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    Guide to Streaming Video Services

    From giants like Hulu and Netflix down to niche services like BritBox, here are all the details on where to stream movies, TV series, sports, and more

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    AMC+, Apple TV+, The Criterion Channel, Direct TV Stream, Discovery+, Disney+ ESPN+, FuboTV, Hulu, Max, Netflix, Paramount+ Peacock, Philo, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime Now, Sling, and YouTube TV Steaming  apps icons on TV screen.
    With prices rising, choosing which streaming services to join and which to quit is becoming more important than ever.
    Graphic: Consumer Reports, Getty Images

    There’s a seemingly endless number of streaming services today, and constant price and plan changes can make choosing the right one complicated. With this guide to streaming services, we dive deep into each offering, examining the pricing, content, and unique features, to help you make sense of your options. 

    The big three—Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Netflix—now have competition from dozens of services, including Apple TV+, Disney+, Max, Paramount+, and Peacock. 

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    You can choose niche services like BritBox or sign up for others like YouTube TV that offer live TV and cable channels, just like a traditional TV plan. A number of streaming services now have ad-supported tiers, which can help save you money. Even better, a growing crop of services are just plain free, which can make the overall cost of keeping up with your favorite TV shows a bit lower. (CR’s strategies for saving money on streaming services can help you control your entertainment budget as well.)

    Scroll through all the listings or jump to the category of service you’re most interested in using the navigation tool below.

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    Biggest Streaming Services

    Newer services, such as Apple TV+ and Disney+, have now joined Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix as primary streaming choices for many people.

    Amazon Prime Video
    Price: $139 per year or $15 per month (with ads), with free shipping on Amazon Prime purchases. A video-only subscription costs $9 per month. An ad-free version costs $3 a month extra.

    Prime Video delivers a large library of TV shows and movies, plus a solid roster of original shows, including “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Wheel of Time,” and “Reacher,” based on the best-selling Lee Child novels. Fans of epic adventures can watch the second season of the “Lord of the Rings” prequel series, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.”

    One development that has received a lot of complaints: Amazon is now including a limited number of ads in Prime Video shows and movies, charging an extra $3 a month for those who prefer not to see them. The company says the ads are needed to pay for the escalating cost of compelling content. One thing the company didn’t mention: Amazon Prime with ads no longer provides Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. For those, you have to pony up the extra $3 a month.

    Earlier, Amazon closed a deal to acquire MGM, bringing 4,000 additional films and 17,000 TV shows to Amazon Prime (and a lesser number to its free ad-supported Freevee streaming service, described below). The company rebranded Epix, MGM’s streaming platform, as MGM+. The service costs $6 a month, or $50 annually.

    Amazon also has a deal that brings new Universal movies to Amazon Prime Video four months after they appear on NBCUniversal’s Peacock service.

    In addition, the company has been bumping up its sports coverage. Last year Amazon streamed 20 New York Yankees games, and it’s now the exclusive home of the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” games. Last year the NFL games got HDR broadcasts, and Amazon added AI-powered insights, analysis, and predictions, as well as onscreen cues that provide more information about the action unfolding on the football field. Viewers can access this special version of the broadcast on a separate stream called “Prime Vision.” Amazon also recently launched a live daily sports talk network.

    Sign up for Amazon Prime.

    Apple TV+
    Price: $10 per month, $99 annually

    Apple TV+ started off a few years ago at $5 a month with a relatively limited assortment of content. Since then, it has vastly expanded its selection, but the monthly price has now doubled.

    Apple’s focus on exclusive and original content appears to be paying off, as it has several well-regarded series, including “Ted Lasso,” “The Morning Show,” starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and “Severance.” An Apple movie, “CODA,” about the only hearing member of a deaf family pursuing her dream of being a singer, won the Best Picture Oscar at the 94th Academy Awards. The service is also the place to watch Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

    Apple has made a push into live sports, signing a deal with Major League Soccer (MLS Season Pass, $13 a month) and airing MLB games on Friday nights.

    You can sign up for other services, including Acorn, Paramount+, and Starz, through Apple Channels. And you can subscribe to Apple One, which bundles Apple TV+ with other Apple services—including Apple Music, Apple News Plus, and Apple Arcade, along with 2 terabytes of cloud storage—for a single monthly fee of $20.

    There are now reports that Apple TV+ and Paramount+ are in early talks about offering a bundle of their two services at a discount, but so far neither company has commented.

    Sign up for Apple TV+.

    Price: $8 per month with ads, $14 a month/$140 annually, without ads.

    Given its vast library of content, Disney+ is a no-brainer for many families. Disney owns all the “Star Wars” movies, as well as Marvel Studios and Pixar. It recently acquired 20th Century Fox, now renamed 20th Century Studios. That brings subscribers movie franchises such as “Avatar,” “Deadpool,” and “X-Men,” and TV shows, including “The Simpsons” and “Empire”—as well as National Geographic shows.

    Disney also recently announced that it’s partnering with Fox and Warner Bros. to develop and launch a new sports streaming service. It will include ABC and Fox, plus cable channels such as ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, ACC Network, ESPNews, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Big Ten Network, TNT, TBS and truTV, plus ESPN+. No price has been announced.

    The service’s high-profile content includes “The Beatles: Get Back” from Peter Jackson; Disney’s “Encanto”; “Loki,” a Marvel series starring Tom Hiddleston in the title role; “Secret Invasion,” a six-episode Marvel series starring Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury; and Star Wars series such as “Star Wars: Andor.” Newer original series include “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” plus a third season of the popular series “The Mandalorian,” also set in the “Star Wars” universe. Upcoming shows include “Agatha: Coven of Chaos,” a Marvel series starring Kathryn Hahn.

    Disney now has a less expensive, ad-supported plan. It costs $8 per month, which had been the price of its ad-free plan. For ad-free Disney+, the price jumped to $14 per month in October, up from $11. The annual plan is now $140 instead of $110.

    Disney has also shaken up its three bundle packages. Duo Basic, which costs $10 a month, gives you the ad-supported versions of both Disney+ and Hulu. But you can step up to Duo Premium, giving you the same pair with ad-free viewing for $20 per month. You also have Trio Basic as an option, which adds ESPN+ with ads for $15 a month. A premium version of the bundle, called Trio Premium, has ad-free Disney+, ad-free Hulu, and ESPN+ for $25 a month, a $5 increase.

    If you’ve been sharing your Disney+ account with others, that practice is likely coming to an end. In a move reminiscent of Netflix’s efforts to stop password sharing, Disney+ recently said U.S. subscribers caught sharing their passwords will receive alerts this summer offering them a chance to add people to the account for a fee. Violators could see their Disney+ service limited or terminated, according to an Associated Press report. This follows a change in Hulu subscriber agreements that also imposes new sharing limitations.

    Disney has acquired Comcast’s stake in Hulu, giving it sole control over the streaming service, with the idea of combining Hulu and Disney+ to provide a one-app, one-cost experience. Disney is also rumored to be considering launching its own free ad-supported streaming service. And some industry reports indicate that Disney has been in talks with streaming services to sell some of its back catalogs. This would be a major change for Disney, which pulled back its content from Netflix and others just a few years ago.

    Sign up for Disney+.

    Price: $8 per month with ads ($2 a month for eligible students) or $80 per year; $18 per month without ads.

    Hulu, now owned by Disney, is a good option for cord-cutters who don’t want to miss out on broadcast TV. (It’s not included in a standalone Disney+ membership, but rumors suggest this could happen.)

    Like Netflix, Hulu is looking to curtail account sharing with an updated subscriber agreement that outlines new limitations on access outside of the household. Subscribers are warned that violations give parent company Disney the right to limit or terminate access to the service at its discretion.

    The service is a good way to get programming from ABC, AMC, Bravo, Big Ten Network, CBS, E, ESPN, Fox, Fox Sports, FX, NBC, NFL Network, Oxygen, PBS, Syfy, and USA Network. Note, however, that many NBC shows, such as “Law & Order” and “Chicago Fire,” are no longer available since parent company NBCUniversal moved them to its own Peacock streaming service. Earlier this year, NBCUniversal moved next-day access to Bravo shows from Hulu to Peacock. Some NBC shows that no longer air new seasons will remain on Hulu, though.

    Hulu originals include the murder mystery “Death and Other Details”; “The Bear,” “The Handmaid’s Tale”; and “The Patient,” with Domhnall Gleeson and Steve Carell. Other Hulu originals include “Nine Perfect Strangers,” starring Nicole Kidman, and “Only Murders in the Building,” starring Selena Gomez, Steve Martin, and Martin Short. You also get exclusive access to films such as “Suncoast,” starring Woody Harrelson and Laura Linney, and “Self Reliance,” with Jake Johnson and Anna Kendrick.

    Hulu is now the streaming home for FX shows, with exclusive rights to more than 70 original offerings. It’s also the new on-demand streaming home of “Schitt’s Creek” in the U.S., and an exclusive deal with AMC Networks brings “Fear the Walking Dead,” another spinoff from “The Walking Dead,” to Hulu. The deal also gives Hulu exclusive rights to new and coming scripted programming from AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV, and WeTV.

    As noted above, Hulu can be bundled with Disney+ and ESPN+ for $15 per month with ads or $25 per month without them. There will be a Duo Premium bundle featuring ad-free Hulu and Disney+ alone for $20 per month. You can add several premium services. Max (formerly HBO Max), for example, costs $15 per month, while Showtime is $11 extra each month.

    Disney executives have said they plan to merge Disney+ and Hulu into a single app, with one monthly fee, sometime in the near future.

    Sign up for Hulu.

    Price: $7 a month for an ad-supported tier; $15.50 per month for high-def video on up to two screens; and $23 per month for 4K ultra-high-definition video on up to four screens.

    The big news is that Netflix has increased the prices of several of its ad-free plans. Netflix now offers three plans; the no-ads Basic plan is no longer available to new subscribers. The ad-supported Standard With Ads plan is still $7 a month, while the Standard no-ads plan remains at 15.50 a month. But the Premium plan, which includes 4K videos, jumped from $20 to $23 a month. Those on the no-ads Basic plan can keep it, but with a $2-a-month increase to $12.

    In other news, the company has now shut down its DVD and Blu-ray rental business, which shipped physical discs to subscribers.

    Netflix is still the king of binge, with a vast library of movies and TV shows, plus now classic original shows such as “Stranger Things,” “Bridgerton,” “Wednesday,” and “Squid Game." Newer titles include “Beef,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “Griselda.” The service also has a growing library of original movies, such as “Don’t Look Up” and “Roma.” But it has lost access to some Disney titles and Marvel and Pixar movies, which are now part of the Disney+ service.

    The company says it has added spatial audio—using its own 3D immersive audio technology—to about 700 titles. They’re available only to Netflix’s top-tier subscribers.

    Not all of the Netflix content is available with the cheaper service because of licensing restrictions. Netflix is reportedly negotiating with Disney, NBCUniversal, and Sony for licensed content.

    Netflix may also be considering a free, ad-supported service to compete with services such as Pluto TV, the Roku Channel, and Tubi. (See free services below.)

    Netflix has cracked down on account sharing in various countries, including the U.S., where subscribers now have to pay an extra $8 per month per user to share an account with someone outside the household.

    To make things easier for customers sharing accounts, Netflix has unveiled a tool that lets you transfer account info, such as viewing history and program recommendations, to a new subscription.

    Sign up for Netflix.

    Consumer Reports shows you how to replace cable TV for only $25 a month.

    British Streaming Services

    Anglophiles looking for regular doses of popular British TV shows, police procedurals, and movies now have several great options, among them Acorn and BritBox. Here’s a look at each.

    Acorn TV
    Price: $7 per month or $70 per year.

    Blessed with a very deep catalog of older shows, such as “Agatha Christie’s Marple,” “Midsomer Murders,” and “Foyle’s War,” Acorn TV is now creating its own original programming with shows such as “Bloodlands,” a police thriller; “Happy Valley,” about a police sergeant pursuing a man who assaulted her late daughter; “Dalgliesh,” based on the P.D. James character; “Agatha Raisin,” about a public relations specialist turned amateur sleuth; and “Queens of Mystery,” in which a perennially single detective and her three crime-writer aunts solve murders in the countryside.

    Acorn also offers shows from Australia and New Zealand, as well as the popular Canadian TV series “Murdoch Mysteries.” It has picked up Channel 4’s original film “Help,” a drama about the U.K.’s poor response to care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, written by “His Dark Materials” and “Enola Holmes” writer Jack Thorne, and starring Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham.

    Sign up for Acorn TV.

    Price: $9 per month or $90 per year.

    BritBox is a joint venture between the BBC and ITV. Unlike Acorn, BritBox focuses exclusively on British shows. 

    Some of the more popular series on BritBox include “EastEnders,” “Coronation Street,” and “Antiques Roadshow,” plus older classic episodes of “Doctor Who.” New original shows include “Archie: The Man Who Became Cary Grant”; “The Cleaner,” about a crime-scene cleaner; “Stonehouse,” about a high-flying politician who fakes his own death; “Sister Boniface Mysteries,” starring a moped-riding nun; and “Hope Street,” about the arrival of the first Muslim police officer in a small Northern Ireland town.

    Sign up for BritBox.

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    Live TV Streaming Services

    These services look to replicate what you’d get with a traditional cable TV or satellite plan for less money. Most include local broadcast channels and an assortment of cable stations, plus the ability to add some premium channels. All now include a cloud DVR for recording shows.

    DirecTV Stream
    Price: $80 to $120 per month.

    AT&T has rejiggered a lot of its businesses over the past year or so, including spinning off its DirecTV satellite and streaming businesses into a new entity, also called DirecTV. DirecTV Stream, essentially the DirecTV satellite service minus the satellite dish, is now the company’s streaming service, and its plans are among the most expensive out there.

    The company raised prices on all plans twice in 2023. The Entertainment plan now costs $80 a month, while the Choice plan—the cheapest option that provides regional sports networks—jumped from $100 to $109 a month. The Ultimate plan (with Starz) now costs $120 a month, and though it’s not advertised, it looks like you can still get the Premier plan (with Max, Cinemax, and Paramount+ with Showtime) for $165 a month.

    There’s also a Spanish-language plan, called Optimo Mas, for $80 a month.

    Those who get the DirecTV satellite service received similar price increases.

    Max, which remains a separate entity within the new Warner Bros. Discovery company, can be added to plans that don’t include HBO.

    You can get DirecTV Stream service using an app on streaming players and some smart TVs, but DirecTV also sells its own Android-based player, which costs $120 up front or $5 per month for 24 months. That’s much pricier than most stand-alone streaming media players, but it does support 4K videos and has a voice remote and Google Assistant built in.

    Sign up for DirecTV Stream.

    Price: $80 to $100 a month.

    Fubo is a cable replacement service targeting sports fans; it recently raised prices by $5. The base Pro plan, $80, has over 160 channels with local stations in most markets, plus lots of sports networks (beIN Sports, ESPN, FS1, MLB Network, NBA League Pass, NHL Network, NFL Network) and many cable channels (AMC, Bravo, FX, Syfy, USA), though no Turner channels such as CNN, TBS, TCM, or TNT or A&E networks such as A&E, History Channel, and Lifetime.

    Stepping up to the $90-a-month Elite plan gets you Fubo Extra, with dozens more lifestyle and sports channels, plus over 130 events in 4K. The Premier plan, $100 per month, has even more channels, as well as Showtime. A Latino plan is $33 a month.

    The service also started charging a fee for regional sports networks—up to $15 a month, depending on your area—which used to be free on Pro and higher plans.

    You can add several premium channels, though not Max (formerly HBO Max). One plan combines MGM+, Showtime, and Starz for $20 per month. Separately, Showtime costs $11 a month; Starz is $9 a month. Sports fans can get Sports Plus with NFL Red Zone, with NCAA games and RedZone from the NFL Network, for an extra $11 per month. An $8-per-month Fubo Extra plan adds more TV shows, movies, news, sports, music, and kids’ entertainment. There are also several Spanish-language plans and add-ons.

    Fubo recently added the Bally Sports Networks, which are regional sports networks. However, Bally filed for bankruptcy earlier in the year and several teams are not renewing their contracts. For example, Bally forfeited rights to broadcast Padres games, and Fubo became the exclusive live streaming partner for those games for the remainder of the MLB season. (Games are also on MLB.TV.)

    Fubo recently rolled out a new MLB.TV direct-to-consumer add-on package for an additional $25 per month (or $150 per season) that lets baseball fans stream out-of-market games, both live and on demand.

    Sign up for Fubo.

    Hulu + Live TV
    Price: $77 per month with ads and $90 per month without.

    Cord-cutters who want yet another option to reproduce most of a traditional pay TV package should take a look at Hulu + Live TV, which offers about 75 channels, including the major broadcast channels in most markets. You also get cable channels such as A&E, BET, CN, Comedy Central, CNN, Disney, Fox News, FX, TBS, and TNT, among others, plus everything in the Hulu library. It also has CBS Sports, ESPN, and Fox Sports, plus some regional sports networks.

    Hulu + Live TV now includes both Disney+ and ESPN+, though the price keeps going up. Hulu with ads + Live TV, Disney+ with ads, and ESPN+ with ads cost $77 a month. Ad-free Hulu + Live TV, ad-free Disney+, and ESPN+ with ads cost $90 a month. A plan with Hulu (With Ads) + Live TV, Disney+ (No Ads) and ESPN+ (With Ads) costs $82 a month.

    You can also get Live TV Only, which provides subscribers with access to live content, but not the Hulu streaming library or access to Disney+ or ESPN+, for $76 a month. Given its price, it doesn’t make much sense.

    Though Hulu reached a deal with Discovery to keep several channels on the service, including Food Network, HGTV, and TLC, some shows, such as “90 Day Fiancé” and “Fixer Upper,” are on the company’s newer Discovery+ service. It also lacks a few networks, including AMC, though it recently added 14 new channels, including Hallmark and the Weather Channel.

    There are also several add-ons, such as Max ($16 a month) and Paramount+ With Showtime ($12 a month). Unlimited Screens lets you stream on any number of devices for an extra $10 a month. An Entertainment add-on, $8 a month, includes 16 lifestyle channels, while Sports pack brings six sports channels, including NFL Red Zone and FanDuel TV, for $10 a month. Español, a Spanish-language add-on, brings news, sports, and shows in Spanish for $5 a month.

    Sign up for Hulu + Live TV.

    Price: $25 a month.

    Philo can be a great option if you get local channels via an antenna. It’s a sports-free streaming service backed by several cable networks, including A&E, AMC, Discovery, Paramount (formerly ViacomCBS), and Scripps. In addition to lacking local channels, Philo doesn’t offer live news (CNN, Fox News) or sports networks such as ESPN or NFL Network. But for just $25 a month, you get access to more than 70 channels from partners, including Discovery, Paramount (CBS and Viacom), and AMC Networks.

    The company recently added the Smithsonian Channel and Pop, which airs older network shows such as “House” and “NCIS: New Orleans.” Philo recently announced that it had reached a deal to provide the ad-supported AMC+ service, normally $5 a month, for free to its subscribers.

    In addition to the cable channels, Philo now has a few original series, including “Boss Moves” with “Love and Hip-Hop” star Rasheeda Frost. 

    You can add premium channels, such as MGM+ for $6 a month and Starz for $10 a month.

    Last year Philo’s price for new subscribers went from $20 to $25 per month. As part of the new $25 package, Philo is extending the time it keeps recordings in its unlimited DVR from 30 days to a year.

    Sign up for Philo.

    Sling TV
    Price: $40 to $60 a month.

    You might consider Sling TV if you can find another way to get CBS local channels, since the service lacks them. ABC locals are available only in some regions (see below). The Orange package is now $40 and includes about 30 cable channels, including Disney and ESPN, plus A&E, the Food Network, and TBS, but no local broadcast TV. It supports one user at a time. Sling Blue, $45 per month, supports three users and has a different mix of about 40 channels, including local broadcasts and regional sports. (Among other differences, Sling Blue doesn’t include ESPN.) A combined plan costs $60.

    Last year, Sling TV started carrying ABC-owned stations in eight cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, in the Sling Blue and combined Sling Blue and Orange plans. But NBC and Fox locals aren’t available in all markets, so you should check to see what’s available in your area. CBS locals still aren’t available at all.

    You can add premium channels, including Paramount+ With Showtime ($10 monthly) and Starz ($9). Sling TV offers a large number of add-on packs, which provide extra genre-based programming (sports, news, lifestyle, Hollywood, etc.). They cost $6 to $21 (for a bundle with several packs) extra each month.

    Sling beefed up its cloud DVR, so everyone now gets 50 hours of free DVR storage, up from 10 hours. You can also get 200 hours of storage, up from 50 hours, for $5 per month with the DVR Plus add-on.

    In addition, Sling has an exclusive deal with Barstool Sports, a channel dedicated to sports and pop culture that features live content, including video podcasts, blogs, and video series.

    Sign up for Sling TV.

    YouTube TV
    Price: $73 per month.

    YouTube TV is a solid option for cord-cutters looking to save money without giving up sports or major cable channels. It’s so good, in fact, that TV and internet providers like WOW have dropped their cable offerings and now recommend YouTube TV instead. It offers access to more than 100 live channels, including all the major broadcast networks, cable channels (AMC, Bravo, Disney, ESPN, FX, Fox News, Fox Sports, MSNBC, National Geographic, Turner, USA), and major sports networks such as CBS Sports, ESPN, and Fox Sports, along with the MLB, NBA, and NFL league networks.

    YouTube is now also the home to NFL Sunday Ticket, which lets you watch out-of-market Sunday games, which have now left DirecTV.

    You can add Max (formerly HBO Max), Paramount+ with Showtime, Starz, and a few other channels for an extra fee. (A bundle with Max, Paramount+ with Showtime, and Starz costs $30 a month.) There’s also a 4K Plus add-on plan, which gives you extra channels in 4K, for an additional $10 a month. There’s a Spanish-language plan that costs $35 a month, and you can add more with a $15-a-month add-on pack.

    As with other cable-style streaming services, YouTube TV has imposed a few price hikes, the latest being an $8 increase, from $65 to $73 last spring.

    Recently, YouTube released its always-on multiview feature for all YouTube TV subscribers. The feature supports simultaneous viewing of multiple channels on one screen, and it now lets you pick the games you want to view. It’s also upgraded the video quality of 1080p content on 4K devices that support the VP9 video codec. Google says it’s working with the NFL to show all league games in 1080p, including those shot in 720p, which will then be upconverted.

    Also new, on regular YouTube, you can subscribe to additional streaming services, including AMC+ and Paramount+, plus several other smaller and/or niche services. YouTube TV subscribers have been able to do this, but now anyone can access the Primetime Channel hub on YouTube.

    Sign up for YouTube TV.

    Free Streaming Services

    A growing number of ad-supported services let you watch content free of charge. The list below includes the major ones; we also maintain a more comprehensive list of free video streaming services.

    Amazon Freevee
    Previously called IMDb TV, Amazon Freevee is an ad-supported service that offers a mix of live channels, on-demand classic TV shows and movies, and some original content. The company says it now offers more than 400 live channels. You’ll find shows such as “Schitt’s Creek” and “The Librarians,” alongside older classics like “Bewitched,” “Columbo,” and “All in the Family.” Movies currently available include “Serenity,” “Mortal Engines,” and “Baby Driver.” Licensed content rotates in and out from month to month.

    Original shows include “Judy Justice,” starring Judge Judy Sheindlin; “Modern Love,” and “Bosch: Legacy,” a spinoff of the popular Amazon Prime series. However, “Judy Justice” is jumping from streaming to broadcast TV later this fall.

    In addition, Freevee has an hourlong music performance and interview series, “Monumental: An Artists Den Experience,” showcasing popular recording artists at iconic locations throughout the world, such as “Ellie Goulding at Kew Gardens.”

    Freevee recently added 18 new live channels, including local Fox news in a number of markets, plus TMZ.

    Sign up for Amazon Freevee.

    Amazon Fire TV Channels
    Amazon Fire TV Channels is a special option included exclusively on Fire TV devices. This service aggregates free, ad-supported content from a range of popular sources, including MLB, Fox News, ABC News, CBS News, CBS Sports, NHL, Fox Sports, NASCAR, and more.

    Amazon Fire TV Channels is adding extra sports coverage from beIN SPORTS by launching beIN Sports Xtra and video-on-demand content.

    Earlier, Amazon bumped up its offering with content from Variety, Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, and TV Line from Penske Media Corporation; GameSpot, Honest Trailers, and TV Guide from Fandom; Looper, Slash Film, and Nicki Swift from Static Media; along with Funny or Die and Outside. The service offers content from more than 400 different providers.

    To find this content, ask Alexa to “Play Fire TV Channels” to open the app and browse free content. Or, navigate to Fire TV’s Your Apps & Channels screen and click the Fire TV Channels app. 

    Learn more about Amazon Fire TV.

    Crackle, which used to be Sony’s ad-supported streaming service, hosts a library of mainstream titles that include popular older TV shows such as “Dark Shadows” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” as well as some popular newer series, including “Hell’s Kitchen” and "Line of Duty." Movies include “Gaslight” “Night of the Living Dead,” and somewhat more recent fare, such as “The Last Blockbuster” and “Bel Canto.”

    Crackle is now owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul and is part of a bigger brand called Crackle Plus, which operates several ad-supported and subscription networks, including EspañolFlix, FrightPix, and Popcornflix, among others. The company also recently acquired Redbox (see below).

    Crackle’s original content includes “Outbreak,” a series about containing a dangerous virus; “Les Norton,” a 10-episode series starring Rebel Wilson; “The Uncommon History of Very Common Things,” an entertaining and often irreverent history of everyday objects; and season two of “In The Vault,” a suspense series set at a fictional college. Crackle also has a limited number of original movies.

    Sign up for Crackle.

    Hoopla and Kanopy
    If you have a library card, Hoopla and Kanopy might be your ticket to free movies, music, audiobooks, and comics. Getting started is pretty simple. Just go to the site, find your local library, and create an account with your library card. You check out TV shows and movies as though they were books, using your library card.

    The main difference between the two services is that Hoopla tends to focus more on popular entertainment than Kanopy does, and it includes other types of media beyond videos, such as audiobooks, comics, e-books, and music.

    With either service, once you’ve signed up you can browse by title or genre, or get recommendations based on what you’ve previously borrowed and what’s popular. With Hoopla, you have 72 hours to watch a movie. (Your library sets the limit on how many movies you can borrow each month. In my case, it recently jumped from four to eight.) Your movie will start streaming once you’ve made a selection.

    Sign up for Hoopla and Kanopy.

    Bad news for new subscribers: Peacock is no longer offering its free tier, instead shifting its emphasis to its two paid Premium services. But anyone currently using the free tier can continue to use it, and paid subscribers who cancel their subscription will automatically be downgraded to the free plan with a limited amount of content.

    However, NBCUniversal and Instacart announced that Instacart+ members in the U.S. will now get Peacock Premium free.

    Sign up for Peacock.

    Pluto TV
    Pluto TV, owned by Paramount, has about 250 curated channels, drawing content from its Paramount properties (BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Pictures), plus networks such as Bloomberg, Cheddar News, CNN, NBC News, and Fox Sports. Pluto TV also has a decent library of on-demand content, including now-classic movies—“Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Top Gun”—and newer fare such as “Mean Girls.” TV shows run the gamut from “The Andy Griffith Show” and the original “Gunsmoke” to “The Twilight Zone” and “Criminal Minds.”

    In addition to genre-based channels, Pluto TV has added channels powered by other providers, including CBS (“NCIS,” “FBI”), AMC Networks (“The Making of the Mob,” “NOS4A2: Ghost”), and Showtime (“Dexter,” “Billions”). It recently added 14 channels from NBCUniversal, including Bravo Vault and NBC Sports, as well as Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk channel. It also now has 25 channels dedicated to movies.

    There’s now a Pluto TV Latino service, with over 45 curated Spanish- and Portuguese-language channels covering categories, including comedy, movies, music, reality TV, sports, telenovelas, and true crime.

    Pluto will get the full previous season of select Paramount series before the newest seasons arrive on the premium Paramount+ service.

    As part of a “Programmed By Humans” branding message, Pluto is touting its dedicated team of curators to help program for the platform.

    Sign up for Pluto TV.

    Best known for its rental kiosks at grocery stores and shopping centers, plus a newer video-on-demand streaming rental and purchase service, Redbox now has a free ad-based live service as well, which gets some of its content from Xumo Play.

    Thanks to the Xumo Play partnership, Redbox’s free service includes Magnolia Pictures’ CineLife ad-supported channel, which features top-rated independent films and award-winning documentaries from the Magnolia Pictures catalog.

    Redbox is owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul, which also owns Crackle. The company says for now the streaming service will continue to run as a separate entity.

    Sign up for Redbox.

    The Roku Channel
    Thanks to a rapidly expanding roster of programming, you can watch free shows and movies via the company’s ad-supported The Roku Channel, which is now available outside of just Roku streaming players and TVs.

    The Roku Channel has a lot of licensed TV shows and movies, plus some live channels from ABC, AMC, Fox, NBC, Hallmark, and others. It now has more than 350 live channels, and tens of thousands of free on-demand movies and TV shows. One big focus going forward will be Roku Originals, which will roll out 50 new shows over the next few years. Current Roku Originals include “Kevin Hart’s Muscle Car Crew”; “Meet Me in Paris”; “Malpractice”; and the movie “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,” a biopic based on the life of Weird Al Yankovic that stars Daniel Radcliffe.

    Newer original series in 2023 include “Fight to Survive,” “Reptile Royalty,” and “UFO Cowboys.” The company also recently added second seasons of original food series starring Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse, part of production deals with Marquee Brands and Milk Street Studios that bring over 3,000 episodes of library content.

    Recently, Roku (and Tubi) licensed hundreds of movies and TV shows, including “Raised by Wolves” and “Cake Boss,” from Warner Bros. Discovery. Other new channels include “Barney” and “Pickleball TV.”

    In addition, Roku has a multiyear deal with Lionsgate that gives it rights to stream Lionsgate’s theatrically released films. Exclusive to Roku, it’s the first time Lionsgate titles are available free anywhere. Roku is also teaming up with a private equity company to acquire up to a 20 percent stake in the premium channel Starz, which was acquired by Lionsgate in 2016.

    Roku also lets you access AMC Networks’ paid streaming services— AMC+, Shudder, and Acorn TV—through the Roku Channel’s Premium Subscriptions.

    This season, Roku teamed up with the NFL to create the NFL Zone within its Sports section on the main Roku app, a centralized location to find live and upcoming games.

    Sign up for the Roku Channel.

    Sling Freestream
    Sling Freestream is a new ad-supported service from Sling TV. The service has been adding more content and now claims to have more than 500 free channels and over 44,000 on-demand titles, with genres ranging from news, sports, game shows, and crime dramas to sitcoms, home improvement, cooking, and more. Popular channels and programming include ABC News Live, CBS News, ESPN on Demand, FilmRise, “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Heartland,” “Forensic Files,” “The Walking Dead” universe, and “VH1 I Love Reality.”

    Through Freestream, you’ll be able to subscribe to more than 50 stand-alone streaming services, including AMC+, Discovery+, and Showtime.

    One interesting development: Freestream is now the first free service to offer a free cloud DVR.

    Sign up for Sling Freestream.

    This ad-supported service has more than 60,000 titles, including selections from the libraries of Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros., plus networks, including A&E, Lifetime, and Starz. The options range from old (and probably best forgotten) Chuck Norris films to classic indie titles (“Requiem for a Dream”) to somewhat more recent movies such as “Ford v Ferrari.” You’ll also find full seasons of TV shows ranging from oldies (“The Honeymooners”) to more recent fare (“The Masked Singer”).

    Recently, Warner Bros. Discovery provided 15 live channels and licensed hundreds of movies and TV shows, including “Batman Returns” and “Gotham,” to Tubi (and Roku). Coming in 2024 are “The Batman,” “Suicide Squad,” “Black Adam,” “Wonder Woman” and “Aquaman,” as well as the series, “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”

    Tubi now has more than 250 live channels and content from more than 450 partners. Tubi recently acquired the rights to BBC’s dramedy “Boarders,” which follows five talented Black inner-city London teens who get scholarships to a prestigious boarding school.

    Now owned by Fox, Tubi is ramping up its original content with 100 new film and TV titles slated to appear over the course of this year. Tubi offers streaming access to many Fox shows, such as “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Lego Masters,” after they’re broadcast. It also has a lineup of newer originals, including “Prisoner of Love” and “Corrective Measures,” the latter starring Bruce Willis. These join other Tubi Originals, such as “10 Truths About Love,” “War of the Worlds: Annihilation,” and “Mysteries From the Grave: Titanic.”

    Movies currently on the service include “The Blind Side,” “King Richard,” about the Williams sisters’ tennis-coach dad, and a few “John Wick” titles.

    The service has several programs based on the Lego franchise, specials starring Garfield, and some Pokémon programs. The company also has a deal that brings eight seasons of “Barney & Friends” to the service. It has several live local and national news channels from outlets, including ABC, Black News Channel, Bloomberg, CBS, Cheddar, Fox, and NBC.

    Tubi’s latest news is that it’s using an AI-powered search tool, called Rabbit AI, to help viewers find content they want to watch. Rabbit AI, found on the Tubi mobile app, lets you go beyond simple keyword searches and ask questions in a more natural, conversational manner.

    Sign up for Tubi.

    ViX is a free, ad-supported Spanish-language service owned by Univision and formerly called PrendeTV. Unlike PrendeTV, which was exclusively a free, ad-supported service, ViX also has an ad-free subscription version, called ViX+, which costs $7 a month.

    Both the paid and free versions offer more than 50 entertainment channels, including movies, sports, and children’s programming. (ViX+ also has premium series and some exclusive live sporting events.) ViX has more than 20,000 hours of on-demand content, which includes shows from Univision plus content from large media companies based in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. It also has deals with Disney, Lionsgate, and MGM to offer more than 150 films to viewers.

    Other programming includes several soccer channels, nature and wildlife channels from Blue Ant Media, nine telenovela channels, and seven movie channels. There are also three family channels.

    ViX is available on Amazon Fire TV devices, Apple TV and iPhones, Roku players and TVs, and Google’s Android phones and TVs.

    Sign up for ViX.

    TCL recently launched a free streaming service that’s exclusive to its smart TVs. Although it’s billed as TCLtv+, on my TCL 6-series Roku TV it’s just called TV Channel. It includes more than 200 free, ad-supported channels and an on-demand content library offering more than 1,500 movies and TV shows. The library is buoyed by both independent and major studios, including Scripps Media, NBC Universal, FilmRise, Fremantle, Banijay, and more.

    The service is built atop an upgraded version of the IDEO platform, which offers interactive viewing options such as online meal ordering, personalized recipes from virtual chefs, and dynamic summaries and recaps of shows you’re watching. You can find your next binge using the voice-activated remote.

    Xumo Play
    Xumo Play, a joint venture between Comcast and Charter, is an ad-powered streaming video platform that offers live and on-demand content from more than 300 channels across multiple genres, including sports, action and drama, news, kids and family entertainment, live events, comedy, lifestyle, and movies.

    Content on Xumo Play includes news programming (ABC News Live, Bloomberg, CBS News Latest Headlines, LiveNow from Fox), movies from FilmRise, Hallmark, and Crackle, TV shows ranging from classics (“That Girl”) to kids’ fare (“Garfield and Friends”), and sports (CBS Sports HQ, Fox Sports). Movies include classics (“Charade”) and modern classics (“American Psycho”). It also has channels curated specifically for Black and Latino audiences. 

    In addition, last summer the service struck an exclusive deal with Magnolia Pictures that brings a new Magnolia movie almost every month, with a three-month exclusive window.

    Xumo has partnered with Element Electronics to launch a line of Element 4K Xumo TVs in the U.S., which are sold at Walmart and a few other retailers. There are also Xumu TVs sold under the Hisense and Pioneer brands.

    Earlier, Comcast and Charter announced that they’d be rebranding XClass smart TVs as Xumo TVs. The Flex streaming player will be rebranded as the Xumo Stream Box.

    Sign up for Xumo Play.

    Network Streaming Services

    Price: $5 a month with ads; $9 a month or $84 per year without. Some promotional pricing is available when you sign up through one of the service’s partners, including Amazon, Apple, and Roku.

    AMC+ is one of the newer ad-free streaming subscription services. It includes the best of AMC, such as “Better Call Saul” and “Mad Men,” and exclusive series, including “Interview With the Vampire” and “Gangs of London,” a British action crime series, plus shows and movies from BBC America, IFC, and Sundance TV, with full access to Shudder, Sundance Now, and IFC Films Unlimited. New exclusive movies are added every Friday.

    Among the newer programming is “Monsieur Spade,” following the famous detective’s move to France, Anne Rice’s “Mayfair Witches,” a series starring Alexandra Daddario and Harry Hamlin, and the horror series “Chucky.”

    Like Max (formerly HBO Max), one perk of AMC+ is early access to some shows, as well as some streaming exclusives that aren’t available elsewhere. The company recently announced a deal that gives the ad-based version of AMC+ to Philo subscribers for free.

    Sign up for AMC+.

    CNN Max
    Price: Free to Max subscribers, plans starting at $10 a month

    CNN Max, a 24/7 streaming service from Warner Bros. Discovery, has finally launched. It’s free for anyone already paying for Max—you can find it within the Max app by choosing News, and then live news shows. CNN Max offers a custom schedule of CNN programming just for Max subscribers. CNN Max features notable CNN anchors, including Anderson Cooper, Kaitlin Collins, Erin Burnett, Wolf Blitzer, Christiane Amanpour, Jake Tapper, among others. It also includes CNN Originals series, films, and documentaries already available on Max.

    Sign up for Max/CNN Max

    Price: $5 per month with ads or $9 per month without. Students can get a discounted $3 per-month rate.

    Discovery+ targets those who like to watch Discovery’s assortment of channels without subscribing to a full cable-style replacement service such as Hulu + Live TV, Sling, or YouTube TV.

    The big news is that Discovery hiked the price of its ad-free service from $7 to $9 a month. The ad-supported subscription remains $5 a month. This is the first time Discovery+ has increased its price since launching in January 2021.

    The company—perhaps best known for Shark Week—has an extensive collection of content. That includes more than 70,000 episodes from 2,500 current and classic shows in Discovery’s portfolio of networks, which includes Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV, and TLC. The service also includes content from the BBC Natural History Collection, plus nonfiction programming from A&E, The History Channel, and Lifetime.

    New original shows include “Hillsong: A Mega-Church Exposed,” and “House of Hammer,” about the Armie Hammer scandal.

    Last year Discovery and WarnerMedia completed their merger; the new entity is called Warner Bros. Discovery. The company recently combined HBO Max and Discovery+ into a single streaming entity, called Max.

    But in a slight change of course, the company recently decided it will also keep Discovery+ as a lower-cost stand-alone service for people not interested in scripted entertainment programming.

    New original shows will feature programming starring or created by Martha Stewart, Kevin Hart, David Schwimmer, Sir David Attenborough, Bobby Flay, and Giada De Laurentiis. But the parent company recently shuttled shows from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network from Discovery+ to Max.

    Sign up for Discovery+.

    Price: $11 per month or $110 per year for the basic service.

    ESPN+ is best for sports junkies looking to add out-of-market baseball and hockey games to their menu, college sports fans who want a broader assortment of sports than they can get with traditional TV, and those with an interest in niche sports, such as rugby and cricket. The service also offers documentaries and scripted series.

    Shows include “Peyton’s Places” with Peyton Manning; “Man in the Arena,” with Tom Brady; and “More Than an Athlete,” with Michael Strahan. There’s also a library of original “30 for 30” documentaries, including “Vick,” about the rise and fall of the quarterback Michael Vick.

    As mentioned above, you can also get bundled plans with Disney+ and Hulu, with ads, for $15 a month. Another plan, with ad-free Disney+ and ad-free Hulu, plus ESPN+, costs $25 a month.

    But the really big news is that Disney CEO Bob Iger says that a standalone ESPN streaming service will debut in August 2025, and will include all the ESPN channels, plus fantasy sports. It’s not clear how this service will differ from the recently announced planned new sports streaming service from Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros, which will include ESPN.

    Sign up for ESPN+.

    Price: $6 per month or $60 per year with ads, or $12 per month or $120 per year ad-free.

    Paramount+ is the replacement for CBS All Access and provides full-length episodes of CBS programs and new original programming, plus live streams of local CBS affiliates in many markets.

    The big news for the company is that Paramount+ now includes both the Showtime cable channel and the Showtime Now streaming service, simplifying its packages in the process. New subscribers can choose between Paramount+ Essentials for $6 per month or $60 per year, and you can add Showtime into the mix by subscribing to Paramount+ With Showtime for $12 per month or $120 per year. The company raised prices for both plans earlier in the year.

    With the change, the Essential tier mirrors what you used to get with CBS All Access: movies and TV shows from CBS and Viacom properties, including BET, CBS, Miramax, and Paramount, as well as live sports, including NFL games, soccer matches, and PGA golf. This plan doesn’t include live local CBS stations, but the NFL on CBS is available via separate live feeds. Verified students are able to get a 25 percent discount on the Essential plan.

    The Premium with Showtime plan, previously called Commercial Free, is mostly commercial-free (except for live TV streams) and features the same content as the ad-supported tier but includes your live local CBS station. It has shows and movies in 4K with HDR (including Dolby Vision), plus mobile downloads. You also get all the original Showtime content, which you don’t get with Essential.

    Paramount+ original content includes a second season of “Halo,” based on the popular video game; “1923,” a companion to the popular “Yellowstone” series (which, thanks to an oddity of licensing deals, is on Peacock) starring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren, and shows such as “Seal Team,” “The Good Fight,” “The Mayor of Kingstown,” and “Evil,” some of which used to be on CBS. There are also a growing number of series based on the “Star Trek” franchise, plus a reboot of the popular comedy “Frasier,” starring Kelsey Grammer.

    This spring it will air a live-action series, called “Knuckles,” based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise.

    Newer blockbuster movies include “Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One,” “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.”

    Paramount recently signed a deal that gives AARP members a 10 percent discount on any Paramount+ plan. You can also get Paramount+ free if you sign up for a Walmart+ membership.

    There have been recent reports that parent company Paramount is looking to partner with, or form a joint venture with, Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal’s Peacock service.

    Sign up for Paramount+.

    Price: $6 per month or $60 per year with ads; $12 per month or $120 per year without ads.

    NBCUniversal’s Peacock lets you access NBC shows and Universal movies, as well as licensed content, original programming, and live sports events. The service recently had a big win with the exclusive rights to air an AFC wild card playoff game.

    The service originally had a free tier, but it’s no longer available to new subscribers. Those who have the free tier can keep it. Last summer, the company raised prices on plans by either $1 or $2 a month.

    Both plans include current season NBC broadcasts, plus a mix of offerings from NBC, Universal Studios, USA Network, Syfy, Bravo, Telemundo, and Universal Kids. The service also licenses shows from other networks, including A&E, ABC, and Fox, as well as Paramount. There are deals in place for movies from Universal Pictures, DreamWorks, Focus Features, Illumination, Warner Bros., and Blumhouse, current season NBC broadcasts, plus a mix of offerings from NBC, Universal Studios, USA Network, Syfy, Bravo, Telemundo, and Universal Kids.

    The Peacock Premium paid tier gets you exclusive next-day access to current NBC and Bravo shows now that those deals with Hulu have expired. You also get access to original series, including “Poker Face,” “The Continental,” a “John Wick” spinoff, “Traitors,” and “Yellowstone.” A deal with Universal brings that company’s new movies, such as “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” exclusively to Peacock for 45 days after leaving theaters. Other new movies include “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” the Jordan Peele horror film “Nope,” “Fast X,” from the “Fast and Furious” franchise, and “They/Them,” a horror thriller about campers at an LGBTQ+ conversion camp.

    Perhaps the biggest recent movies are “Oppenheimer” and “The Holdovers,” which have both garnered critical raves and awards.

    A multiyear deal with Lionsgate brings all its theatrically released films (including “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” starring Nicholas Cage, and “John Wick: Chapter 4,” starring Keanu Reeves) to Peacock starting in 2024.

    For sports fans, Peacock will stream Premier League soccer games, golf tournaments, and WWE Network matches and original series, as well as premium live events. It also recently signed an extension with the NFL through 2033 to show Sunday night NFL games that air on NBC.

    Sign up for Peacock.

    Niche Streaming Services

    The Criterion Channel
    Price: $11 per month or $100 per year.

    Rising out of the ashes of the now-shuttered FilmStruck, the Criterion Channel classic movie streaming service offers “continuous access to Criterion’s streaming library of more than 1,000 important classic and contemporary films, plus a constantly refreshed selection of Hollywood, international, art-house, and independent films,” according to the company.

    The stand-alone Criterion Channel is the result of a special deal with WarnerMedia, which shut down the FilmStruck streaming service in late 2018. Parts of the Criterion Collection film library, which had been included in that service, are also available on the Max (formerly HBO Max) service.

    Among the titles recently added to the Criterion Channel are the Beatles film “A Hard Day’s Night,” the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple,” “Marnie,” from Alfred Hitchcock, and “Requiem for a Dream.”

    Sign up for the Criterion Channel.

    PBS Passport
    Price: $5 a month, or $60 per year, for most stations.

    While a free version of PBS is also available, PBS Passport unlocks additional programming that’s no longer available for streaming to nonmembers. The price can vary depending on your market because each PBS station sets its own Passport subscription prices.

    The PBS Passport library features episodes from popular programs, including “American Experience,” “American Masters,” “Antiques Roadshow,” “Nature,” “Nova,” and Masterpiece shows such as “Annika,” “All Creatures Great and Small,” “Downton Abbey,” “Grantchester,” and “Sanditon.”

    On the PBS streaming service, episodes that are available for viewing only by Passport members sport a blue “compass rose” Passport icon in the upper left-hand corner of the program.

    Sign up for PBS Passport.

    Premium Streaming Services

    Max (formerly HBO Max)
    Price: $10 a month or $100 per year with ads; $16 per month or $150 per year without ads; $20 a month or $200 for Max Ultimate (includes 4K streaming).

    Max is the name of the service that combined HBO Max with Discovery+, along with other WarnerMedia properties. You can still get Discovery+ as a stand-alone service.

    There are three Max plans in all. The ad-supported Max Ad-Lite plan costs $10 a month or $100 a year, while Max Ad Free is $16 a month or $150 annually. That’s the same price as the similar HBO Max plans. An Ultimate plan costs $20 a month or $200 a year.

    Both the Ad-Lite and Ad-Free plans are limited to 1080p resolution and support two simultaneous users; much like with Netflix, you have to get the Ultimate plan to get 4K videos. While there hasn’t been tons of 4K content on HBO Max prior, the new Max launched with more than 1,000 films and episodes in 4K, some with Dolby Vision HDR. Max Ultimate also supports Dolby Atmos audio and up to four users at a time. You also get up to 100 downloads for offline viewing.

    Max also recently announced that it will start showing live sports in Dolby Vision HDR, including some NBA games this spring. It will roll out to NHLA, MLB, NCAA and U.S. Soccer games as well. Max has already been using Dolby Atmos sound to enhance live games. However, to get it, you’ll need to subscribe to Max’s Bleacher Reports (B/R Sports) add-on service, which costs an extra $10 a month. It’s been free up to now, but you’ll have to start paying for it starting in March.

    The main difference between the two less expensive plans, apart from ads, is that you get up to 30 downloads with the ad-free tier.

    In addition to regular HBO channels, Max includes a slate of new original programs and titles from the Warner Bros. TV and film library. The service also has content from Warner’s Cartoon Network, CNN (and the new CNN Max) DC Entertainment, TBS, The CW, TNT, and Turner Classic Movies. There will also be a new CNN-branded library of content that caters to younger viewers, with both original and channel-derived content.

    Max has a number of exclusives, including the streaming rights to every episode of “Friends” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” and exclusive domestic rights to all 12 seasons of “The Big Bang Theory.” Newer movies include “Avatar: The Way of the Water” and “Meg 2: The Trench,” and original series include “The White Lotus,” “The Gilded Age,” “Succession,” and “Euphoria.” Newer series include “The Last of Us,” based on the video game, and the “Game of Thrones” prequel, “House of the Dragon.” A second season has already been approved.

    Among the planned new content, there will be another “Game of Thrones” prequel series from George R.R. Martin, as well as a new live-action “Harry Potter” series that revisits the classic J.K. Rowling characters.

    Discovery’s portfolio includes Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV, and TLC. The service also includes content from the BBC Natural History Collection, plus nonfiction programming from A&E, The History Channel, and Lifetime.

    New original shows will feature programming starring or created by Martha Stewart, Kevin Hart, David Schwimmer, Sir David Attenborough, Bobby Flay, and Giada De Laurentiis.

    Sign up for Max.

    Price: $7 a month, or $59 annually

    MGM+, the rebranded Epix channel now owned outright by Amazon, is getting more expensive. The monthly price goes from $6 to $7, while the annual fee jumps from $50 to $59.

    In addition to Epix shows and movies and titles from the MGM library, MGM+ is developing original content including sci-fi horror series “From”; Emmy-winning series “Godfather of Harlem”; and cinematic dramatic series “War of the Worlds,” “Rogue Heroes,” and “Belgravia.” Documentary series includes Emmy-nominated “Laurel Canyon,” “Helter Skelter,” and “My Life as a Rolling Stone.” Available movies include “No Time to Die,” “House of Gucci,” and “Licorice Pizza.”

    Price: $12 per month or $120 per year.

    Like Max, the Showtime streaming service lets you watch a cable network without the cable. But Paramount recently rolled the Showtime streaming service into its Paramount+ with Showtime plan, which costs $12 per month or $120 per year. So there’s no longer a separate Showtime streaming service. By signing up to Paramount+ with Showtime, you get all of Showtime’s movies, documentaries, sports events, and original shows such as “Yellowjackets,” “Your Honor,” “Dexter: New Blood,” and “Billions,” documentaries, and sporting events. All the Showtime content is ad-free.

    Note that if you subscribed to the Showtime streaming service without the bundle and then choose to subscribe to the bundle through Paramount+, you’ll need to cancel your Showtime subscription to avoid being double-billed.

    Sign up for Paramount+ with Showtime.

    Price: $10 per month or $75 per year.

    Like HBO and Showtime, you can now get Starz without a pay TV subscription via an app on smart TVs, streaming players, and mobile devices. Content includes original shows (“Spanish Princess,” “Outlander,” “Party Down”) and movies (“Black Phone,” “The Kill Room”). Starz ended its agreement with Sony Pictures, but a deal with Lionsgate brings movies like “John Wick” and “Knives Out” to the service.

    Starz costs $10 a month, but there’s a plan that offers six months of the service for $20.

    Starz also has a number of original TV shows, including “The Serpent Queen”; “Hightown,” about a woman on Cape Cod struggling with sobriety; and several series based on “Power.” Newer ones include “BMF,” which follows the Black Mafia Family organization; the horror/comedy “Shining Vale,” with Courtney Cox; and “Dangerous Liaisons,” based on the classic novel.

    Roku recently announced that it was partnering with a venture capital firm to acquire up to 20 percent of Starz.

    Sign up for Starz.

    James K. Willcox

    James K. Willcox leads Consumer Reports’ coverage of TVs, streaming media services and devices, broadband internet service, and the digital divide. He's also a homeowner covering several home improvement categories, including power washers and decking. A veteran journalist, Willcox has written for Business Week, Cargo, Maxim, Men’s Journal, Popular Science, Rolling Stone, Sound & Vision, and others. At home, he’s often bent over his workbench building guitars or cranking out music on his 7.2-channel home theater sound system.