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Top 10 Streaming Services

Net Disney

Although I will always champion physical media over streaming services because you actually get to OWN the movie or show, I fully acknowledge  streaming services are becoming the new norm as they continue to grow in popularity (especially in these difficult times). The problem with streaming services, however, is that there are far too many of them with even more coming in the near future. It’s inevitable that many of these will fold as no consumer can afford all of these (with the exception of the free ad-supported ones). So which ones are worth seeking out? Below I have listed my ten personal favorites. 

  1. Disney+- Does the service need more original content and more back catalog titles? 100%. What is on the service though is golden. Not only is the streaming quality itself far and away the best (the 4K streams in particular), but there’s a plethora of content here from Star Wars, Marvel, Fox films, animated Disney classics, live-action Disney films, NatGeo, animated shorts, animated series, sitcoms, and great originals like “The Mandalorian” and “The Imagineering Story.” 

 

  1. Netflix- It’s considered the gold standard of streaming services, but it is dropping in my estimation. As more and more studios launch their own streaming services, Netflix loses the rights to so many films and shows. Sure, there are the Netflix originals and acquisitions, but for every “Roma,” “Godless” and “Stranger Things” you have at least 20 series and films no one cares about. If there’s an uptick in quality original films and shows, Netflix might be fine, but that remains to be seen.

 

  1. YouTube- In terms of viewing entertainment, I think we all use YouTube the most. Whether it be daily vlogs, gaming videos, video podcasts, music videos, thriftng videos, concerts, or what have you, there’s something for everyone here. In general, their “originals” aren’t the best, but “Cobra Kai” is amazing.

 

  1. Tubi TV- The free ad-supported streaming service doesn’t get nearly enough attention. There’s so much weird, obscure, and underrated content here with cult classics like “Frozen” and “Highlander”  and, my personal favorite, a ton of RiffTrax. If you haven’t checked this service out yet, you should.

 

  1. The Criterion Channel- After Filmstruck closed up shop, it seemed like fans of classic American and international films were out of luck. Luckily, The Criterion Channel now fills that void. Whether you want to watch the work of Akira Kurosawa or numerous titles from The Criterion Collection (pick up their discs too!), this service has you covered.

 

  1. Hulu- Hulu is a bit of a frustrating service. They have a decent amount of TV series and films from different eras, but I’m always left wanting more from their originals. Compared to the likes of Netflix, they have a lot less original content. They have even less that manages to make a lasting impression. Sure,  they have shows like ”The Act,” “Veronica Mars,” and fan favorite “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but the service needs more breakout hits. 

 

  1. Amazon Prime- Much like Hulu, the Amazon Prime originals are largely underwhelming. I feel like most people just have Prime for the free delivery. Still, if you search hard enough (and you have to with their clumsy set-up), you can find quality new releases, classic shows, RiffTrax, and random movie oddities.

 

  1. Shudder- This may be a niche service, but for horror fans, it’s heaven. Although they do need more original content (resurrect MST3K, please) and perhaps a tad bit more older titles, the service is a bargain for the price. Plus, you get a whole lot of Joe Bob Briggs content!

 

  1. CBS All Access- Aside from Star Trek, there’s not much here at all. Sure, you can watch some classics like “Cheers,” but most of these series are available on other streaming services. Still, I’d wager most people get this just to watch “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Picard,” and the other forthcoming Trek shows (not to mention all of the past series).

 

  1. Crackle- The free Sony ad-supported service may have lousy originals, but there’s a fair amount of great to good films and shows here ala “Bridge On The River Kwai,” Starship Troopers,” and “Newsradio.”

March 28, 2020 - Posted by | List | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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