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CBS All Access TV streaming review 2020: Product, price and features

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Access to Star Trek: Discovery as well as other CBS favorites, classics and movies might be worth the $5.99 a month.

A relatively new player on the streaming market, CBS All Access provides you with a balanced mix of current CBS hits, classics and originals. Access live stream of 24/7 news on CBSN, and unlike its Canadian counterpart, Star Trek: Discovery. Watch for $5.99 with ads, or pay for an upgrade to watch without.

Details

Service typeOn-demand streaming
Free trial7 days
Pricing starts at$5.99
Lock-in contractNo

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • More than 10,000 episodes. Classic TV shows, originals and favorites.
  • Free trial. Despite the type of subscription you choose, start with a free 7-day trial.
  • Parental controls. Keep track of what your kids are watching with the click of a button and rating restrictions.

Cons

  • Ads. Unless you upgrade to the $9.99 a month version, you’ll sit through advertisements.
  • Limited streams. Stream just 2 devices at a time.

What features does CBS All Access offer?

Even with the large content library, CBS All Access offers a few minor features that set it apart from other streaming services.

Device discovery

Use your iOS mobile device to watch CBS All-Access on your Apple TV using Apple’s Bonjour software. It automatically detects other Apple devices, and lets you cast onto your Apple TV.

Offline watching

Download and Play lets you watch offline and store up to 25 episodes. Available only with the $9.99 tier, you can download on up to 99 devices.

Live TV

Watch episodes as they air using its Live TV feature. Once you enter your ZIP code, it generates local channels, however, blackouts and commercials apply, even with the highest tier.

Smart home devices

Whether you have an Amazon Alexa or Google Home smart device, link your CBS All Access to use voice commands to watch.

What devices is CBS All Access compatible with?

CBS All-Access is compatible with mobile, desktop and third-party streaming devices. As long as you have the app downloaded and a stable Internet connection, you can watch hours of content.

  • Smart TV devices:
    • Apple TV
    • Android TV
    • VIZIO TV
    • Samsung TV
  • Desktop Devices:
    • Windows
    • Mac OS
  • Mobile Phones and Tablets:
    • iOS
    • Android
  • Other Devices:
    • Roku
    • Google Chromecast
    • Amazon Fire TV Stick
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox One

How much is CBS All-Access?

A basic subscription to CBS All Access is $5.99 a month, while the upgraded subscription costs $9.99 a month. Both subscriptions give you access to thousands of hours of content, but the upgraded version doesn’t saddle you with ads.

Note about the annual subscription

Annual subscriptions can save you 15%, but you can only sign up through the desktop version of the CBS webpage. A monthly subscription is your only option when you sign up with a mobile or third-party device.

Free trial

CBS All Access offers new customers a 7-day free trial for either subscription you choose.

What can I watch with CBS All Access?

CBS All Access offers a pretty generous content library, with both live and on-demand options with more to come soon. Daytime, primetime and late-night CBS TV programs, including:

Every Star Trek episode and show ranked

There’s also sports available on CBS All Access this includes:

  • NFL
  • March Madness
  • SEC Football

What Internet speeds does CBS All Access recommend?

The recommended Internet speed to enjoy a smooth experience with CBS All-Access is 4Mbps.

How much data does CBS All Access use?

As with any streaming service, watching CBS All Access can take a toll on your data usage. According to Verizon, watching video with your cell phone on an app like CBS will use around 350MB an hour.

Compare streaming services

Name Product Service type Pricing starts at Free trial 4K or UHD Number of devices Simultaneous streams
The Disney Bundle
On-demand streaming, Sports
$12.99
No
Yes
10
4
Hulu
On-demand streaming
$5.99
30 days
Yes
99
1
Disney+
On-demand streaming
$6.99
No
Yes
10
4
Amazon Prime
On-demand streaming
$8.99
30 days
Yes
99
2
Starz
On-demand streaming
$8.99
7 days
No
4
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Compare up to 4 providers

If you’re looking to learn more about other streaming services, you can check out our Internet TV page and find the right service for you.

Frequently asked questions

Expert review

Alex Shea

Review by


Alex Shea was a tech and telco writer for Finder.

Expert review

CBS All Access is an extension of the CBS cable network. It still charges you to watch videos with ads, although you can upgrade for about twice the price to watch without ads and watch content offline.

While it might be a great alternative for somebody who spends a lot of time watching the CBS network, it isn’t a great solution for somebody looking to replace cable altogether. It isn’t suitable for movie lovers either, since it focuses on TV content.

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