8 Premium Movie Streaming Services

Embrace your inner movie buff by trying out these streaming sites

Watching Netflix on tablet
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When it comes watching movies online, you have two main choices: Download pirated movies that are low in ​picture and sound quality, or sign up for one of the many movie streaming services that are now conveniently (and legally) available.​

If you can't be bothered to scour the web for a specific movie that only results in something blurry and muffled, your best bet is to pay the small fee it takes to use a streaming service.

Here are eight that are worth checking out.

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Netflix on iPad
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Netflix is by far the number one most-used online streaming service not only for movies, but for many popular TV shows as well. With thousands of titles to choose from and new ones added every month, it's hard to say no to this kind of variety, especially with absolutely zero ads or commercials. If you're a big movie buff, in particular, Netflix is definitely the streaming service to try first.

Free trial period: One month

Subscription fee: From $8.99 a month

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Photo © Ted Soqui/Corbis News/Getty Images

Hulu is one of Netflix's main competitors, offering similarly good variety in popular shows and movies to watch. In comparison to Netflix, some say it has a better selection of content. Unlike Netflix, however, Hulu integrates some advertising into the viewing experience. In addition to Hulu's free and much more limited membership, you can sign up for two different premium memberships—one of which offers limited commercials and another that takes commercials out completely.

Free trial period: One month

Subscription fee: From $7.99 a month

Photo © Rachel Murray / Entertainment / Getty Images

You can get almost anything from Amazon—even the latest and greatest movies to watch. Amazon Instant Video is a service that offers a huge selection of must-watch shows and flicks to either rent or buy. Amazon Prime Instant Video is a premium version that comes with an Amazon Prime membership, giving you access to thousands of titles without any added rental or purchase fees.

Prime Instant Video Free trial period: 30 days, then it's $99 a year

Instant Video Rent/Buy fees without Prime membership: As low as $3.99 for a three-day rental or up to $19.99 to buy

Apple iTunes
Screenshot of iTunes for Mac

If you own any Apple devices, you probably already know about iTunes for music and app downloads. It's also one of the most popular ways to enjoy your favorite shows or movies and works similar to Amazon with renting and buying. Rent or buy to view in standard or high definition, and watch it on your laptop, your phone or any device that works with iTunes.

Rent/Buy fees: As low as $2.99 for a 30-day rental/three-day start to finish watch period and up to $19.99 to buy

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Google Play
Screenshot of Google.com

Yup, even Google offers its own selection of movies and episodes. If you're an Android user, Google Play is your version of Apple users' iTunes. And like iTunes, there are options to buy to buy all sorts of popular show episodes, complete seasons and movies in standard or HD that you can watch on the web or on your device. Browse by movies, TV, studios or even networks.

Rent/Buy fees: As low as #3.99 for a 30-day rental/48-hour start to finish period watch period and up to $39.99 to buy

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Screenshot of Vudu.com

Like Amazon, iTunes and Google Play, Vudu is yet another streaming service that lets you rent or buy popular television and film content, so there aren't any free trials with this one. The prices are all about the same for these competing services, but picture quality is said to be one of the best features that Vudu has to offer. It also offers almost just as many great features as Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Rent/Buy fees: As low as $0.10 for rentals and up to $29.99 to buy

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Screenshot of YouTube.com

Everyone knows YouTube is one of the premiere places to go for watching all sorts of videos. If you're lucky, you could type in a movie title and be able to watch it for free on YouTube, and while you may luck out and get a pirated version that was uploaded recently, these are often low in quality and eventually taken down by YouTube. A few years ago, Google's video platform started offering premium show content from select partner channels for a price. You can browse through top selling, featured and the latest shows uploaded or scroll down to view by genre.

Buy fees: As low as $3.99 up to $32.99 to buy

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Screenshot of Vimeo.com

Next to YouTube, Vimeo is another popular video sharing platform that's best known for supporting independent filmmakers. When you select a film to buy and watch, you're purchasing directly from them. 90 percent of the revenue after transaction costs go toward the creators. While you won't find any big name Hollywood titles here, you'll certainly find many gems from up-and-coming filmmakers who are just trying to share their work with an audience.

Buy fees: As low as $1.00 to rent and upwards (to about $25.00) to buy