App Recs: Streaming Video


More and more people are dropping expensive cable subscriptions as they move to a streaming setup. Even for those of us who aren’t ready to cut cable ties just yet (sports & local news!), cutting back on the expensive cable packages and supplementing with streaming is pretty common. Today, we thought we’d talk about some of our favorite streaming apps.

Streaming Apps

Netflix is the king of streaming. Their base plan is offered at $7.99 and gives you unlimited access to Netflix’s fairly deep tv and movie catalogue. They’ve also moved towards producing their own original content (House of Cards has gotten great reviews, and they’re behind the restart of Arrested Development). Netflix also tries to tailor its recommendations based on your ratings and what you’ve watched. They offer a free one month trial for new users.

Hulu Plus is also offered at a $7.99 subscription rate. While Netflix offers entire tv seasons of shows, Hulu offers you just aired shows — most appear 24 hours after broadcast. In addition to new tv, they also have a deep catalogue of entire seasons of shows, and they also have a movie catalogue that includes movies from the Criterion Collection. They also offer a free one month trial, so you can see if there’s enough content to tempt you.

Amazon Instant Video is free to Amazon Prime members (an Amazon Prime subscription is $79/year and gives you free shipping on eligible purchases from Amazon). The Amazon catalogue is similar to Netflix, although each has some unique offerings. What sets this service apart is the opportunity to rent and purchase media that’s not available for free streaming. This needs to be done through Amazon’s website, however — once purchased they’ll be available through the iOS app.


iTunes is also a great source for renting or purchasing media. Purchased media (with the exception of audiobooks) is yours forever, so it can always be downloaded onto any of your authorized devices, even if you had previously deleted it. Rented media needs to be watched within 24 hours of beginning it, but you have a month to begin watching.

Youtube is often overlooked as a streaming source — mostly, people think of it as a source for funny, quick clips or music videos. But there are actually quite a few full movies and tv series available on the service. I’ve found the official youtube app to be a bit finicky, often buffering. I use one of the alternatives — in my case McTube Pro, instead.

Utility Apps


IMDb is essential for folks who are good with voices or faces but not with names. The Internet Movie Database allows you to look up a show, movie or actor and find everyone else in the media or everything the actor has been in. 


Can I Stream it is also essential for anyone using multiple streaming services. Simply search for the media you are wanting to watch, and the app will tell you what services you can stream, rent or purchase it from.


Most of the services listed above have free trials available, but for the most part they are auto renewing, so be careful to cancel after the trial if you don’t want the service.
Also consider adding the Apple TV to your lineup — not only can you stream to your tv from an iOS device with it, there are also built in apps for youtube, netflix and hulu.