RT Cunningham

Can You Afford Multiple Streaming Video Services?

streaming video There are more streaming video services today than TV stations I could watch as a kid. I lived between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona and I could watch stations from both. It still added up to 10, which included one UHF station (the rest were VHF).

Like traditional cable TV, there can be hundreds of “channels” and yet nothing to watch. Pluto TV, for example, has multiple channels on its streaming video service.

Streaming Video Services

The streaming video services I’m talking about are those that are based in the United States or where the United States seems to be the primary market. Other countries have their own. I can watch iflix and a few other service when I’m in the Philippines. Iflix is actually based in Malaysia. I can also watch the limited Netflix service (unless I spring for an expensive VPN to watch the USA version).

Some of the streaming video services are subscription-based and some are free, with advertisements. I don’t think I can list them all, but these are the ones I’ve found:

My Impression of the Streaming Video Services

The streaming video providers charge too much for too little. If you want to watch Game of Thrones, you have to subscribe to HBO Now. If you want to watch Star Trek: Discovery, you have to subscribe to CBS All Access. You may not be interested in anything else either service has to offer. I won’t subscribe to any premium service for that very reason.

It was so much easier (and cheaper if you think about it) to use regular cable TV. Then Netflix had to come in and upset the apple cart. And then Amazon wanted to play. We’re almost in the same boat we were in with cable TV, but spending more because of the decentralization.

My older son, Joseph, is subscribed to both Netflix and Amazon Prime and yet he rarely watches anything on either service. I probably watch Netflix more than he does, on his subscription. And it’s mostly old stuff. When I’m with my younger son, Jonathan, I’ll piggyback on his Netflix subscription there.

Free Streaming Video Services

Although the free streaming video services have some decent content, the frequent advertisements can be extremely annoying. It’s like that with regular YouTube, Tubi and Pluto TV. I’ve tried watching long videos on each and I can’t take it for long. I can usually watch just one thing before calling it quits.

My wife, Josie, watches TFC (The Filipino Channel) on her phone every day. They offer all the daily broadcast episodes for free. When we return to the Philippines, she’ll probably watch those shows at a sister’s house. We can’t see owning our own TV for the rare occasions when we’ll actually use it. From the beginning of 2015 through June of 2018 (when we left), we used our last one only a handful of times.

I don’t watch a lot of TV and I can’t justify a subscription to anything. By the time something I like shows up on any streaming video service, I’ve already seen it elsewhere. And I don’t like a whole lot.

Addition June 2, 2019

I recently discovered DC Universe. Without any pricing information, I neglected to even look it over the first time I saw the page. So, I did a Google search today for “DC Universe pricing” and found it runs $7.99 per month or $74.99 per year.

Addition June 22,2019

I don’t know how I missed it, but IMDb offers free streaming content. In some places it’s called IMDb Freedive.

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RT Cunningham
February 14, 2019
Entertainment and Recreation