BEST STREAMING SERVICES 2022: NETFLIX, HULU, DISNEY PLUS, AND MORE
Our experts spent thousands of hours researching and testing 16 top on-demand streaming services so you don't have to.
Price: $8.99–$17.99/mo. Simultaneous streams: 3 Video: 1080p, 4K
Price: $8.99–$12.99/mo. Simultaneous streams: 3 Video: 1080p, 4K
Price: Free–$9.99/mo. Simultaneous streams: 3 Video: 1080p, 4K
Price: $7.99/mo. Simultaneous streams: 5 Video: 1080p
Price: $9.99-$14.99/mo. Simultaneous streams: 4 Video: 1080p, 4K
Not surprisingly, Netflix won our Editor’s Choice award for best overall on-demand streaming service for the second year in a row. What can we say about the Big Red N that you already don’t know? Excellent originals? Check. Great rotating selection of movies and shows? ‘Nuff said.
If you already have Netflix or want to add another quality video streaming service, we also love Disney+ for families and HBO Max for original content. But we don’t stop there. Keep reading to find the best on-demand streaming service for you.
Best on-demand streaming TV services
- Netflix – Editor’s choice ($8.99–$17.99/mo.)
- Prime Video – Best value ($8.99–$12.99/mo.)
- Hulu – Best on-demand/live TV streaming combo ($6.99–$75.99/mo.)
- Peacock – Cheapest (Free–$9.99/mo.)
- Disney+ – Best for families ($7.99/mo.)
- HBO Max – Best for original content ($9.99–$14.99/mo.)
- ESPN+ – Best for sports ($6.99/mo.)
- Paramount+ – Deep TV and movies library ($4.99–$9.99/mo.)
- Apple TV+ – Excellent original content ($4.99/mo.)
- Discovery+ – Best for reality TV fans ($4.99–$6.99/mo.)
See what real customers are saying about these streaming services
Best on-demand streaming TV services in depth
Editor’s choice: Netflix
- Massive variety of movies and TV shows
- 4K Ultra capability
- No live TV or sports
- Long waits for non-Netflix shows
You know it, and you probably already have it—or at least a pal’s password.
Netflix has established itself as a relentless firehose of original programming and curated outside favorites, but live TV is nowhere on its radar. Well, not unless the Tiger King decides to relaunch his internet show, anyway.
We’ve named Netflix our best overall on-demand streaming service because of its commitment to original content for adults and kids. Sure, scrolling through Netflix’s movies and shows can be overwhelming, but no one wants to be underwhelmed—just ask Quibi.
Netflix compatible devices
Netflix is available on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, LG TVs, Nintendo consoles, PlayStation consoles, Roku, Samsung TVs, Vizio TVs, and Xbox consoles.
Best value: Prime Video
- Included with Amazon Prime membership
- Over 25,000 movies and TV shows
- Limited original content
- Less essential as a standalone service
If you like on-demand movies to go with your Amazon Prime free shipping, Prime Video is tough to beat: there are over 18,000 movies available on Prime Video, and most of them stream free with Prime membership. And you thought you were awestruck by Netflix (which carries around 4,500 movies, for comparison).
Amazon may be doubling down on original programming ambitions (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Jack Ryan are a power couple to reckon with), but live TV, not so much.
Prime Video does offer live TV streaming of select NBA and NFL games (including Thursday Night Football), but it’s still largely an on-demand service. We think it’s a killer value, considering what you get for $12.99 a month (or $8.99 a month, if you don’t want the Amazon Prime membership).
Prime Video compatible devices
Prime Video is available on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, LG TVs, PlayStation consoles, Roku, Samsung TVs, Vizio TVs, and Xbox consoles.
Best on-demand/live TV streaming combo: Hulu
- Next-day streaming shows
- Quality originals
- Smaller library than the competition
- Only 2 simultaneous streams
We’ve featured Hulu + Live TV more prominently on CableTV.com than Hulu because it’s a great value in live TV streaming (monthly, $69.99 with ads or $75.99 without ads on Hulu content). But that value comes mostly from Hulu, the on-demand side of the streamer.
For $6.99 (with ads) or $12.99 (without ads) a month, Hulu without the live TV channels still gives you plenty of entertainment, including next-day streaming of shows from channels like FOX, FX, ABC, and more.
Hulu’s original content is also a strong selling point, with series like The Handmaid’s Tale, Letterkenny, and Shrill, and movies and documentaries like Palm Springs, McCartney 3,2,1, and Boss Level. It may not have the sheer content quantity of Netflix or Prime Video, but the critical acclaim over Hulu’s quality output is consistent year-to-year.
And don’t forget FX originals, the cross-corporate deal that produces exclusive content for Hulu and brings next-day drops of FX shows to the streamer. Meaning, you don’t need cable to watch the latest episodes of What We Do in the Shadows or Mayans (if you can wait for 24 hours).
Another value prop: Hulu + Live TV (with ads or no ads) now includes the Disney+/ESPN+ bundle at no extra cost.
Hulu compatible devices
Hulu is available on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, LG TVs, Nintendo Switch, Roku, Samsung TVs, Vizio TVs, and Xbox consoles.
- Inexpensive plans
- Exclusive NBCUniversal content
- Limited original content
- Lackluster interface
NBCUniversal’s Peacock jumped into the streaming wars during the summer of 2020, offering a big twist that set it apart from the others: an ad-supported free tier. Yes, you get more content with Peacock’s two paid tiers—but, in this time of too many subscription apps, a freebie is refreshing.
That said, Peacock’s paid tiers aren’t all that expensive. Peacock Premium (with ads) is $4.99 a month, and Peacock Premium Plus (no ads) is $9.99 a month. The Premium tiers give you access to 15,000 hours of total content from NBC, USA Network, Syfy, Bravo, MSNBC, and other NBCUniversal cable nets, where free Peacock limits you to 7,500 hours (still not bad).
Peacock compatible devices
Peacock is available on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, LG TVs, PlayStation consoles, Roku, Vizio TVs, Xbox consoles, and Xfinity Flex.
Best for families: Disney+
- Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic all in one place
- 4K Ultra HD video quality
- Extra cost for same-day movie releases
- Small lineup of original shows (so far)
Disney’s long-awaited streaming service arrived like a digital Deathstar in November 2019, dropping a handful of new originals (like the Star Wars–adjacent series The Mandalorian) and thousands of legacy shows and movies from the Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel vaults. If you haven’t heard of Disney+, where ya’ been?
Considering the sheer volume of content available, most expected Disney+ to cost more than other services like Netflix and Prime Video. Nope: at $7.99 a month (or $79.99 for a year), Disney+ is one of the cheaper on-demand streaming services—chalk one up for the Mouse (and Loki).
Disney+’s low price tag, generous multiple-streams allowance (up to 4), and overall kid-friendly vibe make it a gotta-have for families in our opinion. It’s not just for the little ones, either: Disney+’s mega-premieres of Hamilton and Black Widow prove the streamer aims to be more than just a babysitter.
Disney+ compatible devices
Disney+ is available on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, LG TVs, PlayStation consoles, Roku, Samsung TVs, and Xbox consoles.