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What Online Streaming Service is Best for TV and Movies?

Updated on April 4, 2014

For sometime now, I was resisting the streaming of TV and movies services. Mostly because of having to watch them on the computer screen and because of interruptions during the streaming that even if temporary, was annoying. Sometimes, the service had to reboot, or just stuck in idle. Other annoying features were to commercials.

Although, Roku has been out awhile, I did not see the benefit of the wi-fi device to stream until is saw one streaming content to a large screen TV. Once I saw it and it was easier to use than the computer (Roku has a selector to chose online streaming services-like cable) I changed my Netflix subscription to DVD only to streaming only (which is cheaper).

Streaming is now fairly seamless in performance-very few interruptions during a show or movie. One can see how the DVD will go the way of the CD and vinyl records. With streaming, you can watch instantly without waiting for DVD to arrive. The quality is good. You can binge of TV series all day long.

Which are the services offered?

  • Netflix and Amazon offer either streaming only, DVD only, or both. Streaming is the cheapest. The reason why is because of the overhead DVD and mailing DVD's cost. Streaming is far cheaper to them. Netflix is best for TV shows that are NOT currently shown on TV and movies. If you missed a whole series, you can now watch all the shows and seasons. They have most of them but not those on CW channel and others. The movies they have are dated when compared to those of Redbox. Currently, Netflix has 32 million customers. It spends over $2 billion on content a year. There are ton of great TV shows I missed since the 90's, many aired 10-15 yrs ago, and really are great. Who needs movies?
  • Hulu Plus offers the same service for the same price ($8 a month). The difference is that this service is best for the current TV shows episodes being aired, so if you missed a series still on TV, you can see episodes missed. Hulu is owned by Disney and 21st Century Fox and earned $1 billion last year. It has 750 million users, all streaming. It also has mostly dated movies. They also carry older TV series.
  • Xfinity TV is Comcast's version of Netflix. You can only get it if you are a current TV subscriber. This is like Hulu Plus, mostly current TV shows being aired and some off the air. Movies are also offered. The biggest difference is it is the only service that offers live TV newscasts, like CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc.

Those are the main sources of TV and movies for streaming. But, what if you want those TV shows and recent movies to watch for FREE? Believe it or not, there is one I use a lot.

  • Megashare is a FREE site that offers recent movies and TV shows to stream. Quality is good and streams well. Some think the website is illegal, some don't. Megashare is simply another website *hosting* these movies. It's just like YouTube. It does not say it owns any of the content it is showing, it is simply pointing you in the right direction to the place where the movie is actually legally owned. Megashare maybe doing something illegal, but you are not breaking the law. Think of it as a billboard and the internet as a public space, no one can stop you from looking at a billboard even if the content is illegal.The illegality is only when you download a movie and distribute it. Regardless, it is very popular, free of ads. The content is limited but very recent and has movies and TV shows. Some software ads when you first select a show pop up, just keep saying No. It may state that your browser is out of date or your streaming software is that, don't believe it, and say No. I do suggest you to run malware software after using it just to make sure nothing downloads without you knowing it. It is generally safe from viruses.

How Megashare makes money is a mystery. You do not have to have an account to watch or logon, so ignore about signing up. I think the site is in the "gray" area of the law. Whatever, its free and many use it. The website IP address is in San Francisco, CA. and receives 250,000 visitors daily.

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