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More Channels, More Content: Little-Known Streaming Services You May Enjoy

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Even before the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic, the way we consumed our entertainment was beginning to change. Why go to a crowded theater, dealing with groups of teenagers talking through the film and babies screaming when the music kicks up, when you can watch the newest films from the comfort of your home, on a widescreen TV, surrounded by snacks you didn’t have to pay extra for? Why switch to a particular channel to watch your favorite show at an odd time slot when you can instead log on the next day and watch the newest episode any time you want?

Our lives have become more connected with digital spaces in every way, from using smartwatches to keep track of a variety of applications at any time to using a smart TV to connect with multiple streaming services. It’s only natural that the old ways of consuming entertainment, constrained by more limited capabilities and unable to keep up with new tech, would be phased out. While some are calling streaming services the new channels, as consumers will likely have subscriptions to multiple at one point so they don’t miss their favorite shows, the convenience of them (as well as your ability to pick and choose which services you have access to, with few packages available) makes them more than a match for more antiquated modes of content consumption. As long as you have reliable internet service, you can stream what you want, when you want to.

You’re probably already aware of many of the most popular streaming services: Netflix, Hulu, and the like. But have you heard of lesser-known streaming services, many of which cost less than subscriptions to those giants, that cater to more niche tastes? For your consideration, here’s a list of streaming services you’re probably not subscribed to, and why you might want to consider giving them a look.

Disney Plus

Yes, yes, this isn’t exactly an unknown one, though it’s probably best to start with a service that may be more recognizable. When Disney Plus launched, it didn’t have a whole lot of content to its name, with exclusive releases being confined to the first season of “The Mandalorian” and a backlog of animated Disney films: now, however, the services’ catalog has expanded dramatically. For around 6 dollars a month, you get access to a variety of Marvel Cinematic Universe TV shows, such as “Hawkeye,” “Loki,” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” as well as several original Star Wars productions. Disney is also releasing new Muppets specials, Disney Plus exclusive TV series for your kids, and the latest Pixar and Marvel releases on the service, meaning it’s a great investment for people of all ages.

Shudder

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Shudder, which has been dubbed “the Netflix of horror” by many a gorehound’s blog. Shudder has an assortment of horror films and TV series across several generations of horror, from Dario Argento’s “Doors of Darkness” to Shudder-produced-originals and exclusives like “Host” and “The Color Out of Space.” Their extensive catalog has been divided into subsections for easy browsing, depending on what flavor of horror you’re looking for on a Friday night, and they even have a tip line available every now and then where Shudder’s curator can recommend specific films to you based on your tastes. The real draw of the program is “The Last Drive-In” with Joe Bob Briggs, where the horror host hosts double features of flicks across generations and invites live participation from his audience.

Kodi

If you’re looking for a free addition to your existing catalog of channels, you can’t do better than Kodi! With an extensive catalog of free movies and TV shows, compatibility with most devices, and even the ability to play games, Kodi is the free entertainment center you’ve been missing all your life. With several add-ons and builds available, Kodi can be customized according to your needs, serving as several streaming channels in one completely free package. It should be noted that, unlike most streaming services, Kodi is an open-source software package: while it does have its own content built-in, it also has the ability to connect to other streaming services, making it an entertainment hub not unlike Roku.

The more channels you have access to, the more content you have at your fingertips: and with the age of streaming upon us, that can mean having access to an extensive catalog of even the most recent television and films. Feel free to explore with different services, finding what works for you.

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