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As a writer for trade publications and Lifewire, he has endeavored to break down complex technical subjects so readers of every tech level can understand them. Updated July 24, CBS All Access is a single-network streaming service that allows cord-cutters to watch live television without a cable subscription.
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Unlike most other streaming services, it only offers content from CBS. It's also one of the only places you can watch CBS online, and it is the only place anywhere that you can watch exclusive content like Star Trek: Discovery.
While only having content from CBS does set All Access apart from multi-channel streaming services, it's important to note that CBS has a massive library of shows. While those shows originally aired on other networks, CBS is the one that owns them. The weak point of most live television streaming services is local network television, which is usually only available in a handful of limited markets.
So if you're having trouble finding an online streaming service that can provide you with a local network, there's a good chance that CBS All Access will have coverage where you live.
CBS All Access is very easy to sign up for, and it includes a free trial period. You do have to enter your billing information, but you won't be charged if you decide to cancel before the trial period ends.
Enter your information and choose a password. Click Sign Up. Click Select Your Device if you want to set up a streaming device, or click on an episode to start watching on your computer. There are two plans available from CBS All Access, and the only difference between them is the amount of commercials that you have to sit through.
The cheaper CBS All Access plan includes commercials embedded in on-demand videos, while the commercial-free version removes them.
However, even if you pay for the commercial-free version of All Access, the commercials are not removed from the live CBS stream. The other difference between the two plans is that if you choose the ad-free version, the free trial is shorter.
When you watch a show on CBS All Access, whether it's on the live feed or an on-demand episode, it's referred to as a stream. CBS limits the number of these streams that can be active at any one time, so even if you have All Access on multiple devices, there's a limit to how many you can use at once.
CBS All Access allows two streams at once , and those streams apply to all the devices you own and to any type of video you stream. That means you can watch a live stream of your local CBS affiliate on your computer at the same time someone else uses the same account to cast an on demand episode to your television.
However, a third person would be unable to watch either live or on-demand content at the same time on a third device of any kind. You can mix and match devices, and live or on-demand content, but you're always limited to two streams at once. CBS All Access requires a high-speed internet connection, and the quality of the video will vary depending on the speed of your connection.
Big Brother Live uses four simultaneous video streams, which requires more bandwidth than usual. While CBS All Access is technically a single-network streaming service, it does offer the option to add Showtime content for an additional fee. Move your mouse over Live TV. While the main focus of CBS All Access is live television, it does include a selection of on-demand content.
The selection is limited to the current season for most shows that are still on the air, but full seasons and even full series are available for some older shows. Move your mouse cursor over shows to reveal a list of available series, and then click on the one you want to watch.
Click start watching to immediately jump into the show, or scroll down and click on a specific episode that you want to watch. You can pause on-demand content, and if you leave and come back, it will pick up where you left off.
You can also effectively fast forward by clicking on the video timeline, but if you try and skip past a commercial, the commercial will play automatically. CBS All Access doesn't have a digital video recorder DVR feature, so the only way to watch a show you missed is to wait for it to appear in the on-demand section.
You can't rent movies on CBS All Access, but the service does have a selection of free on demand movies. Some live television streaming services also provide pay-per-view and rental content, but CBS All Access doesn't.
There is a selection of free on-demand movies available, and you get access to more if you add Showtime to your subscription. If you're looking to rent a recent release, you can do so through non-subscription services like Vudu , Amazon , and many other online sources.
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