Best streaming service 2024: which TV and movie platform is best for you?

With so many streaming services to subscribe to, we help you choose the one that'll suit you best

Apple TV remote control
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Best streaming service 2024: Jump Menu

Streaming apps on an iPhone

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00. T3's top 3 ↴
01. Best overall: Apple TV+
02. Best all-rounder: Netflix
03. Best for families: Disney+
04. Best for added benefits: Amazon Prime Video
05. Best for US TV: Max
06. Best for sports: Now
07. Best for value in US: Hulu
08. Best for Star Trek: Paramount+
09. Best for reality TV: Discovery+
10. Best with a free tier: Peacock
11. How to choose
12. How we test

Once considered complementary to terrestrial TV broadcasting, streaming services are rapidly becoming direct rivals, even taking over in some households. The appeal is obvious – you can watch what you want, when you want and, in many cases, binge your way through a favourite series without having to wait a whole week for the next episode.

They often offer exclusive shows and movies, and with the highest quality pictures and sound – often in 4K with Dolby Vision or HDR 10+ and Dolby Atmos audio. It's hard for conventional TV channels to compete.

There's just one issue though, there are just so many of them. It seems there's the launch of a new streaming service every month and, considering they more often than not require a subscription fee, it can be a very costly pursuit to pay for them all.

That's why we've tested all of the main streaming services on the market to give you an idea of which would ably suit any of the best televisions out there. Here then are our picks for best streaming service.

WRITTEN BY
Rik Henderson headshot
WRITTEN BY
Rik Henderson

As a former Deputy Editor of Home Cinema Choice, Rik has extensive knowledge of streaming devices and services, plus the different AV standards they use to provide the best quality. He has also served as a TV producer for Channel 4, Sky and the BBC, so has an idea of what it takes to make TV shows too.

T3's top 3 streaming services

Want to see our top three recommended streaming services without checking out other alternatives too? Here are our quick and easy suggestions.

The best streaming services we recommend in 2024

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best streaming service overall

Apple TV+ on iPad

(Image credit: Apple)

1. Apple TV+

The T3 Award winning streaming service for 2023

Specifications

Price (per month): £8.99 (UK), $9.99 (US)
Simultaneous streams: 6
Compatible devices: Any Apple device, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Chromecast with Google TV, Roku, Smart TVs, PlayStation, Xbox
Resolution: 4K HDR (Dolby Vision)
Free trial: 7 days
Live TV: No
Original content: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Reasonably priced
+
High quality of original programming
+
Superb picture quality at up to 4K HDR (Dolby Vision)
+
Dolby Atmos audio

Reasons to avoid

-
Library of content is not as extensive as others
-
No native Android mobile app

Apple TV+ may be fairly young in comparison with its peers in this list, and therefore not as rich in the amount of content available to stream, but it more than makes up for it with the quality of its shows and films.

Exclusive movie Coda won three Oscars in 2022, including Best Picture, while you can't get through a day without someone you know mentioning Ted Lasso. There is also the superb sci-fi thriller Severance, plus Idris Elba's excellent Hijack. Indeed, you could play programming roulette on TV+ and whatever you randomly choose, it'll likely still be great.

Picture performance is superb too, with 4K HDR visuals on just about everything, including Dolby Vision for those with a compatible TV, while Dolby Atmos audio elevates the immersion further.

The Apple TV app also allows for the purchase or rental of other movies and shows not on the platform, so that can extend your viewing if you are willing to spend outside the subscription fee. It's worth noting though that many Smart TVs and streaming devices won't let you pay directly, you'll need an Apple device for that.

Oh, and while it's available on Android TV, you cannot get a native Android mobile app for TV+ yet. Still, this is one of the best services around if you are looking for a series to binge.

The best all-round streaming service

Netflix on iPad

(Image credit: Netflix)
The biggest library of original shows and movies

Specifications

Price (per month): From £4.99 (UK), $6.99 US
Simultaneous streams: 2 (Standard with ads, Standard), 4 (Premium)
Compatible devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Smart TVs, PlayStation, Xbox, Sky Q, Sky Glass/Stream
Resolution: 4K HDR (Premium), HD (Standard with ads, Standard)
Free trial: No
Live TV: No
Original content: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Most extensive selection of shows and films
+
Plenty of exclusive Netflix Originals
+
Up to 4K HDR (Dolby Vision)

Reasons to avoid

-
Top tier is expensive
-
Has a habit of removing shows

Netflix is arguably the best known paid streaming service and continues to provide a superb experience, even though it isn't spending as crazily on new TV and movie projects as it once did. It is a fantastic resource for many hundreds of shows and films, including some of the most talked about.

Highly-rated series, like Better Call Saul and Beef are exclusive to the platform, as well as The Witcher, Vikings: Valhalla and Cobra Kai. You can also catch up with Netflix Original classics such as Narcos, Squid Game, and The Crown.

The service has been tweaked in recent times, especially when it comes to the price plans. A cheaper option that's supported by adverts is available, while you can subscribe to a Premium tier to get the best picture quality of up to 4K HDR, with both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos supported.

Our one main quibble though is that Netflix has a tendency to cancel seemingly popular TV series and remove others from the platform with relatively little notice. That means you might invest time in something that doesn't come to an obvious conclusion.

Still, it remains near the top of the best streaming services, not least for its consistency, variety and overall quality.

Read more: Netflix review

The best streaming service for families

Disney+ on iPad

(Image credit: Disney)
There's something for every family member

Specifications

Price (per month): From £4.99 (UK), $7.99 (US)
Simultaneous streams: 2 (Standard with Ads, Standard), 4 (Premium)
Compatible devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Smart TVs, PlayStation, Xbox, Sky Q, Sky Glass/Stream
Resolution: 4K HDR (Premium), HD (Standard, Standard with Ads)
Free trial: No
Live TV: No
Original content: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Great value for money
+
Content library includes Star Wars and Marvel movies
+
Up to 4K HDR (Dolby Vision)

Reasons to avoid

-
A slow down of new shows is on the cards
-
Better in the UK than the US

Disney+ came along at just the right time – shortly before the pandemic – so it gained a huge amount of members in a relatively short time. However, it has managed to retain most of them through its excellent and rapidly expanding library of content.

Split into sections, the service satisfies viewers of all ages, whether they be young children who love Disney and Pixar movies, Star Wars or Marvel fans, or those looking for real-world programming from National Geographic.

Those in the UK, Ireland and Central Europe also have the Star section, which includes an expansive library of more adult programming and films, such as the Die Hard movies and the entire run of The Walking Dead.

As with many of its peers, Disney+ is now a multi-tiered service, with an ad-supported plan, a standard plan without ads, and a premium service now available.

Only the latter now has access to 4K HDR and Dolby Vision video, plus Dolby Atmos audio. The standard services can still access all the content, but at a maximum of 1080p and 5.1.

Read more: Disney+ review

The best streaming service with added benefits

Amazon Prime Video on iPad

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Amazon Prime Video

Here's the best video streaming service you probably already have

Specifications

Price (per month): £8.99 (UK), $14.99 (US) – as part of Prime membership
Simultaneous streams: 3
Compatible devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Smart TVs, PlayStation, Xbox, Sky Q, Sky Glass/Stream
Resolution: 4K HDR
Free trial: 30 days
Live TV: No
Original content: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Included with Amazon Prime
+
Huge library of TV series and films
+
Up to 4K HDR (Dolby Vision)

Reasons to avoid

-
App isn't as intuitive as others
-
Can be confusing what shows are included and what cost extra

Formerly called Lovefilm, Amazon's Prime Video service is fairly unique in that it is (currently) available at no extra cost as part of Prime membership. That means you can get free same- and next-day delivery on many thousands of items on Amazon's retail site, plus all manner of other benefits along with video streaming.

Like Netflix and Apple, Amazon also makes a lot of original programming and movies, which are exclusive to its platform. This includes massive hit shows, such as The Boys and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. It also has some sports broadcasting, with a handful of live Premier League football matches and tennis events being the most obvious.

Also like Apple, you can purchase and rent additional content from Amazon's Prime Video app. However, it can be a little confusing as to what is included with your subscription, and what requires an additional fee. You do need to be a bit careful what you click on, therefore.

Quality is great though, with up to 4K HDR and Dolby Vision on offer, plus Dolby Atmos audio (on some devices). And, thanks to the obvious, the service works particularly well through the hugely popular Amazon Fire TV streamers and televisions.

The best streaming service for US TV

Max app screen

(Image credit: Warner)

5. Max

Home of the absolute best content (US only)

Specifications

Price (per month): From $9.99 (US)
Simultaneous streams: 3
Compatible devices: Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Macs and PCs, PlayStation 4, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, TiVo, Xbox One
Resolution: 4K HDR
Free trial: No
Live TV: No
Original content: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Premium, award-winning exclusive programs
+
Houses entire HBO catalog, as well as other popular shows and movies
+
Up to 4K HDR (Dolby Vision)

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be pricey
-
Doesn't work on some consoles and Smart TVs

Recently renamed just Max (from HBO Max), this service boasts exclusive access to HBO’s entire epic catalogue, including critically acclaimed, captivating series like Game of Thrones, Westworld, The Sopranos, Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm, True Detective and Succession. 

The well-built app is also filled with other popular TV shows and movies, such as Friends and Rick and Morty, plus, as it's owned by Warner Bros, DC Universe movies too.

In effect, it offers a remarkable on-demand library, superb apps that work smoothly, and a less-expensive, ad-supported alternative to its pricier ad-free tier, which supports 4K streaming, offline downloads, multiple profiles and other nice features.

It's US only for now though, so if you're after HBO content in the UK too, you can find it exclusively on Sky's TV platforms or through Now (see below).

The best streaming service for sports

Now on iPad

(Image credit: Now)

6. Now

Look no further if you want easy access to Sky Sports and Sky Movies (UK only)

Specifications

Price (per month): From £9.99 for Entertainment membership
Simultaneous streams: 3 (with Now Boost), 1 (without)
Compatible devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Smart TVs, PlayStation, Xbox
Resolution: Full HD
Free trial: 7 days
Live TV: Yes
Original content: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Easy way get Sky programming with no contract
+
Much more current films through Sky Cinema
+
Live Premier League and other sports

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 1080p if you buy a Boost add-on
-
Can be expensive if you want all the channels
-
UK only

Previously called Now TV, Now is Sky's standalone streaming service that gives you access to programming from the satellite broadcaster but without needing to sign a long-term contract.

Instead, it offers different packages of channels and on demand catalogues that you can subscribe to on a month-by-month basis. There is an entertainment package that includes Sky Atlantic for HBO programming in the UK, Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, and Hayu for reality TV.

Sky Cinema is particularly interesting as it provides access to movie releases long before they hit the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. And, the Sports membership gives you every Sky Sports channel, so includes live Premier League football, F1, cricket and much more. Almost everything is also available to catch up with on demand.

There are a couple of caveats though. To begin with, Now can be expensive if you want everything it has to offer - Sky Sports can cost £34.99 per month on its own. Plus, the service currently maxes its video at 1080p and even then you need to pay a separate monthly fee to "Boost" it to that standard.

Still, if you want live sports and some of the best programming available in the UK, but don't want to be tied to a contract, this is a great option.

The best value streaming service in the US

Hulu browse screens

(Image credit: Hulu)

7. Hulu

Great value for subscribers (US only)

Specifications

Price (per month): From $7.99 (US)
Simultaneous streams: 2
Compatible devices: Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Echo Show, Fire Tablets, Fire TV, iPhones and iPads, LG TV (select models), Mac and PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3 (no live programming), PlayStation 4, Roku, Samsung TV (select models), VIZIO SmartCast TVs, Xbox, Xfinity Flex & X1
Resolution: 4K HDR
Free trial: 30 days
Live TV: Yes ($69.99 per month for Hulu+ package)
Original content: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
High-quality original content
+
Large library of television shows
+
Affordable
+
Up to 4K HDR

Reasons to avoid

-
Lots of ads for a paid plan
-
Comparatively fewer movies

A dependable player with lots of new and classic shows, plus live TV availability on nearly every platform, Hulu is a staple streaming service and one of the top choices for US viewers who cut the cord.

While perhaps not suitable as a standalone option, Hulu offers very good value and pairs well as a complement to Netflix or another streamer. 

Partially owned by Disney and part of a bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+, Hulu is available in a few forms. One is the standard, on-demand service you likely already know, with ads that you've surely heard people complain about; there's also an upgraded ad-free plan, as well as the Hulu with Live TV version thatcould fully replace your cable subscription. 

It provides a vast variety of familiar shows from major networks, such as ABC and Fox, that viewers can watch a day after they air, allowing subscribers to stay mostly up to date on current television, even if they don't have the Live TV package.

While Hulu's originals don't come out as often as those from Netflix and don't pack quite the same culture-shaking punch as Max, the price is right.

Those in the UK get a lot of Hulu's programming integrated with Disney+ (via the Star section).

The best streaming service for Star Trek

Paramount+ on iPad

(Image credit: Paramount)

8. Paramount+

The home of Star Trek and Yellowstone

Specifications

Price (per month): from £6.99 (UK), $5.99 (US)
Simultaneous streams: 3
Compatible devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Smart TVs, Sky Q, Sky Glass/Stream
Resolution: Full HD
Free trial: 7 days
Live TV: Yes (US), No (UK)
Original content: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
A lot of great US shows on offer
+
Has some more recent movies
+
Simple user interface

Reasons to avoid

-
Maximum of 1080p video and no HDR
-
Limited Smart TV support

Relatively new to the UK, but having been around a lot longer in the States, Paramount+ is the home to a whole host of TV shows and movies made by Paramount and its off-shoot studios. This includes Star Trek and Yellowstone.

Both make up a large portion of the content on the platform, when you take into account the main shows and all of the spinoffs in both franchises. In addition, you get the Halo TV series, the Quantum Leap remake, and programming from Showtime, including Billions and the entire run of Dexter.

Like with Disney+, Paramount often adds some of its moves to Paramount+ soon after they've been in theatres – this previously included Top Gun: Maverick, which was added to the service at the same time it appeared for purchase on digital storefronts.

One issue with Paramount+ in the UK is that it currently has no premium option and is therefore limited to 1080p video. Audio is restricted to a maximum of 5.1, although it actually launched in stereo only so that's some improvement at least. There is talk of a second, premium tier launching at some point, so this might all improve. US customers already have that option.

UK Sky TV subscribers with Sky Cinema get Paramount+ included at no extra cost, which is great.

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