Speaking of Netflix, there are a number of paid streaming sources of TV shows and movies.
Netflix, the oldest, is the best. Their streaming catalog is far smaller than their DVD catalog. But it’s still large, and will likely have quite a few of the series and movies you watch on cable. Led by Netflix, all the other streaming services are now creating exclusive content not available on cable, some of which is truly excellent.
All these services make deals with content owners for specified periods of time. This is one reason it may make sense to use several services, as their offerings are not heavily duplicative.
Netflix’ web user interface on computer and set-top box (e.g., Roku) is far and away the best organized and easiest to use. If you had to have only one streaming service, this would be it. They are all about $8/month, less than a tier of cable service.
I acquired an Amazon Prime membership as a TCC student a few years ago. This was mainly for the 2-day shipping, as I saw no need to stumble through their clunky interface looking for the TV/movie content that might or might not be free to Prime members. However, in the last couple of years, we have found a number of series, e.g., The Sopranos, Workaholics, that fill a niche in our viewing.
The price has gone up from $79 to $99 per year, students at half-price. Since I completed my Cloud Computing cert, I am a student without portfolio, which Amazon does not honor with a discount. We do a lot of business with Amazon, so we will probably continue anyway.
Hulu Plus: we took a trial membership just to see if it could work as a replacement for some of the cable content. It can, but it skews more to current series rather than older ones. Nevertheless, it offers series we like. The Hulu Plus user experience on the Roku is sad, as the 30 second commercials they insert sometimes hang the Roku box, necessitating a reboot. Hulu Plus has the worst user interface of the three by far. Still, it may have some of what you need if you are considering cutting the cable.
I put together a Word document list of the shows we like by service, and placed it on Google Drive. We both have a link to the doc on our phones and tablet, so we can pull it up and be reminded of what’s available. (Our viewing is via Roku boxes in three rooms.) I periodically update the doc as I find new content on these services, or create it for the Plex Channel (a future topic).
My objective is to recreate as much of the cable experience as possible. We will evaluate how well that is working out in future installments.