Streaming channels, the gifts that keeps on giving - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Streaming channels, the gifts that keeps on giving

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This photo provided by Acorn TV shows, Essie Davis as Phryne Fisher in the episode “Murder Under the Mistletoe" of series 2 ”Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries," on Acorn TV. A monthly subscription to a streaming site is the gift that keeps on giving. (Acorn This photo provided by Acorn TV shows, Essie Davis as Phryne Fisher in the episode “Murder Under the Mistletoe" of series 2 ”Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries," on Acorn TV. A monthly subscription to a streaming site is the gift that keeps on giving. (Acorn
This 2015 photo provided by Smithsonian Channel shows a lion in a scene from Smithsonian Earth's Africa's Wild Horizons. Smithsonian Earth is a new subscription video streaming service delivering original nature and wildlife content. A monthly subscriptio This 2015 photo provided by Smithsonian Channel shows a lion in a scene from Smithsonian Earth's Africa's Wild Horizons. Smithsonian Earth is a new subscription video streaming service delivering original nature and wildlife content. A monthly subscriptio

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Looking for a holiday present that's a perfect fit, procrastinator-friendly and a constant reminder of your generosity? Consider a gift subscription to one of the abundance of streaming choices that range from mainstream to niche.

Some, such as this year's new HBO Now or CBS All Access, may be welcomed by a cord-cutter whose New Year's resolution is to abandon traditional TV delivery. Others are alternatives to what's on cable or satellite.

Compatibility may be an issue in some cases. Although most major subscription-based offerings can be watched on any platform or device, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, iPhones or iPads, there are some exceptions — and surprises.

With SlingTV, for example, you won't be able to watch ESPN's "Monday Night Football" on a phone or tablet: Verizon has locked up NFL mobile streaming rights.

And you can watch PlayStation Vue, which delivers live TV, movies and sports starting at $49.99 monthly, on devices other than a PlayStation, including Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV stick, and iPhone and iPad.

Some platforms are particularly expansive in what they include. Roku, along with offering many broad-based sites, also has the anime-focused Crunchyroll ($6.95 per month) and Korean drama site DramaFever (starting at 99 cents monthly).

Here are some other contenders to ponder:

BIG BOX CHANNELS

Sling TV, with a starting $20 monthly fee for live TV that includes ESPN, AMC, A&E and TNT, offers add-on packages such as for Spanish-language networks including Univision ($5).

Hulu ($7.99 monthly with commercials, $11.99 without) carries current and past episodes of ABC, Fox and NBC network shows, originals such as "The Mindy Project" and cable fare from FX, AMC, Bravo, Comedy Central and others.

Netflix (starting at $7.99 monthly), has become known for original series including "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black," but also has a deep library of movies and TV shows.

Amazon Prime ($99 annually) has also added original series including "Transparent" and "The Man in the High Castle" to its thousands of movie and TV shows.

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DRAMA KINGS AND QUEENS

It's not TV, it's HBO Now ($14.99) and Showtime streaming ($10.99), both introduced this year and delivering new series and other programming in tandem with their cable debuts, as well as complete past seasons.

CBS All Access ($5.99) offers current season episodes (one day after airing), local live CBS feeds from most major TV markets and will be home to a 2017 "Star Trek" reboot.

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HOME STADIUM

Every sport is king, depending on the channel. The offerings include "NFL Sunday Ticket" from DirecTV ($199 at the start of the season, now $99); MLB.TV Premium ($129.99 annually) for regular season games; NHL GameCenter ($159 annually) with live out-of-market regular season games; and DishWorld Sports ($10) for European football and other global sports.

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MULTIPLEX THEATER

Feeln ($3.99 monthly) combines Hallmark Hall of Fame movies featuring stories of love and family with other Hollywood movies and TV series, including children's shows, and original projects.

Shudder ($4.99 monthly) from AMC lives up to its name with horror films grouped under categories including "Monster Mash," ''Psychos and Madmen" and, for a diversion, "Alien Intruders."

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IN THE KITCHEN

Tastemade ($4.99 a month for the ad-free version) is a food-and-travel channel that visits cultures and cuisines around the world and offers tips from expert chefs. And while a number of cooking channelsare available free, a former TV star is taking the subscription route with her Paula Deen Channel, $4.99 monthly for cooking and lifestyle videos.

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ANGLOPHILE

Acorn TV ($4.99 monthly) bills itself as the best of British television with an array of dramas, comedies and mysteries including "Brideshead Revisited," ''Agatha Christie's Poirot," ''Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries," ''Foyle's War" and "Jeeves & Wooster."

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HEALTHY MIND, BODY

Gaia ($7.95 monthly) streams yoga, meditation and other "mind-expanding" programs for a more conscious life, while The Gymbox ($10 monthly) promises a variety of workouts, updated weekly, including kickboxing, Pilates, step aerobics and cycling.

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PLANET HUGGER

Newly launched Smithsonian Earth ($3.99 monthly) streams nature and wildlife documentaries and series planned as separate from Smithsonian Channel content and available in an ultra-high-definition format on compatible devices.

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KIDS, OR THE KID WITHIN

Sesame Street GO (some free content, $3.99 monthly, $29.99 annually for full access) houses full-length episodes of "Sesame Street" along with educational music videos from Sesame Workshop.

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AP Business Writer Ryan Nakashima contributed to this report.

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Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/lynn-elber and she can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/lynnelber

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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