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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Rating Streaming Services

Many older adults are cutting the cord with cable and replacing it with one or more streaming services. Which should you choose? 

Seniors can save money by ditching their cable subscription and replacing it with one or more streaming services. But with so many options out there, it can be hard to know which one(s) to select. Most offer a free 30-day trial period and viewing on several screens. 

Check where you can find your favorite shows online to see if there is a “must-have” service provider. Understand the difference between “on demand” (content that was previously recorded and edited) and livestream (content that you are watching in real time). Below, find our recommendations:

One App for All Services  

Many consumers find that they need three or more streaming services to access all of their favorite shows and movies. But it’s a pain to log in to each account separately. New apps such as Oneflix are tackling this problem by combining all of your streaming in one place. You can browse through your different services, and even “chat” with the grandkids to find out what they’re watching. 

Best Shows for Seniors

Everybody has different tastes in content, but there are some shows that appeal to a wide range of older adults, and they’re a great place to start if you’re new to streaming. Microwave some popcorn, pick a show listed below, and prepare for a good time!
  • The Good Place — comedy, Netflix 
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel — historical fiction, Amazon Prime Video
  • Call the Midwife — historical fiction, Netflix
  • Grace and Frankie — comedy, Netflix
  • The Americans — spy drama, Hulu
  • The Great British Baking Show — cooking competition, Netflix
  • Upload — life after death comedy, Amazon Prime Video
  • Jack Ryan — spy thriller, Amazon Prime Video
  • Last Tango in Halifax — dramatic comedy, Netflix
  • Our Planet — science and nature, Netflix
  • Downton Abbey — historical, Amazon Prime
1. Netflix is the top choice on most raters’ lists, and for good reason. It’s been around since 1998 (remember renting DVDs?) and has an impressive catalog of its own shows, as well as fan favorites from network series. Like most streaming services, it is subscription based. As of this writing, plans start at $9.99 per month for ad-free content but expect that to change as more and more services are boosting their bottom lines with marketing.

2. Amazon Prime Video is included if you have Amazon Prime, which offers a bevy of shipping, shopping, and other benefits from the online behemoth. This makes it an amazing value, and you’ll find original content as well as older series.

3. Disney+ offers great family content. Subscriptions start at $7.99 per month, and you can watch classics such as “Star Wars,” “Black Panther,” and “Hamilton.” An added bonus is the opportunity to bundle it with Hulu and ESPN+ for more viewing options at a discount from getting the services separately.

4. Hulu starts at only $5.99 per month, although the lower tiers come with commercials. It has live streaming in addition to on-demand. This is where you’ll find everything from “The Handmaid’s Tale” to “Ru Paul’s Drag Race.”

5. HBO Max includes all of HBO in addition to classics (especially cartoons, since it’s owned by Warner Brothers) and original content starting at $14.99 per month. This is the spot for fans of the DC Universe and so much more, including “Game of Thrones,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and “Wonder Woman 1984.”

6. Peacock is relatively new, having come onto the scene in 2022. It also offers a free base plan, albeit with ads. For fewer commercials, bump up to a $4.99 or $9.99 monthly plan. You’ll find NBC shows, original content, and live sports. Come to Peacock for “The Office,” “WWE,” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

7. Paramount+ is the former CBS All Access and it starts at a low $4.99 per month. Here, you’ll find live sports, news, and series content. Relive your youth by watching “The Twilight Zone,” or take in “NCIS,” or “The Young Sheldon.”

8. Apple TV+ offers original movies, plus a limited selection of licensed shows. It starts at just $4.99 monthly and has the advantage for Apple users of pairing with Apple Music and iCloud for a better rate on each. You can also stream other services (Disney+, HBO Max, or Hulu) on the app. Go here for arresting documentaries such as “Elephant Queen,” movies like “Wolfwalkers”, and the “Ted Lasso” show.