CBS started its own streaming video service in 2014 and with the launch of Star Trek Discovery, its reputation soared. Take a look at our CBS All Access Review to see what you will get now.
We’ll introduce you to CBS All Access, explaining how and the place to get the service (it’s tough). Then we’ll stroll by way of the location to see the way it’s set up. Finally, we’ll take a look at the content on CBS All Access and offer you our opinion.
A lot of the traditional broadcast networks took the straightforward method out with their streaming strategies: when you have a cable subscription, you possibly can live-stream your local station. CBS took a special strategy by establishing its own over-the-top streaming service.
All Access is an ad-supported subscription service for CBS’ broadcast content. You get on-demand entry to the newest episodes of CBS’ hottest TV exhibits, in addition to over 9,000 episodes from the community’s sixty-year back catalog. Sports followers will respect getting local streams of NFL games, professional golf tournaments, and the NCAA Basketball Event. CBS additionally develops subscriber-only content material together with spinoffs of Huge Brother, The Good Spouse, and Star Trek.
That strategy appears to have gone properly since its launch in 2014. CBS All Access reached 1.5 million subscribers early this yr – as many subscribers as Showtime has on cable. By late 2017, CBS executives announced that CBS All Access would attain 4 million subscribers.
What accounts for that success? Individuals like it. CBS has aired 5 of the ten hottest TV exhibits on broadcast or cable TV. The Massive Bang Concept took the top spot followed by NCIS. The opposite prime performing exhibits included Bull, Blue Bloods, and Thursday Night time Soccer.
- 1 How Do I Get CBS All Access?
- 2 CBS All Access Walkthrough
- 3 What’s the Content material Like?
- 4 General Review: eight
How Do I Get CBS All Access?
CBS solely makes a number of episodes of current-run exhibits out there on its website and not using a CBS All Access subscription. The service is out there to People only – CBS’ geo-fencing system blocks individuals outdoors america. Even within the US, about 10% of the inhabitants can’t get streams of their local CBS stations. Here’s a run-down of the whole lot you might want to find out about getting CBS All Access.
After a seven-day free trial, you get two subscription choices which are utterly cable-independent. You may also get an add-on subscription to CBS-owned Showtime.
CBS All Access Limited Commercials – For $6-per-month, advertisements seem at first of each on-demand TV stream and a number of other occasions in the course of the stream. (We’ll speak more about promoting afterward.)
CBS All Access Business Free – CBS removes the promoting from all however “select” on-demand TV video streams at its $10-per-month premium degree.
In each instances, reside local streams have all the advertisements from the common over-the-air broadcast. Annual plans at both levels offers you twelve months for the worth of ten.
CBS All Access doesn’t give entry to all. You’ll need to read the subsequent couple of sections rigorously to ensure you know what you’re getting before you subscribe.
No International Help
Like many other streaming providers, CBS All Access is geofenced. Only individuals bodily within the continental United States, Hawaii, and Alaska can get the streams. American subscribers who travel abroad get blocked.
The geo-fencing also means Puerto Ricans, as well as the People dwelling in US territories within the Caribbean and Pacific, are handled as foreigners. That gained’t change anytime quickly, however extended the fence to Canada in 2018.
Combined US Help
Local streamers is perhaps out of luck. CBS blacks out its reside stream in about fifty markets that cover about 10% of the US inhabitants. Verify the help page for the markets that do get CBS reside streams.
The problem is that CBS only owns sixteen of the native affiliate stations. The opposite stations are independently owned, with their very own contracts for local programming and reruns. Those contracts might have been written years ago earlier than streaming content material was a factor. The native stations need to renegotiate those contracts and get their suppliers’ approval before CBS All Access can carry the native stream.
In the meantime, subscribers in these black-out markets nonetheless get the newest episodes on-demand. They gained’t get native news or climate, however the greater problem is sports. CBS only streams sports activities by means of the native stay feed. No local stream, no football.
You can get CBS All Access on all the major streaming platforms. Probably the most complete access is thru the CBS.com website. Not solely do you get the on-demand and live-streaming, you additionally get information and photograph galleries for particular programming and reside events.
CBS All Access Walkthrough
Let’s take a stroll via the best way CBS organizes its over-the-top service and see how issues change between the online app, streaming bins, and smartphones.
After you have set up your account, you don’t need to return to the All Access landing page. Just sign up to your account on the cbs.com homepage. The primary display provides you your navigation options in addition to a rotating banner of featured content material at the prime of the display.
As you scroll down, you get carousels of latest releases, advisable packages, and other curated themes.
Choose the Exhibits choice within the prime navigation menu to get to CBS’s on-demand programming. The sub-menu permits you to filter content by classes. Choosing All Episodes will autoplay one of many newest episodes from present run collection.
When you choose Reside TV, the CBS website will examine your location to ensure it solely exhibits you live streams from the local station.
Once it confirms your location, the native station’s broadcast begins streaming.
The Schedule part exhibits the CBS primetime lineup, but not local programming or daytime programming.
The Film section has a really restricted twenty-one title selection. The heavy mix of titles from the 1980s and 1990s displays CBS’ concentrate on the Baby Boomer and Era X demographics.
You may also store for CBS themed merchandise, develop custom playlists, register a TV supplier, or change to the CBS Information or CBS Sports activities websites.
CBS All Access on Apple TV
Source: CBS, Apple
The Apple TV model of the CBS app makes use of the identical navigation construction as the web site, with a number of exceptions. You don’t get choices for CBS Sports or for the live-stream from the CBSN information network. (There’s a separate CBS News app for that.)
The on-demand content is identical, nevertheless, and you may stay stream your local station’s broadcast.
CBS All Access on iPhone
Source: CBS, Apple
The iPhone app, although laid out in another way, has the identical construction and limitations as the Apple TV app.
Source: CBS, Apple
One difference from the Apple TV app is your automated enrollment within the Nielsen tracking system. You can choose out in case you don’t need the market research agency to include you in its score system.
What’s the Content material Like?
If you watch CBS, then you already know that it takes a certain strategy to its broadcast programming. No one watches CBS for edgy content material. That strategy carries across to CBS All Access and to its unique content material. Inside the context of CBS’ manufacturing philosophy, the quality of the content material is sweet.
The streaming quality, however, just isn’t as consistent. I experienced vital points one afternoon whereas streaming an episode of Hawaii Five-O. It took 5 to ten seconds for the video to buffer. Ten minutes into the episode the video bitrate out of the blue dropped to 480p and audio dropped from encompass sound to mono. It took a full seventy seconds for the quality to enhance.
Then one night time I used to be half method by way of Star Trek Nemesis when the video froze whereas the audio continued. Cancelling playback didn’t work and neither did turning the Apple TV off and turning it on once more. It’s potential that there have been points with my cable service, however nothing was incorrect with my Netflix stream that I tested out on the similar time.
Check the standard completely at totally different occasions on totally different days during your free trial to ensure you don’t run into these points. There’s some great things on CBS All Access you may need to watch, however there’s no point in paying if the streams don’t ship.
Supply: CBS, Apple
CBS is driving subscription progress by creating unique content material that only subscribers can entry. The network kicked issues off with Massive Brother Over The Prime final yr. This yr it shifted to scripted entertainment by producing spin-offs of two common collection.
The Good Struggle
With the launch of The Good Battle, CBS confirmed the way it plans to drive subscriber progress. A spin-off of The Good Spouse, the primary episode premiered in mid-February – however not on CBS All Access. The community aired the primary episode on its primetime broadcast. After that first style, not one of the remaining episodes aired on reside TV. CBS released them one week after the other in CBS All Access.
Star Trek Discovery
CBS repeated that technique when it introduced the Star Trek franchise back to TV with Star Trek: Discovery.
Undergo enough dad or mum corporations and you can see that CBS and Paramount are owned by the same household. That’s why, although Star Trek originally aired on NBC, all the follow-on collection’ aired on CBS. It’s also why you possibly can watch every episode of The Unique Collection, The Next Era, Deep Area Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, and The Animated Collection. What you’ll be able to’t do is watch any of the films, except Star Trek Nemesis.
Complete Leisure, Principally
The on-demand catalog is deep but inconsistent. You can watch more than 300 episodes of NCIS, for instance, but you possibly can solely watch seven episodes of The Huge Bang Principle. Generally, this comes down as to if CBS produced the show (so you get all the episodes) or another company did (so you don’t).
You can watch basic TV exhibits like the original Hawaii Five-O, The Brady Bunch, and Cheers. Basic TV fans will notice that Cheers initially aired on NBC and The Brady Bunch was an ABC show. You’ll also be missing CBS-broadcast icons like The Honeymooners, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Bob Newhart Present. No one ever stated TV licensing deals made sense.
Apart from the CBSN stay stream, you get episodes from CBS news magazines like 60 Minutes. The individual episodes are organized chronologically identical to the leisure exhibits. That is sensible from an structure standpoint, but news programming is topical. Arranging movies by matter would make more sense for viewers.
Related: How you can Watch Stay News on Apple TV in 2017 (For Free) – Full Information
Twine-cutting football fans will respect getting access to the NFL broadcasts. The games you see will rely on your market and might be topic to the identical blackout rules that over-the-air broadcasts should cope with. The NFL also limits the platforms you need to use to observe soccer broadcasts.
Native Reside TV
Twine-cutters (in most markets) will even recognize getting streams from their native CBS affiliate. This can be a straight feed from the native station, so that you get the identical advertisements everyone else does.
For the on-demand aspect of things, CBS takes a light-weight strategy with advertisements. Films-watchers don’t see them, but subscribers on the “Limited Commercial” degree will get advertisements throughout on-demand TV episodes. A sixty-second business leads off every stream.
More advertisements will run in the course of the present. Five ninety-second ad breaks seem throughout every one-hour episode. Once the advertisements start operating, you lose the power to fast ahead. CBS removes a lot of the advertisements for subscribers on the “Commercial Free” degree, although they reserve the appropriate to incorporate promotional spots throughout “select” packages.
General Review: eight
Content material Quality: 9
Content-wise CBS All Access solely has a number of issues working towards it. Licensing points aren’t actually CBS’ fault, but do impression individuals in fifty markets. The absence of basic CBS TV exhibits, however, really must be addressed. One other difficulty is its determination to license content to other streaming providers. You can watch as a lot NCIS as you want on Netflix. Amazon Prime has all the Star Trek TV exhibits plus virtually all the films.
Streaming High quality: 8
As I mentioned earlier, I had issues at totally different occasions on totally different days with the streaming. The first was a minor annoyance – I didn’t really need to watch a repeat of Hawaii 5-O. Star Trek Nemesis, then again, is the one Trek film I haven’t seen – and that’s nonetheless the case. I gave up on it after it froze for a second time. Let me know in the feedback should you’ve run into the same issues.
Gadget Help: 9
The only purpose for knocking some extent off right here is the inconsistent implementation throughout the varied platforms. This primarily exhibits up in sports which, once more, is just not actually CBS’ fault.
You can get comparable content material on other streaming providers. You can get CBS Information absolutely free by means of its own apps. And providers like FuboTV will begin carrying native streams. So is All Access actually value $60-$100 annually? The Good Battle drove subscription progress within the first half of 2017 and a whole lot of Star Trek fans subscribed to allow them to watch Star Trek: Discovery. However CBS only plans to add one or two new Originals annually that isn’t enough unique value to make CBS All Access aggressive with Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime.
CBS All Access is a strong over-the-top streaming service with a good number of on-demand and reside content material. The actual difficulty is that that is yet one more $6 a month hit on the entertainment pockets. That’s a lot of money to be charging given how a lot of CBS’ programming you will get on different providers. CBS should do better than “solid” if it needs CBS All Access to grow over the long run.
CBS All Access offers lots of good quality content material that appeals to a variety of tastes. Subscriber-only originals like The Good Battle and Star Trek Discovery attraction to giant fan bases. But the amount of unique content does not make the $60-$100 annual value competitive with other streaming providers.