CBS All Access review: 5 things to know before you sign up

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CBS All Access review: Everything you need to know
Image Credit: Clark.com

If you’re looking for a streaming service that offers exclusive content, some pretty robust sports programming and live TV, CBS All Access may be what you’re after.

Clark.com has been testing different streaming services and writing about what subscribers can expect.

Since I’ve been trying CBS All Access for several months, in this article I’m going to share some insights you need to know before you join, including how to stream live, how to cancel and more.

Quick links: 

1. What is CBS All Access?

CBS All Access review: Everything you need to know

CBS All Access is a streaming service that offers live TV plus on-demand content. The service offers primarily three types of content: original shows, newly aired programming and content from the huge CBS library.

True to its “all access” name, the service’s biggest draw is the huge amounts of behind-the-scenes content (pre- and post-Grammy shows) like the “Big Brother” live feed.

Subscribers also get highly-rated original shows like “Star Trek: Discovery” as well as some classics, dramas, daytime and primetime TV you’ve fallen in love with.

The service has a number of popular original shows to keep you in front of your screen. Here are a few:

  • “The Twilight Zone”
  • “Star Trek: Picard”
  • “The Good Fight”
  • “Strange Angel”

Another big benefit the streaming service offers is sports: NCAA Tournament fans will love the extra coverage you’ll find only on CBS All Access.

Because CBS has broadcast rights with the NFL for American Football Conference (AFC) games, pro football fans will get exclusive sports footage that other streaming services simply can’t compete with.

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Add in a slate of classic movies and the cost of the streaming service may be worth your while.

2. How much does CBS All Access cost?

The service has two price tiers: one of them is ad-supported and the other is ad-free. The price for the CBS All Access “Limited Commercials Plan” is $5.99 a month. The price of the “Commercial Free Plan” is $9.99 a month. Here’s what you get with each plan:

  • $5.99 Limited Commercials Plan: This plan has all the CBS shows and original content but with intermittent commercials.
  • $9.99 Commercial Free Plan: Same content, but this plan has no ads and includes the functionality to download videos and play them offline.

WAYS TO SAVE: Subscribers can save 15% off by paying yearly instead of monthly. Plus, there’s a 25% student discount for the Limited Commercial Plan.

3. How to stream live TV

You can stream CBS All Access on your smart TV, phone, game console or tablet. Supported devices include:

  • Apple TV
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android TV
  • Google Chromecast
  • Google Home
  • PS4
  • Roku
  • Xbox One

Although I only stream on my iPhone and Vizio TV, CBS says that you can use the service with any number of devices but they allow a maximum of three simultaneous streams.

4. How do you try CBS All Access for free?

If you haven’t signed up for the streaming service, you can still watch it for free. The service allows a seven-day free trial when you enter your credit card information.

To watch CBS All Access for free, download the app or click this link.

5. How do you cancel CBS All Access?

Another good thing about CBS All Access is that if you find that you no longer want the service, there’s no contract, so you can cancel it at anytime.

Unlike some plans, if you cancel you can still watch shows until the end of the current billing period.

Here are some ways you can cancel CBS All Access:

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  • If you’re logged on from your desktop, go to Account > Cancel My Subscription.
  • You can call CBS All Access directly at (888) 274-5343 and press 2.
  • To cancel via iTunes, if you’re already signed in, you could go to Manage Your Subscriptions or open iTunes and go to Store > Edit > Cancel Subscription.

Your iTunes screen will look similar to the one below:

CBS All Access review: Everything you need to know

If you signed up for the service through another third-party like Apple TV, Roku, Amazon or Google Play, you may have to contact those respective service providers.

Conclusion

With so many streaming options on the market, CBS All Access has a price point ($5.99 for limited commercials) that makes it quite attractive to budget-conscious customers.

Another thing to consider is the CBS-Viacom merger, which could bring even more content — namely shows from MTV, BET and Comedy Central — to the streaming service.

While it’s too early to tell how things will shake out, one thing is certain: We’ll just have to keep watching.

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