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Dream Stream: A Six-Week Search for the Best Place to Watch TV Online in 2015

I took a deep dive, binge-watching back-catalog shows and sampling originals in an effort to crown the king of streaming.

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I finally gave up my cable subscription in 2007. By that time, the culture was already awash in stellar serial narratives, and I had begun to think of TV the way I thought of reading fiction — all I really needed to keep me happy was one good story at a time. Thanks to Netflix DVDs, I worked my way through Battlestar Galactica, The Office, and The Wire. Fast-forward to today, and the problem feels way more complicated. We’re drowning in good TV, renting DVDs has fallen out of fashion, and shows are fragmented across a growing number of streaming services. How are any of us supposed to keep up?

Many bit players have come and gone, and some — such as Sony’s Hulu clone, Crackle — inexplicably hang on. But if you want to evaluate the best options for TV streaming, you quickly narrow the list to four: Amazon, HBO Now, Hulu, and Netflix.

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