Streaming TV through internet sites has become a staple in homes across the nation. For many people it has replaced cable. If you recently subscribed to a cable service, you know the convenience of recording your entertainment on a digital video recorder. Streaming entertainment from the internet has many of the same benefits. Instead of planning your day around TV shows, you can plan your TV shows into your day.
Watching online TV at your leisure has become the go-to option for many people for a variety of reasons. People don’t always have time to watch favorite shows that air during prime time. Also, proportionately more people are dropping cable as monthly bills increase, along with hidden fees, making cable increasingly unaffordable. While a few of the best internet TV services don't have the most recent episodes available for streaming, many viewers sacrifice being current for a great monthly price.
You don't have to watch internet TV from your small computer desktop. With quality apps, you can binge-watch your favorite shows on your flat-screen TV or on a tablet if you're on the go. In our research, we found that the best internet TV services are Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Hulu Plus. For more information, feel free to check out our articles on streaming TV.
When choosing which online TV site is right for you, the first thing to consider is what TV shows you want to watch. Each site has the rights to stream different shows. However, no service has the rights to stream every program.
We rated and ranked internet TV sites based on the following criteria.
If a service doesn't have the content you want to watch, it won't be a good purchase for you. The top-ranked services have limited free trial periods, allowing you to experience the site's content library for a week or a month without paying a fee. We looked for sites that use multiple networks, giving users a wide variety of entertainment to satisfy their interests.
You need more than just a "Play" button to have an enjoyable experience watching internet TV. Other features, such as closed captioning and a customizable viewer profile, make the experience better. If you’re a parent, you might want control over the type of entertainment your kids have access to, so parental controls are essential. We also ranked apps on their ability to work with game consoles, smart TVs, tablets and Wi-Fi enabled devices.
It's important for internet TV sites to be easy to use. Watching TV shouldn't be difficult, so the design of the site should be simple, with an intuitive player and accurate search system to help you find your favorite shows. Because each of these sites offers paid services, we also looked at the rate of advertisements, if any.
Help & Support
Using a streaming service is easy, but in the event that things don't work out, you will want several help options. FAQs and email support are standard, but many sites offer other sources of aid, such as live chat and social media outlets, when you have problems.
The best internet TV sites have the right combination of everything you need. However, none of them is perfect, so you will want to make sure you know what the most important features are to you and choose accordingly. When you do, you'll be ready to watch your favorite shows whenever you want.