When it comes to cutting the cord there are loads of services to choose from, but they aren’t all created equal. From available channels and original programming to the user interface and cutting-edge audio-visual technologies (or lack thereof), each streaming services has its pros and cons.
So what’s the best? How do you choose? Well, you could subscribe to them all or you can read this list of the five best streaming services for cord-cutters.
While the process of selecting the best is undoubtedly subjective, this list is based on three things:
- The quality of service-exclusive programming
- The amount and balance (TV shows, movies, genres) of the service’s content library
- The platform’s user interface experience and its support of the latest audio-visual technologies (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, HDR, etc.)
Whichever platforms you choose from this list, you won’t be disappointed as each one has great content and plenty of it. We really are in the Golden Age of streaming entertainment.
Netflix continues to rule the proverbial roost when it comes to streaming services despite several others nipping at its heels. With a massive library of movies and TV shows and award-winning original programming, Netflix has a lot to offer. Combine its library with a user-friendly interface and wide support for Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, HDR, and 5.1 surround sound and Netflix is hard to beat.
- Standout Original Content: The Witcher, Stranger Things, Ozark, Orange is the New Black, The Crown, Tiger King, Making a Murderer, The Queen’s Gambit, Wild Wild Country, GLOW, She-Ra, BoJack Horseman, A Marriage Story, Roma
- Pros: A huge library of quality movies, TV series, documentaries, and docuseries, an intuitive user interface, and excellent audio-visual technology support for the best picture and sound.
- Cons: Starting to get expensive — at $19.99 a month for 4K quality, it is the most expensive stand-alone (non-live TV) streaming service
When Disney launched its own on-demand streaming service in November of 2019, it was highly anticipated and for good reason — it was coming to the scene with a library of content that was largely unavailable (and highly sought after) elsewhere.
Disney Plus has since also delivered high-quality original programming that makes the streaming service a true juggernaut. including.
- Standout Original Content: The Mandalorian, Hawkeye, Wanda Vision, Loki, The Beatles: Get Back, Disney classics, Pixar movies, The Simpsons, National Geographic programming
- Pros: Complete collection of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars properties, The Simpsons, and Pixar films, a slick, easy-to-use interface, and great support for the best picture and sound.
- Cons: Heavily geared towards kid-friendly content — you won’t find a lot of different (or more adult-themed) genres on the service.
Apple TV Plus
With a truly beautiful user interface, a growing library of industry-leading original programming, and strong support for the best audio-visual experience (Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, HDR, etc.), Apple TV Plus is on the move. It has yet to make a huge splash on the movie side of things but continues to deliver awesome TV show experiences.
- Standout Original Content: Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, For All Mankind, Foundation, Severance, Mythic Quest, The Shrink Next Door
- Pros: One of the slickest, best-looking user interfaces on the market right now and excellent support for the best audio-visual experience. Competing with HBO for the most inventive, quality-driven original television programming out there. Probably worth the subscription just to watch Ted Lasso.
- Cons: Not nearly as strong on the movie side of things although there’s plenty to rent.
Thanks to an incredibly rich library of original content that goes back almost three decades, and a continuing tradition of licensing popular new film releases, HBO Max is a strong streaming competitor. However, technical problems with the app and a watering down of the brand in recent years is holding it back.
- Standout Original Content: Euphoria, Succession, Mare of Eastown, Barry, Watchmen, Big Little Lies, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Chernobyl
- Pros: Perhaps the deepest bench of quality-driven original programming of any streaming service out there (both TV and movies). When subscribing to HBO Max you not only get access to new original programming, but HBO classics like The Wire, The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Veep, Curb Your Enthusiasm, etc.
- Cons: The HBO Max app is riddled with bugs, is slow and suffers from random crashes — it’s a bit of a mess. This seems to affect a lot of devices (Apple TV, NVIDIA Shield, Amazon Fire TV Stick, etc.), but results may vary. Once the content starts playing it seems to be fine but getting there can be painful. Also, since merging its content with the Max brand a few years ago there seems to be a glut of subpar programming on the service.
Hulu is, perhaps, the most flexible, most all-in-one service on the list. It’s a great service if you are looking for live TV, looking to keep everything in one single app, or really like reality TV (Hulu has a lot of reality TV) — this all costs extra, though.
A standalone subscription to Hulu nets you a balanced mix of good content and not-so-good content. There are diamonds in the rough, for sure, but you have to look for them.
- Standout Original Content: The Great, Pam & Tommy, Only Murders in the Building, Vacation Friends, The Handmaid’s Tale, Pen15, Palm Springs, Casual
- Pros: Hulu is great for keeping up on TV shows from other networks if that’s your thing. It also offers a live TV plan that comes with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus. You can also order a ton of “add-ons,” like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz — adding these on gives you access to all the content on those platforms, but inside the Hulu interface. So, if you want to keep up on the latest reality TV shows, want access to live TV, want to deal with just one interface, or want all the above, Hulu is for you.
- Cons: Hulu’s library of programming (both TV and movies) is hit and miss — there are a lot of great, high-quality titles but a lot of middling programming too. Thin on original content. The user interface is okay, but a little jumbled.
No matter which streaming platforms you choose, your Internet connection is the key to a great streaming experience. You’ll need ample bandwidth, symmetrical speeds, reliability and a service without data caps and throttling. At GoNetspeed, we’ve got you covered.
Check your address or get in touch with our super-friendly Customer Service team, 855-891-7291 to get started today.