On Thursday CBS announced its new streaming service, CBS All Access. Along with announcing the ability to watch full seasons of current prime-time hit shows and a library of classic series the service will also provide live streaming options to 14 markets. To see a list of the markets with Live CBS feeds and see if your market supports them click here.
What’s the Big Deal?
In a move that seems like a shot of the bow to Netflix CBS will make a massive library of shows available through this new service. over 6,500 episodes of content from across the CBS’s library will be available. Classics like The Andy Griffith Show, The Brady Bunch and The Twilight Zone for instance. It also Includes 80s and 90 favorites like Frasier, Twin Peaks, Macgyver, and Family Ties as well as a full library of Star Trek Series from the original to the more recent Star Trek Enterprise. Netflix and Hulu Plus currently stream a number of CBS classics and recent fare. It will be worth noting if CBS pulls their content from the now competition in the future.
Are CBS shows still available via the website and App to non-paying customers?
Yes. As of the writing of this story shows currently airing have the past 3 episodes available online for free. In this instance the service is actually allot like the difference between Hulu and Hulu Plus. Hulu allow users to have access to a much smaller watch window by limiting the ammount of episodes available to non paying subscribers, though some shows get the treatment regardles.
Isn’t CBS on Hulu already?
Yes and No. None of the current episodes of CBS’s lineup stream on Hulu Plus. While there are some CBS shows like Blue Bloods available on Hulu they are past seasons. On the other Hand The Big Bang Theory, Elemtary and many other hits are not available at all on Hulu Plus. CBS has held on tightly to their top rated content for good reason.
Will CBS Release apps for set top Boxes Like Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV?
I think it is instructive to look at Hulu Plus here. Hulu’s free online service is not available on set top boxes or streaming devices unless of course you count a computer as a streaming device (it really is). On the other hand Hulu Plus is available on multiple devices including tablets and all of the top set top boxes. I expect this to be the case with CBS. Look for CBS All Access apps to roll out to Roku, Apple TV and the Fire TV very soon. It would be absurd for CBS to launch a streaming service of this magnitude and limit it to phones, tablets and PC’s.