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cbs all access review

CBS All Access Review – Premium Streaming Platform

Giving the growing demand for quality streaming services, traditional broadcast channels are now expanding their efforts to meet the needs of this growing industry by launching their own dedicated streaming efforts to compete with content aggregators like Netflix and Hulu.

With CBS All Access joining the pack of streaming services out there, TV lovers are in for a swell time as CBS All Access boast of having a massive catalog of shows and movies. And besides its impressive collection of quality CBS shows, this streaming service is the only way you can watch popular TV shows like The Twilight Zone, The Good Fight, and Star Trek: Picard in the United States as they air.

Not just for movies and shows, CBS All Access is also famous for its local coverage and live sports stream.

Although CBS All Access may not do so much to appeal to a general audience, for fans of specific CBS shows, their pricing is pretty decent and palatable.

Exploring the best of CBS ALL Access

For most TV watchers, CBS All Access has you covered as they boast of having an extensive catalog of movies and shows that will keep you glued to your screen all day. With your CBS All Access subscription, you’ll unlock access to tons of shows offered by CBS All Access. On top of that, there are loads of live content from CBS news channels waiting for you.

And if you’re worried about the rumored ViacomeCBS streaming services, we will urge you to keep calm as the service isn’t coming to replace CBS All Access. And even if it eventually materializes, chances are it will be a separate service from CBS All Access.

From dramas to comedy to news content to classic shows, CBS All Access has an impressive catalog you wouldn’t want to miss out on. Among their impressive catalog of shows include popular dramas like Blue Bloods, NCIS, and Elementary. And if you enjoy watching the news, you can catch CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes and Face the Nation all on CBS All Access.

We don’t know about you, but we love classics, and CBS All Access doesn’t disappoint us as they feature top classic shows you can stream on the go. If you enjoy classics like Fraiser, The Twilight Zone, Hawaii 5-0, and the old Star Trek series, you’ll find CBS All Access worth giving a try.

More so, CBS All Access also ranks as a powerhouse for comedy shows. With Shows like The Big Band Theory, Young Sheldon and The Man with a plan making it to CBS All Access content library, you’ll enjoy a fun time of unending laughter. Even new shows like the FBI and the Magnum P.I are now available.

What we love about CBS All Access is that majority of their current shows grant access to both backlogs and recent episodes of your favorite shows as they air.

CBS All Access and Original Content

While most streaming services boast of having top-notch, original content, CBS All Access falls short in this regard. Some of their best original shows to date include Star Trek: Picard, The Good Fight, Star Trek: Discovery, and The Twilight Zone. Other originals that didn’t do too well include Tell me a story, Strange Angel and No Activity. Although they have upcoming originals like The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Stand and Why Women Kill on the pipeline, we doubt they will come close to what Netflix already offers.

The issue we have with CBS’s originals is more of quality than quantity. For us, the quality of their original shows doesn’t come close to what you’ll get with most competitors.

With quality originals like The Crown, Bojack Horseman, MindHunters, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina available on Netflix, we doubt you’ll want to consider CBS All Access. Even Amazon Prime isn’t doing too badly, as their catalog of original shows will give CBS All Access originals a run for their money. With Prime Videos, you’ll unlock access to original shows like The Boys, The Grand Tour, Patriot, Bosch, Undone and The Marvelous Ms. Maisel.

Similarly, CBS All Access doesn’t come close to HBO in terms of original content. With popular shows like Game of Thrones, Euphoria, Succession, Big Little Liars, and Westworld airing on HBO, CBS All Access is playing catchup as they simply cannot measure up.

The only streaming services CBS’s originals can compete with right now are the likes of Disney+ and Apple TV. But with Apple TV and Disney+ looking to expand their library of originals, it is only a matter of time before they surpass the likes of CBS All Access.

CBS All Access and movie collections

When it comes to movie collections, CBS All Access doesn’t measure up with other providers on the market. As it stands, CBS All Access only offers close to 50 movie titles. While this has increased considerably since we last checked, it is still disappointing especially when compared to the massive library of movies offered by Starz, HBO and Showtime.

The likes of Netflix and Prime Video, which are known to offer the best library of movies, offer more cinematic content than you’ll ever get on CBS All Access. To put things simply, if you enjoy watching movies, CBS All Access will not cut it for you.

CBS All Access and Sports Content

CBS All Access does offer a generous amount of sports content through its live TV component. However, it is notably less than what you’ll get on DirecTV and fuboTV. With CBS All Access offering users all Live NFL games, the NCCA March Madness, PGA Tour and SEC football, you can keep up with your favorite sporting events.

That said, CBS All Access is missing top-end features that can make them go head to head with other streaming services. For instance, their DVR is lagging as it doesn’t feature an option that lets you restart streams from the beginning of broadcasts. Plus, other streaming services like DirecTV feature top NFL games, allowing you to watch more football games than you’ll get on CBS All Access.

For avid sports lovers who are only interested in sports content, you’ll want to check out fuboTV. Their $59.99 a month plan will offer you endless sports content that will keep you plugged all day. With access to over 100 channels of international and domestic sports content, nothing is standing between you and your favorite sporting event. Notably, fuboTV offers access to CBS Sports along with a decent DVR functionality.

We would also like to mention that Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV are solid options when it comes to sports content. With both of these streaming services, you’ll enjoy unlimited access to amazing channels covering the major US sports leagues.

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CBS All Access Pricing and Platform

One unique thing you’ll love about CBS All Access is their fair pricing. Their cheapest plan starts at $5.99 per month. While this plan offers you access to exclusive programming offered by CBS All Access, it comes with commercials which can be a bit annoying. Nevertheless, there is a commercial-free stream version, so you have nothing to worry about.

For those interested in CBS All Access commercial-free stream, you’ll need to opt for their upgraded version which costs $9.99 per month. Please keep in mind that this plan doesn’t exempt you from seeing commercials while streaming Live TV. The good thing with this expensive tier is that you can download titles for offline watching.

CBS All Access: Annual plan

To get the best deal from CBS All Access, you’ll want to check out their annual plan. The CBS All Access limited commercial annual plan costs $59.99 every year while their commercial-free annual plan goes for $99.99. That said, please keep in mind that switching from their annual to monthly plan will require you to cancel your annual plan first.

Simultaneous streams

CBS All Access, like other streaming services, allow their users to stream on multiple devices. With CBS All Access, two people can stream content using one account. While they may not come close to BritBox which supports five simultaneous streams, its cool to know that you can share your account with a friend or loved one. Besides the US, CBS All Access is available in Canada and Australia. On the flip side, streaming services like Netflix is available in over 190 countries.

CBS All Access add-on

Unlike other streaming platforms, CBS All Access doesn’t have a lot of add-ons you can jump on. With CBS All Access, you only have one option for an add-on, and that is Showtime. For now, this is the only add-on you can get, but hopefully, this may change in the future as the company strives to compete with other providers on the market.

To get plugged to CBS All Access and Showtime limited commercial plan, you’ll be required to pay $14.99 per month. And for does who can’t stand the limited commercial plan, you can opt for the commercial-free plan, which costs $18.99 per month. Showtime alone cost $10.99 per month, so by bundling CBS All Access plan with Showtime, you’ll be able to save a few dollars every month.

How CBS All Access compares to other streaming services

Compared to other streaming services, CBS All Access is quite affordable. The popular streaming platform, Netflix, starts at $8.99 per month while Amazon Prime Video charges $8.99 per month. Hulu is pretty decent too as it cost only $5.99 to get plugged.

HBO is on the high side as it cost $14.99. With the likes of Starz, you’ll pay $8.99 per month to enjoy their services. If you’re shopping for a more affordable option, we will suggest you consider Disney+ or Apple TV as they both cost $6.99 and $4.99 per month, respectively.

Is CBS All Access worth it if you’re only interested in their originals?

Well, it depends on the shows that interest you. Let’s say you’re interested in Star Trek: Discovery. The first episode of season two aired in January while the last episode from that season aired in April. What this means is that you’ll need four months of subscription to finish season two. Four months subscription will cost you nearly $23.96 or $39.96 if you select their ad-free plan. For us, this is an amazing deal, especially because the complete season one of Star Trek on Amazon costs $34.99.

On platforms like iTunes, you’ll pay nearly $49.99 for season one and season two of Star Trek, as they are offered as a bundled deal. More so, don’t forget that the $36.96 you pay on CBS All Access isn’t only to stream Star Trek. With your subscription, you can stream other content on CBS All Access.

Compatible devices

One thing you can’t take away from CBS All Access is that it is highly compatible and works on a wide variety of devices. CBS All Access works seamlessly on web browsers, plus there is a standalone desktop app for CBS All Access.

The Network also has a sleek mobile app for both iOS and Android devices. In addition to that, CBS All Access works smoothly on Roku, Amazon Fire TV devices, and Apple TV. For those with game consoles like X-Box One and PlayStation 4, we are happy to let you know that CBS All Access Provides support for game consoles, so you’re not left out of the party.

Intuitive design and web interface

CBS All Access features a unique interface with a sleek, black and white look. Just across the top, there is a special navigation menu that lets you navigate through menu options like Full Episodes, Shows and live TV options. There is also a horizontal ellipses menu that unlocks access to menu options like Movies, Schedules, CBS Now Live and CBS sports. And to make navigation smooth and hassle-free, CBS All Access comes with a functional search bar and icon that makes it easy for users to access profile settings

The profile setting option lets you edit personal information or sign up for email notifications. What we don’t like about CBS All Access is that they did not include an option that lets users add other viewing profiles.

Their help section, which includes a bunch of FAQs, may not be very intuitive, but the information there is useful and will come in handy when you need it the most.

By simply hitting the menu option for Shows, users are ushered into a new screen that features all of the popular shows CBS has to offer. You can also click on any content header to explore different content including Originals, Reality, Drama Specials and classics.

The CBS All Access Live section provides you with four options you can explore to find the kind of content you’re looking for. From CBS Local station to CBS News to ET Live to CBS SportsHQ, there is so much waiting for you when you opt for CBS All Access.

Please have it at the back of your mind that your channel lineups will be greatly determined by your current location and local cable market. With Local channels cut across 200 different markets, you should have unlimited access to top local channels if you live in a metropolitan area.

Interestingly, CBS All Access has completely revamped its Schedule section. Their Schedule section is now cleaner and features large thumbnails with a horizontally scrolling list.

CBS All Access Mobile App

Although the CBS All Access mobile app launches without a hassle, users are not prompted to login when the app is up and running. To this end, if you want to sign in or sign up, you’ll have to swap from the left to activate the hidden menu that lets you sign up or sign in.

And just like their web interface, the CBS mobile app includes menu options for Live TV, Shop, Shows, Schedule and Settings at the top of the screen. On the CBS mobile app, the company includes its shop section to let users buy DVDs, apparels and other related items. While this isn’t what you’ll typically see on a video streaming app, for CBS All Access, it is business as usual.

The mobile experience is divine and features black and dominant bright blue background. Just at the top right corner of the screen sits the search bar that lets users easily search for content. And if you navigate to their setting option, you’ll be able to tweak content download options as well as changing the video streaming quality.

The setting option is also the place you’ll find a unique graph for storage distribution on your device. This will provide you with information on how much space is used up by CBS content as well as the available space. Keep in mind that the CBS All Access app lags a little bit, especially when opening page details for shows. That said, the overall mobile experience is solid.

CBS All Access Content Download

Thanks to the CBS All Access app for Android and iOS, you can now download your favorite movies or TV shows for offline viewing. With this feature, CBS All Access has now joined the long list of streaming service providers that include this feature in their mobile app interface. The CBS All Access download option works quite similar to others. Simply hit the Download option next to any episode of your favorite show, and you’re good to go.

While not all of CBS network shows support offline download, you’re free to download most of their original shows. We hope they eventually let users download network shows when they roll out their next update.

With CBS All Access, users can download up to 25 shows. The icing on the cake is that you can have the same video on up to five devices.

Note: CBS lets you keep downloaded content for up to 30 days while you have just 48 hours after playback to finish streaming a particular title.

Streaming on CBS All Access

When streaming already aired shows on CBS via their web interface and mobile apps, we didn’t encounter any performance lag. We streamed top titles like Face the Nation and Twilight Zone series without any complications. With an internet speed of 200 Mbps, we discovered that the streaming quality on CBS All Access attained the highest peak quickly, plus, there was no form of buffering while we streamed.

Although CBS All Access only requires a minimum bandwidth of 800 Kbps for a hassle-free stream, we reckon you’ll enjoy a better experience if you have a faster internet speed.

When it comes to streaming quality, CBS All Access doesn’t come close to the technical capabilities of other reliable streaming service providers. As it stands, the Maximum streaming quality you can get on CBS is 1080p. The likes of Amazon Prime Video and Netflix already provide support for 4K streaming.

cbs all access worth it

CBS All Access Pros and Cons


  • Features an impressive catalog of new and classic CBS shows
  • Offers exciting sports content including CBS News and NFL games
  • Offers competitive pricing that will give others a run for their money


  • Has limited original shows
  • Offline downloads are limited to commercial-free plan
  • Limited stream quality as CBS All Access doesn’t support 4K or HDR content

Frequently Asked Question

Can you stream CBS All Access on multiple devices?

Like other streaming service providers, CBS All Access allows you to stream on two devices simultaneously using one account. It will be good to see the company tweak this to three or five devices in the future.

Is CBS All Access Worth the hype?

The CBS All Access commercial-free plan is only $4 more than what you’ll pay for their commercial plan. Meaning, there is no difference in content as you’re only paying more to get rid of commercials. For us, we think it’s worth paying the extra dollars to get rid of pesky commercials.

How do I get CBS All Access for free?

Technically, you can get CBS All Access for free for 30 days. Simply head to their website and signup for CBS All Access free trial, it’s that easy.

What you get with your CBS All Access subscription?

Since CBS All Access has live and on-demand streaming, your subscription will unlock access to all of CBS TV shows and movies.

Bottom Line

CBS All Access isn’t such a bad option, especially for people who want to keep up with their favorite CBS shows. With Amazing shows and movies making it to their massive catalog, CBS fans are in for an exciting time. While they may not come close to Prime Videos and Netflix in terms of original programming, rest assured you’ll be blown away by some of their original content.

Jill Burns
Jill Burns
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John Hollaway
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Marie Williams
Marie Williams
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