CBS All Access Review 2020

If you can’t get enough of CBS shows, you’ll like CBS All Access. Everyone else might want to look elsewhere.
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Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Channels:
4
Price:
$5.99–$9.99/mo.

What is CBS All Access, you might ask?

Well, CBS All Access is a live and on-demand TV streaming service where you’ll find all of your favorite CBS TV shows and movies, including Star Trek: PicardNCIS, The Good Fight, and The American President.

And you’ll only have to budget $6–$10 per month for this entertainment. Not bad

Here’s our take on how CBS All Access stacks up for both CBS fans and those just looking for an all-around live TV streaming service.

Pros

  • Big inventory of CBS shows
  • Live TV streaming (news and NFL games)
  • Low monthly price

Cons

  • Access to CBS programming only
  • Some shows don't include all episodes

How much does CBS All Access cost?

You’ve got two choices: limited commercials or no commercials at all

CBS simply has two plans to choose from for its streaming service. The only difference—besides the price—is that one has commercials and one doesn’t. That’s it.

You’ll get the same drama shows, classic movies, and live TV channels with either plan.

And here’s a bonus: if you pay for an annual membership upfront, you’ll save 15%. If you’re a student, you get a student discount of 25% off. Nice.

How much is CBS All Access?
PlanPriceCommercialsDetails
Limited commercials$5.99/mo.Live: yes | On-demand: yesView Plan
Commercial free$9.99/mo.Live: yes | On-demand: noView Plan

CBS All Access Limited Commercials plan

The basic CBS All Access plan is the Limited Commercials plan. However, while watching the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery, commercials certainly didn’t seem “limited”—there were five commercial breaks.

We’d say watching TV on the Limited Commercials plan felt no different than watching traditional cable TV, which is to say there’s no shortage of commercial interruptions. (More chances to grab snacks, maybe?)

CBS All Access Commercial Free plan

The other CBS All Access plan, Commercial Free, is just $4 more than the limited commercial plan. You won’t find any difference in content—you’re just paying more for no commercials.

If you ask us, it’s worth spending those extra few dollars to avoid those pesky interruptions.

Keep in mind that if you do get the Commercial Free plan, you cannot skip the ads when you watch live TV on CBS All Access. There’s just no way of escaping commercials on live TV. It’s just the nature of the live TV beast—and it’s the same with every other live TV streaming competitor.

Which TV shows are on CBS All Access?

CBS All Access lets you stream CBS originals, popular shows, and yes, even NFL games

Popular tab on CBS All Access

What is CBS All Access?

CBS All Access is the answer to any CBS fanatic’s prayers. For the price of a cup of coffee, you get access to live TV channels, popular TV shows, classic TV shows, original content, and on-demand movies.

You can watch the NFL football game on CBS with your family on your smart TV, on your smartphone while waiting for your Lyft, or on your tablet while you’re running on the treadmill.

CBS All Access’s five different types of programming includes:

  • Live TV (your local CBS station if one is available in your area, CBSN, ET Live 24/7, and CBS Sports HQ)
  • Episodes of current CBS network shows (Survivor, Young Sheldon, Twilight Zone, and more)
  • Episodes of classic CBS shows (The Brady Bunch, Cheers, Frasier, and more)
  • Original programming (Star Trek: Discovery, The Good Fight, Interrogation, Strange Angel, and One Dollar)
  • On-demand movies (Area 51, The American President, and The Big Chill)

CBS All Access top 20 TV shows list

  • Star Trek: Picard
  • Tell Me a Story
  • God Friended Me
  • Interrogation
  • Survivor
  • Evil
  • Young Sheldon
  • Star Trek: Discovery
  • The Twilight Zone
  • Star Trek: Short Treks
  • The Late Show with James Corden
  • NCIS
  • All Rise
  • Bob Hearts Abishola
  • The Bold and the Beautiful
  • Carol’s Second Act
  • Hawaii Five-O
  • SEAL Team
  • Love Island
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Can I stream live TV with CBS All Access?

Streaming live TV is possible, but it’s not available in all markets

CBS All Access gives you access to watch live television! You don’t even have to pay an extra fee or sign in with your exsiting TV provider.

You can get watch CBS, CBSN, CBS Sports HQ, and ET Live 24/7 . . . But there’s a catch.

Unfortunately, CBS All Access Live TV is only available in 206 markets. So make sure you double check to see if you’re in one of those markets to enjoy CBS Evening News and some sports talk.

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For all you sports fans!
CBS SPORTS HQ is actually a combination of CBS Sports, CBSSports.com, 247Sports, SportsLine, CBS Sports Fantasy and MaxPreps. It’s a sports network with live news and reporting, game previews and post-game analysis, must-see highlights, projections, and in-depth statistical breakdowns.

What devices can I stream CBS All Access on?

Of course you need to stream Star Trek while you’re waiting at the DMV.

If you want to watch the latest episode of The Good Fight while you’re on the train, you can easily pull it up on the CBS All Access app. Hooray!

And you can share your account with one other person as you can have two simultaneous streams. So you and your son who is away at college can watch CBS Sports at the same time.

You can watch your favorite CBS show on any of these streaming devices:

  • iPhone, iPad
  • Apple TV (2nd, 3rd, 4th generation, and 4K)
  • Android smartphones and tablets
  • Android TVs including Sony Bravia and MiBox
  • Chromecast
  • LG Smart TV
  • Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube
  • Roku TV
  • Samsung Smart TV
  • Vizio Smart TV
  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Home

What features does CBS All Access have?

CBS All Access allows you to stream on two different devices, but you can only stream in 720p

You can’t expect too much with an inexpensive streaming service, but CBS All Access does come with pretty standard features.

You get two simultaneous streams, 720p maximum resolution, and playback options for on-demand content.

The biggest issue is the limit to 720p resolution. If you plan to watch on a TV larger than 50 inches, you may notice the image isn’t quite as sharp as 1080p programming. If you’re streaming on a device smaller than that, you’ll be just fine.

What are CBS All Access's features?
PlanSimultaneous streamsOn-demand playbackCommercialsDetails
Limited commercials2YesLive: yes | On-demand: yesView Plan
Commercial free2YesLive: yes | On-demand: noView Plan

CBS All Access vs. other streaming services

It really comes down to this: How bad do you want CBS shows?

Should you go for CBS All Access, or is another streaming service better? Great question. Honestly, it depends on what you want out of it.

If you want access to your favorite CBS shows, originals, CBS news, and sports aired on CBS, $6–$10 per month is nothing. 

If you want access to lots of live TV channels, a wide range of TV shows, movies, premium channels, and original content, check out the competition.

How CBS All Access compares to other live TV streaming services
Streaming serviceAvailable channelsMonthly price †Details
CBS All Access4*$5.99–$9.99/mo.Free Trial
YouTube TV85+$64.99/mo.Free Trial
Hulu + Live TV65+$54.99–$60.99/mo.View Plans
Sling TV50+$30–$45/mo.Free Trial
AT&T TV NOW125+$55–$135/mo.View Plans
fuboTV160+$54.99–$84.99/mo.Free Trial

*CBS All Access channels include a local CBS channel if one is available in your area, CBSN, ET Live 24/7, and CBS Sports HQ.

† Date effective 7/7/2020.

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Get the scoop on the competition
Think YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, or other TV streaming services might be a better fit for you? Check out our in-depth reviews of each one to find out.

Recap: Is CBS All Access worth it?

If you’re a CBS fan, yes. If you’re a fan of lots of channels, check out other streaming services

If you live for CBS dramas, like the snarky back-and-forth commentary between McGarrett and Danno on Hawaii Five-0, or if you need a daily dose of NCIS (how does Gibbs fit that boat in his basement, anyway?), CBS All Access is a dream come true at a great price.

But if you’re looking for more channels and on-demand shows and movie, check out our top live TV streaming services.

  • Pickee

    Frasier is definitely not a CBS show. It was part of the NBC Thursday night glory days with Seinfeld and Friends.

  • steve

    Looks like I would be getting it just for a single show. Or sign up, watch the season and quit. Pass….

  • Ann Priest

    Does anyone know if they got rid of the automatic play feature? I hated it, and that was a big part of why I dropped the service. There was also an issue of very limited seaso
    ns available. Is that still a problem?

  • Michael Nye

    Strange Angel was cancelled. It was the only reason I joined CBS All Access….what a dumb executive failure of a decision to make! That lady who did that, should be canned. I am leaving CBS now “No-Access” television…..goodbye and I will be sure to mention how horrible my experience was on my Facebook and every other platform…..”Avoid CBS online television!” SCAM. Cuts series off midway and leaves you hanging forever!

  • Michael Nye

    This place cancels series mid-way !!! AVOID like the plague – what a nightmare of an experience.
    Goodbye CBS…thanks for cancelling Strange Angel midway !!! It was one of the very few shows
    worth watching. I hear you hired a new CBS Access lady to be in charge…she blew it. Cancelled you.

  • Teresa Mellett

    So what’s the difference between the internet and not having internet? I have CBS on my regular device but I don’t have internet.Little help anyone

  • Mike Fruik

    i got CBS just for Picard. Literally nothing else looks watchable on here, other than old star trek episodes. Old star trek episodes are fortunately not watched by the authorities on the interwebs…… perhaps, CBS, it is time to find another avenue of income. “Poked by God”? i hope you all drink cyanide.

  • Mike Fruik

    my review is being reviewed by a review organization… cute.

  • John Strika

    I attempted it and dumped it after the first month. Too many commercials, spotty streaming and too many shows don’t have the entire catalog. I’ll stick to watching my shows on Kodi, for free.