How Do I Manage My Streaming Accounts?
When you start streaming your TV content, you find a lot of new rules to learn. You come across terms like users, accounts, households or profiles. What do they mean, and how do you set up your accounts so they’re right for the way you want to watch?
You need some clarity. Here’s our guide to tracking which service offers what and the sometimes confusing specific rules for each. Ready? Let’s make sense of TV streaming and settle in for some great viewing on a fiber connection.
What are the basic rules of streaming?
Streaming services typically have some basic rules and guidelines, including subscription requirements, device limits for simultaneous streaming, geographic restrictions and discouragement or restrictions on password sharing.
What are users? How do I count them?
Users are individuals who use a streaming service. Counting users usually depends on the number of screens that stream content simultaneously under a single subscription.
What are accounts?
Accounts are individual subscriptions to a streaming service. Each account typically has its own login credentials and settings, including the ability to create multiple user profiles.
What are households?
Households refer to groups of people living together in the same physical location. Some streaming services offer family plans that allow multiple household members to have their own profiles and access content on separate devices.
What are individual profiles?
Individual profiles are separate user accounts within a streaming service’s main account. They allow users to have personalized content recommendations, watch history and settings. This feature is helpful for households with multiple viewers who want to keep their preferences and viewing history separate.
Can I have my relatives on my account?
Many streaming services offer family plans that allow you to have your relatives on your account. These plans typically provide multiple user profiles for different family members to use under a single subscription, allowing each family member to have their own personalized experience while sharing one account. However, many streaming services are moving to restrict the number of physical locations under one subscription.
Guide to popular streaming services
The Rules for YouTube TV
- YouTube TV is a live TV streaming service that offers a cloud DVR feature that records shows and movies.
- Subscribers can share their account with family members in different households by creating a family group and inviting individual members to it via email.
- There may be geographic restrictions on available channels based on your location. However, it works while traveling around the U.S.
- Check out this handy guide to get the most out of YouTube TV.
The Rules for Hulu + Live TV
- Hulu + Live TV provides live TV channels and on-demand content.
- Subscribers can create multiple user profiles within one account.
- Some content may be subject to ads, even for paying subscribers.
- Geographic restrictions may apply to specific channels.
- On the base account, you can watch on two screens simultaneously. Upgrading for an extra fee will give you unlimited simultaneous screens in the same household and three when traveling.
The Rules for Sling TV
- Sling TV offers customizable channel packages.
- It allows simultaneous streaming on multiple devices, depending on your subscription.
- You can add extras like cloud DVR and premium channels for an additional fee.
- Sling TV’s rules can vary depending on the package you choose.
The Rules for DirecTV Stream
- DirecTV Stream offers live TV streaming with various channel packages.
- You can watch unlimited streams at the same time while on your home network and up to three streams while away from home.
- Subscribers can access regional sports networks and local channels via an upgraded package.
- You can access DirecTV via internet streaming or satellite.
The Rules for Fubo
- Fubo is known for its sports-focused content.
- It offers cloud DVR and the ability to stream on multiple devices.
- Geographic restrictions may apply to certain sports events.
- You can only stream simultaneously on connected devices and Smart TVs from one location.
- Fubo’s U.S.-English plans come with Unlimited Screens, allowing you to stream on up to 10 devices simultaneously.
The Rules for Philo
- Philo is a budget-friendly streaming service with a focus on entertainment channels.
- It allows simultaneous streaming on three devices anywhere in the U.S.
- Philo does not offer sports or local channels.
The Rules for Netflix
- Netflix offers on-demand streaming of TV shows, movies and original content.
- Subscribers can create multiple user profiles within one household account, which can be used by all while traveling.
- There are no ads during playback.
- Netflix’s library may vary by region.
- Some Netflix content can be downloaded for offline viewing.
- You can add extra households by paying a fee.
The Rules for Max
- Max provides access to HBO content and additional WarnerMedia content.
- It offers profiles for family members.
- Subscribers can download content for offline viewing.
- Some content may be subject to ads.
- The Standard plan includes streaming on three devices simultaneously.
- The Mobile plan (not available for new subscribers) only allows streaming on one device.
The Rules for Disney+
- Disney+ offers a library of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic content.
- It allows four simultaneous streams and up to six profiles.
- It can be shared with other households for an extra monthly fee.
- Subscribers can download content for offline viewing.
- Geographic availability may affect content offerings.
The Rules for Apple TV+
- Apple TV+ provides access to Apple’s original content.
- Subscribers can share their subscription with up to five family members in the same household.
- Only people you’ve added to Home Sharing can stream content to your Apple TV. You can try Apple TV+ for free before you buy.
The Rules for Prime Video
- Amazon’s Prime Video offers a vast library of movies, TV shows and original content.
- Subscribers can share their account with family members through Amazon Household.
- Three concurrent streams are allowed within the same Amazon account and up to two simultaneous streams of the same content.
- Content is available for purchase or rental in addition to the streaming library.
- Geographic restrictions may apply to specific titles.
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Program availability may have changed and is subject to change. Streaming services may require a subscription and sometimes an additional fee.