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The 5 best on-demand streaming services in 2021

We’ll discuss the pros and cons of the best streaming services available in 2021.  

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With the huge number of streaming platforms available, it might be tricky to actually pick one. The variables involved make it even more confusing – especially if you’re a streaming enthusiast.

Along with the most popular streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and Disney Plus+, there are other underrated ones as well such as Paramount Plus, Peacock and Apple TV plus.

In this article, we’ve condensed our caffeine-powered bursts through understanding these streaming platforms. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of the best streaming services available in 2021.  

Netflix

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Image: KnowTechie

Netflix has a proven history of producing great original content, including hits such as Narcos, sense 8, and Bloodline. And curating an even better library of exclusive content, with blockbusters such as The Witcher (2019 – Present), Chernobyl (2019), and Stranger Things (2016 – Present).  

This makes Netflix a film and TV enthusiast’s best friend. There is always enough new, binge-worthy content available on the platform, even for the rare occasion when some classics may not be available for streaming.

Although Netflix is a bit costly than the competition, you get a lot of options in return and the app is supported on almost all different devices out there, including smartphones, computers, smart TVs, Amazon Firestick and Roku.

However, there’s a slight inconvenience for Netflix users. The content on Netflix is copyrighted and blocked in certain regions. If you try to access locked content using a low-quality VPN, you will get the Netflix proxy error and won’t be able to stream.

So, to access ALL the content that is available you will have to unblock Netflix geo-restrictions in your region without any errors through a premium VPN. 

Hulu

Hulu is easily amongst the top streaming platforms available today. Boasting a huge, regularly updated collection of TV shows in its library and streaming access available on new releases immediately, Hulu is definitely a binge-watcher’s paradise.

You can sign-up for Hulu by either subscribing to a Basic plan or a Premium plan. The difference between both of these plans is the commercials. In the Premium plan, there are no ads. For adding streaming options for live TV, the subscription can be upgraded as well.

Although, with a library full of great content, there are slight drawbacks to Hulu as well. To start off, it doesn’t support HDR streaming options. Another one is the limited number of screens available. There are only two devices that can simultaneously stream Hulu. This is done to reduce the number of people sharing a single Hulu account. This limit can be removed with an extra add-on.

Hulu can be added with Disney Plus, ESPN, and even other streaming channels such as HBO and Showtime. This can be done by upgrading the subscription package to premium.

Amazon Prime Video

prime video on lepow screen
Image: Ste Knight / KnowTechie

The second-largest on-demand streaming platform, Amazon Prime Video has close to 100 million subscribers.

With such a huge number of customers to serve, Amazon Prime Video constantly keeps coming up with great original titles. Some of the most popular ones are “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, “The Grand Tour”, and “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”.

Along with these, the service offers its users to buy any movie of their choice and stream it using the Prime Video platform. This is a service none of the other streaming platforms offer. Basically, it allows you to make your very own home library of curated movies and TV shows.

The platform also incorporates shows from other languages, specifically India. This makes it a more holistic service than most others out in the market right now.

You can get Prime Video with a normal Amazon Prime membership, or you can pay $9 for the service.

HBO Max

HBO Max is known for producing a number of critics’ award-worthy shows and an equally great number of originals. With exclusive content along with the likes of “Game of Thrones”, “Watchmen” and “Lovecraft Country”, HBO Max has definitely been a favorite of the cinema buffs around.

HBO Max also has exclusive deals with Warner Bros which allows it to release a movie on the exact date when they premiere. Exclusive rights to the DC Universe and TCM are also owned by HBO Max – making it a force to reckon with in the streaming industry.

However, technologically, HBO Max is lackluster. Without any 4K and HDR support, the picture quality is limited to 1080p. Still not bad.

Disney Plus

Disney Plus is definitely amongst the unicorns of the streaming industry. It launched in 2019 and since then has gathered close to 70 million subscribers. It features all of Disney’s movies and holds the rights to other famous franchises such as “Simpsons” and even “Star Wars”.

Its library is full of great curated content including movies from Marvel and Pixar Studios. The original category of Disney Plus, however, remains far behind the competition. Since Disney has always been producing content fit for families, all of the content here is for PG-13. There is absolutely no rated content on the platform.

The subscription plan is quite lucrative as well with $8/month. This plan doesn’t even include commercials so that’s a big plus. Disney Plus can be combined with Hulu and ESPN+ at $14/month. This bundle option saves us almost $6/month.

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