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Choosing a streaming service is not suitable for everyone because the needs and wishes of each viewer are different. Many of us subscribe to multiple services, but may not have thought about what will actually give us access to the programs & movies that we most want – and help us prevent.
We have broken down five of the most popular streaming services to help you decide which one to offer the most for your money.
It's best to keep up with current shows
Sarah Tew / CNET
I don't have a cable, but with a Hulu subscription, new episodes from current shows are quickly uploaded to the platform, so I can still keep up, even though I cut the cord. For example, new episodes from Gray & # 39; s Anatomy air on TV on Thursday evening. If you are subscribed to the basic ($ 6 per month) or Premium ($ 12 per month) Hulu subscription, you can view it the next day. There is also the option of Hulu with Live TV for $ 55 per month, which acts as a cable replacement and allows you to watch your shows in real time.
A disadvantage of Hulu is that every season of a certain show may not be available, so if you are serious about catching up, you might have to look elsewhere for earlier episodes. Other shows, such as Bob's Burgers and Family Guy, have all seasons available on Hulu.
Other programs, such as Killing Eve from the BBC, drop the entire last season in one go. This is perfect for binging, but if you blow them all through, you'll be stuck in a "show hole" until the next season comes out. Hulu Originals such as Shrill, High Fidelity of the Handmaid & # 39; s Tale sometimes release one episode per week or one entire season at a time.
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Although the Hulu catalog is extensive, it does not contain everything. It can be frustrating to look for a movie or program, but only then realize that you have to buy an add-on to watch it. Hulu subscribers can switch to HBO, Cinemax, Showtime or Starz for an additional fee.
The best for old TV shows
Netflix is an old streaming service. Remember when subscribing meant it would send DVDs to your house? Netflix has also introduced us to the modern binge watch, with iconic shows (old and new) such as The Office, That & # 39; 70s Show, The Andy Griffith Show, The West Wing and more. It is easy to attract and let your favorite play, whether you are actively watching or not.
Netflix has also become known for its originals – films, shows and documentaries, many of which have received both popularity and rave reviews. Consider the hype around The Haunting of Hill House and Stranger Things, the psychological thriller series You, the Oscar-winning film Roma and more.
New seasons usually all come out at once, and after you blow them through in one afternoon, you have to wait months or even years for the next one. I would like to hold Netflix for the binge-state shows and those fascinating research focus series such as The Keepers and The Pharmacist. While you wait for your favorite program, Netflix comes together every month and releases new titles every week.
You can choose between basic ($ 9 per month), standard ($ 13) or Premium ($ 16) subscriptions.
Best star-studded exclusive content
If you have subscribed to multiple streaming services, they can all be linked to your Apple TV (or Roku or other streaming device) so that you have a kind of "command central" of sorts. Apple raised its Apple TV box and app with the addition of Apple TV Plus last fall. The addition of exclusive star-studded shows such as The Morning Show, Servant, For All Mankind and more are an important asset for the service – especially if you are already an Apple user.
However, unlike Netflix or Hulu, Apple TV Plus does not have a library of licensed shows or films. It also does not always spend all seasons of his shows at the same time. At the launch it had nine shows, with five more on the way. However, subscribing only costs $ 5 a month or $ 50 a year.
Apple offers a free seven-day trial of Apple TV. Or, if you recently purchased a new iPhone or other iOS device, you get a free Apple TV Plus for a year. The Apple TV app costs nothing to download, but there are in-app purchases for content.
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Amazon Prime Video
Best for streaming newer movies
Gabor Kotschy / A24  If you subscribe to Amazon Prime ($ 13 per month, $ 6.49 per month for students) for e-commerce site savings, you also get access to Prime Video – the streaming service from Amazon. The service has new films for rent or purchase, such as the Oscar winner Parasite. Prime users can watch a number of movies and shows for free, as long as they have the small "Prime" tag on the corner of the icon.
If you are a movie fan, Prime Video may be the right choice for you: the Amazon platform has four times as many films as Netflix, a study found. They are not all large blockbusters, but it is an extensive catalog.
Like Hulu, you can purchase add-on channels for Prime Video such as HBO, Starz, and others to access more content. You can also find programs & # 39; s by searching for a channel like BET or Boomerang. Sometimes, even if a show requires an add-on, such as HBO & # 39; s Girls, you can watch a season or two for free on Prime. I love Prime Video because it usually contains films that are more off the beaten track, in addition to the regular new releases. In addition, there are original quality shows, including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Man in the High Castle, as well as original films such as The Big Sick.
The best for Disney and Marvel movies
Sarah Tew / CNET
If you have little ones or are young at heart, the Disney Plus streaming service is full of content for you. In addition to original shows such as The Mandalorian or The World According to Jeff Goldblum, Disney Plus is also the home of Marvel films and the Star Wars franchise.
There is also the nostalgic factor: my watchlist is almost completely Disney Channel Original Movies from the late 90s and early 2000s. Of course there is also classic Disney content, from original Mickey Mouse cartoons to curvaceous films such as Aladdin, The Jungle Book, Cinderella and more.
After the free seven-day trial period, Disney Plus costs $ 7 per month. There is also an option to bundle Disney Plus with Hulu and ESPN.