— December 1, 2015
Hulu: now available commercial free, but did not have the top-tier shows in the past few seasons. It stopped doing the 180 second ad blocks, making free viewing better, but I adjusted to not using it during the bad times, making the service less necessary. I’m only watching 1 show per week, which is not worth any amount of money to skip the ads. Even Plus does not have a lot of back seasons, which makes catching up on things I couldn’t be bothered to watch with commercials impossible now that I could watch them without. Would be more useful with that, or getting a season or 2 from Netflix disc, or skipping it. It would probably have a previously on, anyway.
Netflix: Better at binge-watching TV series, worse at movies, does not even attempt live tv. Over the past year, not a single movie recommended to me was available in streaming. UI for streaming site is terrible. Actively makes browsing user opinions harder. DVD mode is still fine. Have not enjoyed most original series, but at least respect the people they get for them. Content appears/disappears at random.
Amazon: better movies than Netflix, free shipping.
HBO: better quality, less quantity. I gave up Game of Thrones years ago, and watch John Oliver on youtube.
Crunchyroll: Now that there is a queue, the premier anime tv source. Simulcasts, huge library. Does not have movies.
Funimation: anime, paid only, the site is terrible, and the content will be on Hulu sooner or later.
NicoNico: Japanese Youtube. Does not contain shows, but is visible in the background in a lot of anime, so you should probably know about it.
Acorn.tv: the British TV, except doesn’t have most current or popular shows.
Provider Specific site: Comedy Central and CBS for The Daily Show and Colbert. Ads occasionally are too loud, or halt the player.
Youtube: has a lot of official content. That some shows, like Colbert, are in clip form is probably a benefit. Ads are mostly skippable. Has full seasons of shows, but probably not the shows you are looking for. Downsides include terrible quality clips uploaded by pirates, finding shows amid all the clips, getting distracted.
iTunes: expensive, limited catalog, the store ui is still bad, but mostly painless way to have tv spread across apple tv, ipad, desktop.
Torrents: has every movie or tv show ever made for free, sometimes before it airs, may not have seeds or be legal. Following TV shows can be difficult.
Did I miss something? Let me know.