Market Overview

7 Apps For Movie And TV Lovers

7 Apps For Movie And TV Lovers

There is no shortage of apps for couch potatoes.

In fact, there was even an app built for iOS called CouchPotato.

It seems to be a little out of date now (the app was last optimized for the iPhone 4S), but it just goes to show how much people love their entertainment.

If you are one such individual, you probably already have a popular streaming video app -- or several. But are they all worth owning? Can Redbox Instant compete with Netflix? And if so, where does that leave Hulu, HBO Go and others?

Peruse the slideshow to find out.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this slideshow.

Posted-In: HBO Go Hulu Hulu Plus IMDb Netflix RedboxTech Reviews Best of Benzinga

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    Netflix

    Netflix

    Contrary to popular belief, consumers are not more likely to love the Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) app simply because they subscribe to the service.

    When the company updated its app across all of Netflix's supported TV platforms (game consoles, smart TVs, etc.), subscribers turned to Twitter to share their opinions. Not all of them were positive.

    That said, Netflix still provides one of the most usable apps available. It may load slower than Hulu on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, but Hulu starts each show with a commercial, so Netflix still feels faster.

    Netflix also offers 1080p streaming on some devices, including PlayStation 3,

    On mobile, Netflix's beautiful, visual layout allows users to easily find something enticing to watch. Ultra-HD (4K) streams are also available.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Hulu Plus

    Hulu Plus

    Hulu has not gone through as many redesigns as Netflix, and still lacks the uniform appearance that Netflix has tried to achieve.

    The Xbox 360 app is currently plagued by a weird search function that no longer loads videos in real-time as the user enters query. This greatly slows the process and is a completely unnecessary adjustment -- especially when the PS3 app still loads in real-time.

    On mobile, Hulu users will find that it is very easy to load clips by date. This is not so easy (and in some cases, not at all possible) on the TV apps.

    Regardless of these issues, Hulu still offers the best next-day TV content available. It loads quickly on virtually every platform available (smart TVs, consoles, phones, tablets, DVD players, etc.), and streams at 1080p.

    Most TV shows are not yet filmed in 4K, however, so don't expect Hulu to offer 4K streams this year.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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    HBO Go

    HBO Go

    The ultimate app for fans of HBO's original content, HBO Go allows subscribers to bypass the traditional watch-it-live restriction for a quick on-demand experience.

    Like Netflix, the app is very visual, offering big, beautiful images of any shows, movies, documentaries or comedy specials that are currently available.

    Recently though, HBO Go has tended to crash when a highly anticipated show arrives. This has frustrated some users, most notably those who have borrowed their friends' accounts and don't actually subscribe to cable.

    While frustrating for Game of Thrones fans, other HBO subscribers will continue to enjoy the app for all of its bonus content. HBO Go provides a large catalog of additional movies and original series that are not always available on-demand through cable.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Internet Movie Database

    Internet Movie Database

    The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) apps don't provide the wealth of video content that is offered by Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go and others.

    Instead, this app is for the same people who visit imdb.com -- movie lovers who want to know more about a particular actor, read the latest entertainment news, rate movies and TV shows, and explore critic reviews and Metascores.

    It serves its purpose, but users still complain about a number of issues that are associated with the Android app.

    The iOS version has also received some complaints.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    WWE

    WWE

    The WWE (NYSE: WWE) app is one of the newer kids on the block.

    Thus far, the accompany WWE Network has amassed 667,000 subscribers. This milestone was reached in just six weeks, making it one of the fastest-growing subscription-based video services available.

    The app offers everything that's already available to WWE Network users, including access to all 12 WWE live pay-per-view events, every WWE, WCW and EW PPV ever produced, and a plethora of classic matches and other videos.

    For those who don't subscribe, the WWE app offers a number of in-app purchases for PPV events.

    Users have been very impressed with the mobile and TV apps, but there have been a handful of complaints associated with the Android version.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Redbox

    Redbox

    Unlike most streaming services, Redbox offers two apps -- one for Redbox Instant subscribers, and another for regular kiosk users.

    The latter is a very simple app that allow users to watch trailers, reserve discs at a nearby kiosk, and see which movies are coming to the service.

    Redbox Instant offers those same features but with the added bonus of instant play (for select videos). Users can also purchase and download films that aren't featured within the all-you-can-eat service.

    From the beginning, Redbox Instant has received a number of complaints from frustrated users who didn't think the service was as good as Netflix.

    Users are still complaining about it, but the positive app reviews still outnumber the negative critiques.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    YouTube

    YouTube

    The most ubiquitous app of all, YouTube is well-known for its free, homemade videos that drone on about nothing and attempt to make viewers laugh.

    Some of those videos are more successful than others. Some are unbearably absurd. But all of them seem to have one thing in common: people can't stop watching them.

    That's why YouTube is watched by more than one billion people every single month.

    On mobile and Chromecast, the service works great -- videos are easy to search, easy to find, and playback is usually decent (depending on the quality of the source material, of course).

    The smart TV and console apps are a little less impressive, mostly due to picture quality issues. Why is it that a high-resolution video can look great on a PC or tablet, but terrible on a small TV? If Netflix and Hulu can pull it off, YouTube should as well.

    The Wii U app is quite good, however. It offers a Chromecast-style viewing experience across the GamePad and a TV.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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