Stream­ing chan­nels: Gifts that keep on giv­ing all year

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - Broward - - TV - By Lynn Elber

Look­ing for a hol­i­day present that’s a per­fect fit, pro­cras­ti­na­tor-friendly and a con­stant re­minder of your gen­eros­ity? Con­sider a gift sub­scrip­tion to one of the abun­dance of stream­ing choices that range from main­stream to niche.

Com­pat­i­bil­ity may be an is­sue in some cases. Al­though most ma­jor sub­scrip­tion-based of­fer­ings can be watched on any plat­form or de­vice, in­clud­ing Roku, Ama­zon Fire TV, iPhones or iPads, there are some ex­cep­tions — and sur­prises.

With SlingTV, for ex­am­ple, you won’t be able to watch ESPN’s “Mon­day Night Foot­ball” on a phone or tablet: Ver­i­zon has locked up NFL mo­bile stream­ing rights. And you can watch PlaySta­tion Vue, which de­liv­ers live TV, movies and sports start­ing at $49.99 monthly, on de­vices other than a PlaySta­tion, in­clud­ing Ama­zon Fire TV, Fire TV stick, and iPhone and iPad.

Here are some other con­tenders to pon­der:

with a start­ing $20 monthly fee for live TV that in­cludes ESPN, AMC, A&E and TNT, of­fers add-on pack­ages such as for Span­ish-lan­guage net­works in­clud­ing Univi­sion ($5).

($7.99 monthly with com­mer­cials, $11.99 with­out) car­ries cur­rent and past episodes of ABC, Fox and NBC net­work shows, orig­i­nals such as “The Mindy Project” and ca­ble fare from FX, AMC, Bravo, Com­edy Cen­tral and oth­ers.

(start­ing at $7.99 monthly), has be­come known for orig­i­nal se­ries in­clud­ing “House of Cards” and “Or­ange is the New Black,” but also has a deep li­brary of movies and TV shows.

($99 an­nu­ally) has also added orig­i­nal se­ries in­clud­ing “Trans­par­ent” and “The Man in the High Cas­tle” to its thou­sands of movie and TV shows.

It’s not TV, it’s ($14.99) and stream­ing ($8.99), both in­tro­duced this year and de­liv­er­ing new se­ries and other pro­gram­ming in tan­dem with their ca­ble de­buts, as well as com­plete past sea­sons.

($5.99) of­fers cur­rent sea­son episodes (one day af­ter air­ing), lo­cal live CBS feeds from most ma­jor TV mar­kets and will be home to a 2017 “Star Trek” re­boot.

($3.99 monthly) com­bines Hall­mark Hall of Fame movies fea­tur­ing sto­ries of love and fam­ily with other Hol­ly­wood movies and TV se­ries, in­clud­ing chil­dren’s shows, and orig­i­nal projects.

($4.99 monthly) from AMC lives up to its name with hor­ror films grouped un­der cat­e­gories in­clud­ing “Mon­ster Mash,” “Psy­chos and Mad­men” and, for a di­ver­sion, “Alien In­trud­ers.”

($4.99 a month for the ad-free version) is a food-and­travel chan­nel that vis­its cul­tures and cuisines around the world and of­fers tips from ex­pert chefs. And while a num­ber of cook­ing chan­nels are avail­able free, a for­mer TV star is tak­ing the sub­scrip­tion route with her Paula Deen Chan­nel, $4.99 monthly for cook­ing and life­style videos.

($4.99 monthly) bills it­self as the best of Bri­tish tele­vi­sion with an ar­ray of dra­mas, come­dies and mys­ter­ies in­clud­ing “Brideshead Re­vis­ited,” “Agatha Christie’s Poirot,” “Miss Fisher’s Mur­der Mys­ter­ies,” “Foyle’s War” and “Jeeves & Wooster.”

($7.95 monthly) streams yoga, med­i­ta­tion and other “mind-ex­pand­ing” pro­grams for a more con­scious life, while

($10 monthly) prom­ises a va­ri­ety of work­outs, up­dated weekly, in­clud­ing kick­box­ing, Pi­lates, step aerobics and cy­cling. Newly launched

($3.99 monthly) streams na­ture and wildlife doc­u­men­taries and se­ries sep­a­rate from Smith­so­nian Chan­nel con­tent and avail­able in an ul­tra-high-def­i­ni­tion for­mat on com­pat­i­ble de­vices. AP’s Ryan Nakashima con­trib­uted.

SMITH­SO­NIAN CHAN­NEL

Smith­so­nian Earth streams na­ture and wildlife con­tent.

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