Review: CBS Streaming Not Worth Cutting Cord, Yet

I dropped my cable TV service more than a year ago and have been relying on Netflix, Hulu and other services to fill my television needs. But I get my shows at least a day late. With CBS' new All Access streaming service, I can watch shows right when they air.

But is it worth $6 a month? The service is a good start. But the network needs to do more to make it worth the money -- especially as HBO and other channels start to compete for online dollars.

Here's what you get:


You must be within the coverage area of a CBS-owned station in 14 markets, though the network is trying to make deals with independent CBS affiliates too. Some sporting events, namely pro football, aren't included. Sports is a chief reason people want live TV, so this is a major gap. CBS does have streaming rights, though, for Southeastern Conference college football.

My biggest complaint is the lack of controls for pausing or rewinding. That's something I now expect from online services, even for "live" TV. And there are no recording capabilities to let you catch shows a few hours late. I can get more by hooking up an antenna and a TiVo digital-video recorder.


CBS' website already offers the past five episodes of most shows for free. You get the latest the day after the broadcast. To watch on mobile devices, though, you have to wait an extra week. Paying for the subscription removes that delay.

With a subscription, you're also getting the entire current season for many shows. You still get ads, but I found I was getting one 30-second spot fewer per each commercial break.

For eight shows, you can get all past seasons as well: "The Good Wife," ''Blue Bloods," "Survivor," "Big Brother," "The Amazing Race,"...

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