Streaming channels: Gifts that keep on giving all year
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 Earth streams nature and wildlife content.