Best Streaming Video Services 2016

The days of having to tune in live or buy expensive discs in order to watch your favorite shows and movies are gone. Online streaming makes it possible to watch everything from live news and sports to classic movies to modern TV favorites on your own time, and on any device you choose.

There are a ton of streaming services out there, and no two are alike. YouTube is probably the best place to start, but there's a whole Web full of content beyond the ubiquitous streaming site, ranging from movies to TV shows to music videos and more. To help you get the most out of your smart TV, game console, set-top box, tablet, smartphone or computer, Tom's Guide has broken down our favorite streaming media services. Whatever you like to watch, there's a service with your tastes in mind, and in your price range.

Streaming Service
Best For
Starting Price
Netflix
Overall
$9 per month
Hulu
Network TV
$8 per month
Amazon Instant Video
Families
$99 per year or $7.99 per month
Sling Orange
Cable TV Replacement
$20 per month
Playstation Vue
Playstation Owner
$50 per month
Crackle
Vegging Out
Free
Funny or Die
Comedy Fans
Free
Twitch
Gamers
Free
Vevo
Music Fans
Free


Netflix: Best Overall Streaming Service

MORE: Best Shows to Watch on Netflix Now


Hulu: Best Streaming Service for Network TV

MORE: Best Shows to Watch on Hulu Plus Right Now

Amazon Prime Instant Video: Best Streaming Service for Families

MORE: Best Shows to Watch on Amazon Prime Instant Video Now

Sling.TV: Best Cable TV Replacement

PlayStation Vue: Best for PlayStation Owners

MORE: PlayStation Vue Online TV Review: Smarter than Cable

Crackle: Best Streaming Service for Vegging Out

MORE: The Best Online-Original TV Shows

Funny or Die: Best Streaming Service for Comedy Fans

Twitch: Best Streaming Service for Gamers

Vevo: Best Streaming Service for Music Fans

What to Stream

Picking a streaming service is just the first step. The real nitty gritty is deciding what to watch. We've scoured the options on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Now and Showtime Anytime to bring you the best shows to binge watch. We'll tell you which service has each show and exactly how long it will take for you to watch every episode.

Cord cutters should also check out our best HDTV Antennas page to make sure they never miss local sports and weather.

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8 comments
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  • vgrandja
    I can think of another "Cons" for most of the online streaming services: available only within USA!
    1
  • JaxChampion
    Netflix is NOT more expensive for those who have more than one TV. I happen to have 4 in my large family. For this I pay $20.00 a month for Netflix. On Hulu I would be paying $32.00 for the same level of service. Also, Amazon prime is sharable as well with my family so Hulu is the most expensive option not Netflix.
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  • mwaldrep4571
    Now with new HDCP 2.2 requirements and HDMI 2.0 requirements, you can't watch HD or UHD streaming unless all hardware meets that standard with Amazon Prime. I also heard that Netflix is starting that also. The only service that appears to still offer HD is Hulu. Unless you make good money and can afford to purchase a New HDTV that meets requirements and if you want to stream via PC or MAC you have to buy a new PC or buy a new video card that meets that standard you are not able to stream at HD or UHD quality. Oh, and Apple doesn't have a mac that meets those standards yet. Not even the Mac Pro.
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  • guganye
    think of another "Cons" for most of the online streaming services: available only within USA!
    0
  • rlndsz
    lol so Hulu has "Subpar movie selection" and Netflix has "Excellent selection". You got that backward, unless you mean the number of titles. Netflix selection of movies however large it is, 80% of it are pure trash. On Hulu side you have superior quality movies and also the whole Criterion collection, with excellent titles, nothing comes near that on Netflix side.
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  • Vault101
    Marshall Honorof, You missed one - VUDU allows you to purchase and rent .Keeping a large library of movies and TV seasons available for viewing. the downside to them is that they use ports that certain firewalls will block. Check them out, I would love to get your feedback.
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  • Justin_87
    Playstation Vue is available on Amazon Fire TV, as well as Playstation. Also, the prices are $29.99 for Access Slim (55+ channels), $34.99 for Core Slim (70+ channels), and $44.99 for Elite Slim (100+ channels). I live in Austin and it is available here, so I'm not sure why you are misquoting this stuff. If you actually wrote and published this article on May 4th, then you source of info is bad, because these have been the prices well before May 4th and included many more markets.
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