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Which Digital TV Streaming Service is Right For You?

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July 07, 2014 · 1.2k Views

If, like many, you’ve decided to ditch pricey cable packages in favor for online streaming services, you have quite a few choices at your disposal. With everything from Netflix and Hulu to Apple TV, it can get pretty difficult to figure out just what shows to watch, let alone how you should watch them. Luckily, you’ve found just the guide to help you out.

Netflix

Netflix is the most popular choice for digital streaming content services (there are more than 29 million subscribers), known first for its low price and second for the large volume of content the service provides. For $7.99 a month, four users get to watch an unlimited amount of television shows and films (only two can stream simultaneously). If your whole family wants to watch different shows at once, you can upgrade to the $11.99/month package that allows all four users to stream simultaneously. The service offers Netflix-only shows such as the wildly successful “House of Cards” and the recent hit “Orange Is the New Black.”

Hulu Plus

If you’re more of a television junkie, Hulu Plus might be a better fit for you. Also offered at $7.99 a month, most of the content you’ll get with this service is centered around shows from ABC, Disney, Fox, and NBC and offers episodes of the current season – something Netflix does not do. Some original programming is also available.

VUDU

HD movies that have been just released to DVD are what this service is known for. If you appreciate high quality picture, you’ll want to use VUDU, which is a pay-per-view service, ranging from $2 per television episode to $6 per movie, or download and own entire television seasons and films for up to $50.

HBO Go

If you are obsessed, as many are, with “Game of Thrones,” “Girls,” “True Blood” or the latest hit, “True Detective,” it might be worth it to subscribe to HBO Go. Now, you don’t need to watch your shows on television – watch it anywhere your computer or iPad can go. Films and other shows are also available. You must subscribe to HBO itself to actually make use of the on-the-go service.

Apple TV

A one-time price of $99, the Apple TV has received mixed reviews. It provides access to many of the subscription services reviewed here like Netflix, which you need to subscribe to separately, but it also gives you access to the iTunes store – if you find something you want to watch, it’s a separate purchase fee for each show or film.

Amazon Prime

If you’re a subscriber to Amazon Prime, you get free and quicker shipping on all purchases you make on Amazon, but you also get access to their Instant Video service, which offers past movies and shows, although it’s not as up-to-date as Netflix or Hulu. An Amazon Prime subscription is $79 a year (which is subject to change).

Redbox Instant

This one is only $8 a month – just like Hulu and Netflix – but only offers movies. If you’re a film enthusiast, then this might be the right service for you – even movies that have just come out on DVD will be available right away for streaming.

There are many different options for you out there – it all depends on how much you’re willing to spend, and what you’re interested in watching.

Jennifer recently completed her masters degree in museum studies from The City College, New York. She has many years of experience in the arts through writing, video production and art history, and can be reached via Twitter at @egyptologist. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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eberhartexaminer profile picture
Jennifer Eberhart is a freelance writer currently living in New York City. She is a regular contributor to the Arts column on Examiner.com. Jennifer enjoys traveling, reading, art, religion and video. She has a master's in art history and is attempting to make it to all the museums in New York City - a much harder task than it sounds!

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