CBS Review
November 15, 2018 / Hollie Shuttlewood
CBS Review
November 15, 2018 / Hollie Shuttlewood
CBS Review
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Intro
CBS All Access is an over-the-top streaming service owned by CBS Interactive. It offers access to tens of thousands of episodes of original CBS TV series and programs, as well as live streams of local CBS affiliates where available.
Best For
Watching live CBS channels including NFL, and streaming hit CBS TV series such as Big Bang Theory, the Grammy Awards, and Star Trek: Discovery.
Pros
  • The only place to get access to all of CBS’s programs
  • Includes access to live TV from CBS’s local affiliates in eligible regions of the U.S.
  • Includes live NFL on CBS in eligible locations
Cons
  • Max video resolution of 720p puts it behind major competitors
  • Live TV is subject to regional restrictions
  • Doesn’t always provide full access to past episodes (e.g. viewers have reported not being able to access some Big Bang Theory episodes, due to licensing issues)
Networks You Can Watch with CBS All Access
As the name “CBS All Access” suggests, this service provides access to all CBS TV programs, films, and specials. If you’re looking to access the hundreds of past and present programs from the CSB stable or live CBS streaming, then CBS All Access is the place to do that.
Top Programs on CBS All Access
CBS All Access gives access to all the network’s most popular TV series from the 1970, 1980, 1990s, 2000s, and through to today. Here are some of the hit CBS shows you can view through the service:
  • Big Bang Theory
  • Big Brother
  • Criminal Minds
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  • Grammy Awards
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • MacGyver
  • Murphy Brown
  • NCIS
  • Star Trek: Discovery
  • Survivor
  • The Good Wife
  • The Late Show with James Corden
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
  • The Young and the Restless
  • Two and a Half Men
  • Young Sheldon
Price
Package Limited Commercials Commercial Free
Description CBS All Access, plus live TV in certain regions CBS All Access, plus live TV in certain regions. No ads on All Access, although live TV includes ads
Price $5.99 / month or $59.99 / year (more than 15% off for yearly plan) $9.99 / month or $99.99 / year (more than 15% off for yearly plan)
Cancel anytime With monthly plan With monthly plan
Unlimited streaming V V
Multiple devices 2 devices simultaneously 2 devices simultaneously
Both subscriptions include streaming of CBS All Access plus live streaming of CBS’s affiliate TV channels in regions where such channels exist. Both come with a 7-day free trial. Certain customers are eligible for discounts. For example, students get a 25% discount on their subscription.
You can save money by signing up for the yearly plan, but take note that you’ll be charged the full yearly price at once and won’t have the option of reverting to a monthly plan until the end of your billing cycle. You can also upgrade to the Commercial Free package at any time, just by signing in to your CBS All Access account, choosing “Your Subscription”, and clicking “Upgrade Plan”.
How it Works: Hardware and Devices
You don’t need to buy any special equipment to use CBS All Access. As long as you have a high-speed internet connection, you can simply connect to any supported mobile device, TV, gaming console, or smart home device.
  • Apple (iPhone & iPad)
  • Android (phone and tablet)
  • Windows 10 (phone and tablet)
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV
  • Android TV
  • Chromecast
  • Roku
  • Samsung Smart TV
  • Vizio Smart TV
  • Xbox One
  • PlayStation 4
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Home
Cloud Storage
The good news is CBS All Access added an offline feature named “Download & Play” in September. However, it comes with several restrictions.
  • The feature is only available to subscribers of the Commercial Free package.
  • It can only be used on a subset of the library, including CBS originals like Star Trek: Discovery, selected reality shows like Big Brother and Survivor, and some of the network’s most popular shows from years gone by, such as NCIS: New Orleans, MacGyver Hawaii Five-O, Cheers, The Brady Bunch, and old Star Trek series.
  • There’s a download limit of up to 25 movies or episodes at any time.
  • Videos are removed 30 days after download or 2 days after the subscriber starts viewing them.
  • Downloads can be made on any iOS or Android device with version 6.0 of the CBS All Access app.
  • Subscribers can download videos to up to 5 devices at any time.
Regional restrictions
CBS All Access is available across the United States and Canada, and will soon launch in Australia (under the name 10 All Access). Viewers in some regions in the United States can use their CBS All Access subscription to view their local CBS affiliate channel. If you’re unsure of whether CBS has an affiliate channel in your area, the CBS All Access Website has a handy search tool that tells you if there’s a local channel just by looking at where you’re located from your IP address. It’s also worth noting that certain live sports events are subject to regional restrictions. For example, some CBS games on NFL are subject to local blackouts.
Customer service
For technical or subscription-related matter, customers can call CBS All Access toll-free on 888-274-5343. The CBS website also has an extensive FAQ section on its streaming service, with answers to common questions and about billing and using the platform.
Summary
If you’re into a few CBS dramas or you’re an NFL fan, CBS All Access presents a good deal for as low as $60 per year. The service provides best value for subscribers living in areas with a CBS affiliate channel, given they can use it to view live CBS programming as well as live NFL matches. For others, the value of the service really depends on how many hours you’d usually watch CBS programs each month.
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