When was the last time you went out and rented a movie from a video rental store? Other than Redbox, I’m sure the answer is probably not in a while. With streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV, plus a few dozen more video streaming options, there isn’t much of a need anymore.
After choosing an Audio/Video streaming device, where do you even begin? We’ve come up with a few popular movie streaming services that we think are the most versatile and let’s face it, Netflix is at the top of the list.
If you’re one of the few who don’t already have a Netflix account, it’s quit simple and you’ll even get a favorable discount for the first month, absolutely free. Every month following is $8 for the basic video streaming plan, there is also a Gold plan for $9 a month with HD capability and ability to watch on 2 screens at the same time. Netflix also recently released the $12 a month Platinum plan that streams 4K video content and allows you to watch on 4 screens at the same time. With Netflix, you can even keep your restless kids occupied on your smartphone, tablet, computer and Home Theater devices just by downloading their app. Just in case you didn’t already know that!
Hulu Plus is another option, but unlike Netflix, you don’t have an extensive library of movies, but it does have an excessive list of current TV shows. If you’re looking to spend a little less on your cable bill by cutting it off completely, Hulu Plus is a cheap alternative – we’re talking $8 a month – to keep up with your favorite shows. Downside is that sometimes you’ll have to wait a few days, sometimes weeks for the latest episode to be available. Just like Netflix, Hulu allows new users to give them a spin free, for the first month. As with Netflix, the Hulu app allows you to watch your shows anywhere with your iPhones, tablets, and home theater devices.
You can find just about everything on YouTube, we all know that. Sure, there’s some strange stuff on YouTube, but you can find a useful library of free and paid-for movies. YouTube is free, but if you want to use the site for video on demand services, you’ll pay anywhere from $0.99 to about $4 for every movie you rent. You have the option to buy the movie ranging form $10 to $20. Just like anyone I’ve met, just start YouTube-ing random things that pop in your head and find something that suits your fancy. Netflix has a massive library of of movies with Hulu trailing behind with TV shows, but with YouTube, you can be sure to personalize your video streaming options.
Amazon Instant Video offers TV shows and movies either for rent of purchase. In order to use Amazon’s Instant Video on streaming devices, you’ll have to become an Amazon Prime member. As a Prime user, you have access to 1-day shipping when buying Amazon products, Kindle Lending Library, thousands of Kindle titles available to borrow for free, and unlimited movie and TV streaming. It’s easy to sign up, but keep in mind that if you want to stream the content on an AppleTV, you’ll need to download the iOS app and use Airplay. As an Android user, you’ll have to install the Amazon App for Android and the Prime Instant Video player.
Vudu is another popular streaming service that is owned by Walmart and offers a verity of movies and TV shows. Vudu has content similar to what you’ll find on YouTube and iTunes video marketplace. New DVD releases found in Walmart are usually available for streaming on Vudu right around the same time. With Vudu, you’ll pay per movie or TV show and ranges between $4 and $6, depending on audio and video quality. You’ll have to download the Vudu app for your iPhone and/or Android devices and use Roku, AppleTV or Google Chromcast to push content to your television. Admittedly, Vudu isn’t the greatest considering the ever so popular Netflix and Hulu Plus, but it does have a pretty big movie library.
As mentioned before, there are dozens of media services available like HBOGo, WatchESPN, Lifetime, PBS which are available on most set-top streaming boxes like AppleTV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Our team here at Advanced Integrated Controls (AIC) just wanted to touch a few of the most popular streaming services available. If you’re looking for more information regarding home entertainment streaming, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. If you’re a local in the Hilton Head, Bluffton and Savannah areas, come by our show room and we’ll test these services out for you! As always, your Home Theater and Custom Audio Video desires are what we’re here for.