Looks like it’s out with the old and in with the new, and here is a review comparison to see which one is better, the old CBS All Access or the new Paramount Plus.
Paramount Plus is a new subscription streaming service that’s meant to replace CBS All Access. As the rebranding took place on the 4th of March 2021, the viewers could only look forward to something bigger and better.
With that being said, many of us are familiar with CBS All Access because it’s a streaming service that was launched by none other than the famed CBS.
But besides the name change, how does the new and improved Paramount Plus compare to CBS All Access. Are there any differences to expect from the old and new streaming platforms?
If these are some of the questions running through your mind, you actually came to the right place. Without wasting any more time, let’s discuss and compare Paramount Plus and CBS All Access.
CBS All Access overview
After splitting in 2005, CBS and the second iteration of Viacom emerged, and ViacomCBS was formed towards the end of 2019.
This is nothing new since merging; acquisitions and even expansions are common among streaming services. ViacomCBS then formed what we now know as CBS All Access.
CBS All Access is a streaming service that offers a complete CBS experience. The viewers have access to both the new and classic CBS shows, sports programming, live news, and on-demand movies.
Basically, CBS All Access is a blend of the old and new shows from the CBS network. Some of the classics on the network like The Twilight Zone will definitely take you right down memory lane.
However, a lot is set to change with the rebranding. Paramount plus is now the new streaming service that has replaced CBS All Access. For that reason, we will focus more on paramount plus than CBS All Access.
Paramount Plus overview
Paramount Plus is the streaming service that replaced CBS All Access. It’s designed to be bigger and better than its predecessor in all aspects.
The service brings along a wide catalog of familiar shows, movies, classic TV shows, and on-demand content. Much of the content comes from the ViacomCBS’ brands which include BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Network.
Paramount plus is really the answer to the prayers of CBS fanatics. For a new service, it seems to be doing well with only a few things that may be lacking.
If you were already a CBS All Access subscriber, your current account is automatically transferred over to Paramount Plus. Thus, you have become a Paramount Plus subscriber.
The CBS All Access app will also automatically turn into a Paramount Plus app on all of the devices you’re using. The service is available in the United States, Canada, and the 18 Latin American countries.
The real question is whether this CBS All Access replacement will outshine its predecessor and keep the fans hooked on for a very long time.
The best way to find out is to compare them in different aspects such as content, price, interface, and so on.
Paramount Plus vs. CBS All Access: Price
Paramount Plus provides two plans for its users. There is the premium tier plan that costs $10 monthly or $100 annually and it’s ad-free.
The second plan costs $6 a month or $60 annually and it’s the tier with advertising. Though, the company will be adding a $5 per month base tier that has limited advertising but eliminates access to the live CBS network.
The biggest change between the two plans would be the exclusion of access to local CBS programming. The new plan is set to launch in June 2021. At that time, the $6 plan will no longer be available but if you sign up early, you can keep the perk for a little longer.
There will be some changes when the base tier plan is launched in June. For instance, it will not include the local CBS programming but some programming from the CBS network will be made accessible to the users.
The problem is that you won’t get everything that’s on the network. On the other hand, the Premium tier plan is not only ad-free but also contains pretty much everything on the service.
This includes the live streams of the local channels. As much as it’s an ad-free tier, there will still be some advertising in the live channels.
There is no difference between the prices of Paramount Plus and CBS All Access. Even as Paramount Plus replaced CBS All Access, the prices for the services remained the same. This was probably meant to make the transition easier for the customers.
That said, when you compare the cost of Paramount Plus to that of its competitors, this service offers a good deal. The prices are decent and at par with most other streaming services in the market.
While the Paramount plus content library differs from that of CBS All Access, it still has lots of familiar programming. If you don’t know what to expect, you can check out its catalog with a free trial.
That being said, Paramount plus has great plans to create a library of over 30,000 TV show episodes, 2,500 movies, and at least 36 original series. At launch, the service provided 20 exclusive originals which is a good number for a start.
Most of the Paramount Plus programming are tapped from its parent company’s brands like MTV, Nickelodeon, CBS, BET, and Comedy Central. But that doesn’t mean everything from these channels is available on the service.
For instance, Yellowstone is a show that’s streaming on all the other networks but is nowhere to be seen on Paramount Plus.
The truth is Paramount Plus is a streaming service that is best suited for the CBS All Access fans. If you are a diehard for the likes of Star Trek or The Good Fight, this is your streaming service. These are some of the popular originals exclusive to the service.
There is also the familiar programming initially aired on CBS All Access such as the reboot of The Stand and The Twilight Zone.
Other major selling points for the platform include originals like Picard, Discovery, and Lower Decks. Paramount plus has promised the viewers at least one new reality series every month. Well, all we can do is hope that they will keep their promise.
The kids are not left out either. As a matter of fact, Paramount Plus covers the kids with plenty of entertainment. One of the biggest draws is The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run which was introduced at launch.
This is in addition to Nickelodeon’s vast library consisting of nearly 7,000 episodes of kids shows. We all know that Nickelodeon is perfect for the kids and the whole family at large.
Some of the shows you can all enjoy as a family include Paw Patrol, iCarly, and Avatar: The Last Airbenders. There is something for the millennials too including shows like Kenan & Kel and All That.
Paramount Plus may not be a match to Disney Plus’s vast and impressive collection for kids but it’s still worth it especially if you’re into Nickelodeon.
The sports fanatics are also well covered. The service does integrate round-the-clock sports streaming from the CBS local channels.
In addition, it’s set to stream over 1,000 live sports events each year. You will barely miss out on any game since the NFL is aired on CBS.
When it comes to movies, Paramount Plus has many classics to take you down memory lane. Titles like Mission Impossible are perfect for those who want to reminisce the good old times.
Though, the available movie collection is not that intriguing. The fans want new content to keep them hooked and not a long list of classic movies that aren’t really a must-have.
That said, the service will be streaming a couple of the new movies from Paramount Pictures about 45 days after they premiere in the theatres.
For instance, Mission Impossible 7 and PAW Patrol will likely start streaming on the service 45 days after they hit the theatres. The big-budget movies will certainly land on the platform in 2022 with some of the long delays attributed to the pandemic.
Still, Paramount Plus is releasing its theatrical movies at a slower rate than competitors like HBO Max. all in all, you will get a good dose of entertainment from the streamer with content ranging from originals, comedy, reality series, sports, documentaries, and kids shows.
Paramount Plus is available for streaming on its mobile apps for both Android and Apple iOS devices. Beyond that, the new streaming service will have a wide range of supported devices just like its predecessor, CBS All Access. Some of the devices compatible with Paramount plus include;
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- iPhone and iPad
- Android Phone and tablet
- Amazon Fire TV
- PlayStation 4
- Vizio TV
- Samsung TV
- LG TV
- Xfinity Flex
What features are available on Paramount Plus?
While paramount plus provides many of the standard features, you can’t expect too much from them. Some of the features you get from the service include 720p maximum resolution, playback for the on-demand content, and up to two simultaneous streams.
It is disappointing that the users are limited to only streaming in 720p resolutions. Many of the other streaming platforms offer Ultra HD and 4K streaming to their viewers.
If you have a TV that’s as large as 50 inches, the quality of the images will not be that great. Hopefully, this is something they can improve on in the future and allow people to stream in 4k or HD resolutions.
Mobile downloads are available but the limit is 25 titles. You can create up to six separate profiles for the people in your household. So far, the features are good but lacking in some aspects.
Interface and user experience
The Paramount Plus app works pretty fine across all platforms regardless of whether you’re streaming on an iPhone, Apple TV, Roku, or Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Its interface is quite similar to that of the other streaming services. At the top of the homepage, you’ll come across a couple of featured titles as well as icons for the specific networks ie Comedy Central, MTV, CBS, BET, and Nickelodeon.
The next thing you’ll see is sections that are named Continue Watching, Shows recommended for you, Trending shows and Recently added shows.
This is pretty much similar to the other platforms but the difference comes with the On Now row. It’s where you get to see what’s currently being aired on the local CBS networks.
Below that there is a row showcasing all of the shows on Star Trek alongside Sports, Comedies, Dramas, Originals, News, and the Nickelodeon shows.
Scrolling over to the left sidebar, you’ll find Search and Home. This gives you the ability to search for a variety of movies, live TV, TV shows, and so on. Generally, the paramount plus user interface is simple and straightforward.
The viewers have an easy time finding the content they want to watch and don’t have to spend a lot of time sifting through a mountain of movies or shows.
Paramount Plus Pros and Cons
- Wide catalog of familiar shows, documentaries, and movies
- Content for kids from Nickelodeon
- Plans on streaming major movies a few days after theatrical releases
- Very few must-watch properties
- No watchlist
- Little to no 4K HDR content
- Doesn’t support Dolby Atmos sound at the moment
If you were a CBS All Access subscriber, it means you liked the shows, movies, and originals on the platform. Keeping the subscription would be a good idea and it’s automatically transferred to Paramount Plus.
You will get much of the content you want and a lot more. But if you’re not yet subscribed and you have another service like Netflix, Paramount Plus won’t likely be a good enough replacement. There are fewer originals and the current catalog isn’t that impressive.