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Video Streaming – Part 2. What is the best streaming video service?

2movietvlogos1There are hundreds of services on the internet streaming movies, TV shows, and other video content.  It is impossible to determine the one “best” service because they each have their own strengths, unique content, costs and characteristics.

First, let’s discuss the general classes of services: free, subscription, and pay-per-view.  Then we will describe and recommend specific services.

First, there are the free services that are supported with advertisements. The most popular is YouTube where the content is largely from the user base.  There are other services that have older movies available.  They are free, so try them out.

The subscription services are an “all-you-can-watch” for a monthly or annual fee.  Netflix was the pioneer and charges about $9-12 per month.  Amazon Instant Video is available to all Amazon Prime customers for about $90 per year.  These services have movies and TV shows that are not a current as the next category, but they can have huge libraries and deep content is niches like documentaries and foreign films.  These services may have exclusive content like Amazon showing HBO produced shows, and Netflix showing original content like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.  Netflix is unique in that it adjusts the quality of the video based on your real time internet download speed.

Amazon Instant Video also offers a choice in the next category, pay-per-view.  Here, you pay typically $3-6 to watch a movie. These services show movies as soon as they are released on DVD so they are good options to watch recent films.  Vudu is a widely available service that streams at different quality levels based on your internet speed – there are three tiers and you pay $1 more to move up to blu-ray quality audio/video.  Vudu is owned by Wal-Mart.

Special services are available to stream as well.  For example, there is a yoga site that posts new workouts every day and catalogs a library of all works with a large number instructors for its subscribers.  You can watch this on your computer or use a Roku device to stream it on your TV.

There are lots of choices and they are changing fast.  Try several (most have free trials) and pick the one or ones you enjoy.


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