality that you want. Beyond that, there are no extra charges.
Netflix Pros: If you are interested in an extensive on-demand library of movies, television shows and current, original continent, Netflix can be a great option for you. It is known for excellent customer service, you'll know exactly what you'll be paying each month and you can choose the level of picture quality that suits your needs and devices. You can even download some programming for offline viewing, which is a great option for travelers.
Netflix Cons: Netflix is entirely on-demand, so it will not provide you with local stations or live content.
This is the newest Major streaming service to enter the market. As you might guess, Disney+ focuses on entertainment, offering Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic productions. While there is plenty here for adults, it is also clear that this is intended to be a family-friendly service. Again, this is a service that provides an on-demand content library and is not intended to replace network and local television.
Disney+ Advantages: If you have children, or your family simply loves popular entertainment, Disney+ offers a huge and up-to-date selection to choose from. It is also possible to order a package that includes Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ which can provide a wider range of streaming video and live sports coverage at a discounted price.
Disney+ Disadvantages: The entertainment focus of the streaming service may not meet the needs of some people. No live TV.
As always, it's important to do your research before committing to a streaming video service. Fortunately, it's relatively easy to do this online and, since most services offer a trial period, you can check them out before making a commitment. If you do find a service that you like, be sure to familiarize yourself with all of its features, including the opportunity to save money by opting for an annual plan or learning if it can be bundled with other products and services.
After thousands of Hulu customers came to GetHuman in search of an answer to this problem (and many others), we decided it was time to publish instructions. So we put together Hulu, Neflix, Disney+ or Prime? What Are the Best Streaming Sites? to try to help. It takes time to get through these steps according to other users, including time spent working through each step and contacting Hulu if necessary. Best of luck and please let us know if you successfully resolve your issue with guidance from this page.
GetHuman has been working for over 10 years on sourcing information about big organizations like Hulu in order to help customers resolve customer service issues faster. We started with contact information and fastest ways to reach a human at big companies. Particularly ones with slow or complicated IVR or phone menu systems. Or companies that have self-serve help forums instead of a customer service department. From there, we realized that consumers still needed more detailed help solving the most common problems, so we expanded to this set of guides, which grows every day. And if you spot any issues with our Hulu, Neflix, Disney+ or Prime? What Are the Best Streaming Sites? guide, please let us know by sending us feedback. We want to be as helpful as possible. If you appreciated this guide, please share it with your favorite people. Our free information and tools is powered by you, the customer. The more people that use it, the better it gets.