Before you consider switching to a streaming platform, there are some things you’ll need:
- Streaming device (Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, etc.) and compatible TV or a Smart TV
- Strong WiFi or ethernet connection
- Email address to create an account for subscription and billing
Ahead, find a rundown on the most popular streaming platforms. And remember, most of these don't require a contract, so you can cancel anytime (just be sure to read the fine print first). Happy streaming.
Netflix started streaming in 2007 and has been a leader ever since. In addition to featuring popular movies and full seasons of your favorite TV shows, Netflix has several award-winning original shows and movies. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are also foreign language and international titles. The differences between the three price tiers are whether you can view content in HD and how many screens can stream at once. If you’re viewing from an older TV or will be the only one using your Netflix account, the basic package might be the best option.
Cost: $8.99-$15.99 per month
What to Watch: “Grace and Frankie,” “The Great British Bake Off,” “Criminal Minds,” “Good Girls,” “NCIS,” “The Crown”
If you feel like you’ll miss your classic TV viewing experience — commercials and all — Hulu might be for you (though you can upgrade to a commercial-free option if you’d like). With recent episodes of TV shows from major networks like ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX along with cable network programming, Hulu will keep you up-to-date. This platform also offers original series, as well as add-ons for HBO, SHOWTIME, CINEMAX and STARZ.
Cost: $5.99 - $11.99 per month, $60.99 per month for Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV
What to Watch: “This Is Us,” “The Masked Singer,” “Modern Family,” “The Goldbergs,” “The Voice,” “Golden Girls”
Amazon Prime makes online shopping a breeze, but it also comes with Prime Video, Amazon’s streaming service. Much like Netflix and Hulu, Prime Video is a mix of classic shows and movies as well as Amazon’s original content. It’s a convenient way to get into streaming if you’re familiar with Amazon’s platform. You can also rent movies and shows that aren’t included with your Prime Video subscription, a feature Netflix and Hulu don’t have.
What to Watch: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Homecoming,” “Downton Abbey,” “Sneaky Pete,” “The Americans,” “Poldark”
Fans of Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and National Geographic finally have a place to stream all their content. With films that go back to the start of the Disney animation era (“Bambi,” “Snow White”), classic musicals (“The Sound of Music,” “Mary Poppins”) and the latest cartoons and superhero flicks, Disney+ is perfect for multigenerational households. Plus, it boasts an ad-free experience that allows for streaming across four devices at once.
Cost: $6.99 per month, $12.99 per month with Hulu and ESPN+ bundle
What to Watch: “The Mandalorian,” “Inside Out,” “Togo,” “Queen of Katwe,” “Avatar,” “Miracle,” “The Sound of Music,” “Old Yeller,” “The Parent Trap”
Apple TV+ only streams original content, so if you’re ready to tune into something new, this might be the place to start. Content ranges from acclaimed documentaries to dramas with star-studded casts. You can subscribe to the platform with or without an Apple TV as long as you have a supported device.
Cost: $4.99 per month
Shows to Watch: “Truth Be Told,” “The Banker,” “Little America,” “Home Before Dark,” “The Morning Show,” “Home”
Most people are familiar with HBO as an add-on to existing cable packages, but now you can cut the cord and get HBO on its own with HBO Now. You’ll have access to full seasons of award-winning shows, movies and documentaries and you can cancel anytime. HBO Now doesn’t air programming live, but episodes become available to stream the same time they air on TV.
Cost: $14.99 per month
What to Watch: “Game of Thrones,” “Barry,” “True Detective,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Sharp Objects,” “Big Little Lies”
YouTube TV is the perfect option if you think you’ll miss live TV when you give up cable. It offers all major local and cable networks based on your ZIP Code and has unlimited DVR capabilities so you can record as much as you want. You won’t need a cable box — just a compatible device.
Cost: $49.99 per month
What to Watch: Anything you’d watch on regular TV! Plus, all YouTube Originals and exclusive content.
Want more senior-friendly tech advice? Take a look at our Tech for Seniors blog posts and give us a call at 844-337-6059 to learn more about Brookdale Senior Living.
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