In less than a decade, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video have become so central to popular culture that, for many, they've replaced broadcast TV networks as the new Big Three — the core trinity of content delivery for millions of cord-cutting viewers.
The world of digital streaming, however, expands far beyond the scope of these three services.
To help make sense of it all, here is a small sampling of services available within the current streaming landscape, along with how much they cost and what devices you need to watch them.(Note: While some of these services are available outside of the US, all viewing and pricing options listed here are for their US versions only.) What is it?
While just about every TV network has its own streaming portal, very few movie studios have followed suit, preferring instead to use established ones like Netflix, and VOD options like Vudu.
Just about every broadcast and cable network also has its own streaming service (never to be outdone, HBO has two), and the major sports leagues all have their own as well.
This year, CBS even began making premium original shows — The Good Wife spinoff The Good Fight, and the first Star Trek TV show in 12 years, Star Trek: Discovery — for its subscription-only service, CBS All Access.
Sony is the rare exception, launching this free, ad-supported movies and TV service in 2007 that leans heavily on male-skewing content. Of the roughly 200 viewing options, there's a rotating selection of TV shows, including all episodes of recent (i.e., canceled) shows like Last Resort and The Player, as well as selected seasons of classics like Seinfeld and All in the Family.
There is also a limited range of classic and contemporary movies from sci-fi (2011’s Attack the Block) to comedy (1980’s Stir Crazy) to thrillers (1993’s In the Line of Fire) and prestige dramas (2004’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Desktop, i OS, Android, Windows Phone, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Play Station TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, smart TVs (Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio), Sprint TV (for an added fee), T-Mobile TV (for an added fee)Where can I watch it?And some outlets, like You Tube, Play Station Vue, Sling, and Hulu, have started offering streams of live TV and à la carte access to popular basic cable networks.All of that would provide enough #content — delivered through a sprawling technological ecosystem of tablet apps, set-top boxes, smart TVs, and USB sticks — for several lifetimes.(Similar to Tubi TV, there's also a section named Movies Not On Netflix Or Hulu.)How much is it? Desktop, i OS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, smart TVs (Samsung), Amazon Channels, Sling TVWhere can I watch it? This is yet another service for movie buffs, with a strong competitive edge: It draws from the deep libraries of quality cinema paragons Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Collection. The basic package offers roughly 500 films, refreshing 10 films every week, that stretch from the 1910s to the 2010s.Certain films are broken out into special programming selections, like Coming Home (1996's Beautiful Girls, 2010's Tiny Furniture) and Tales of Revenge (1994's The Crow, 2003's Old Boy), as well as retrospectives for major filmmakers (Satyajit Ray, Ingmar Bergman).And yet, specialized streaming services have been proliferating like cinematic universes and NBC’s Chicago shows.