The circuit breaker measures are now cautiously being lifted in Singapore, which means we might see a spike in new cases. That’s why maintaining social distance, wearing face masks, and washing your hands frequently is still a good idea.
The cinemas in Singapore have reopened on 13 July 2020. But as a precautionary measure, there are fewer screenings and lesser seats. Audiences also have to sit further apart. So, it’s Netflix and chill until things get back to normal in this country.
At least you can watch quality movies and TV shows from home, some at Ultra HD, cinema-like quality. So, if you want to pick the best streaming platform for your needs, read the article below.
|Streaming service||Monthly subscription||Why choose this|
|Amazon Prime Video||$2.99||Oldies but goodies, plus affordable shows|
|Viu Free||Free; $7.98 (Premium)||Variety entertainment; Korean dramas|
|meWATCH Prime||$9.90||Mediacorp dramas|
|Netflix||Starting at $11.98||Netflix originals|
|HBO Go||Starting at $13.98||HBO Originals|
|Singtel TV Go||Starting at $6.90||160+ channels|
|StarHub Go Max||$29.80 ($19.80 for the first year)||80+ channels|
|Apple TV||$6.98/ month; free 7-days trial||Apple originals; extended families|
Almost everyone knows about Netflix and in this pandemic, their market share has grown greatly. Netflix features blood-chilling, heart-throbbing series and movies. Its originals are packed with suspense and there’s never a dull moment. That’s why Netflix has so much success around the world with series like Stranger Things, the revisionist Hollywood, or Itaewon Class.
If you prefer gangster dramas, Peaky Blinders will fill you with glee as you watch the Shelby family destroy all its enemies. You can also unwind with a funny TV show, such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or the coming-of-age, funny, and sometimes cringy Sex Education. For others who are just looking for chill-at-home sitcoms, you can consider Friends or The Big Bang Theory.
- Free trial: $0 for 30 days
- Basic: $11.98 (one user; no HD option)
- Standard: $15.98 (HD available; two user accounts)
- Premium: $98 (HD; Ultra HD; four users max)
Before you sign up, know that Netflix doesn’t have any free subscription except for the 30-day trial. If you’ve decided to carry on your subscription, go with the Basic plan if you’re single and not interested in HD pictures.
If non-HD images bother you, though, subscribe with a friend for the Standard $15.98 plan. You can both watch your favourites at the same time, plus you’ll enjoy your shows in HD.
If you have a better TV and want to upgrade your image quality to Ultra HD, share a $19.98 Premium subscription with three other friends. It’ll get you all to under $5/ month, so it’s very convenient.
Viu is a streaming platform for people who love Asian shows, which are as good as US shows. Besides, Viu is also packed with variety of entertainment.
This is the platform where you can find lots of Korean dramas. Shows with popular actors such as Lee Min-ho, Hyun Bin, Lee Jong-suk, Song Hye-kyo and IU can be found.
A lot of Singaporeans watch engaging K-dramas like the dark A World Of Married Couple, the funny Kim Ji Young: Born 1982, and the suspenseful Shady Mom-in-law, the romantic drama Crash Landing On You, and the hit office drama What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?
If you prefer soapier shows, consider When My Love Blooms and Love in Sadness.
Regardless of your preferences, Viu is packed with everything you want and you can get everything for free!
- Free: $0 (no HD; limited options; not compatible for TV; you can download just one show at a time)
- Premium: $0 free 7-day trial; $7.98/ month (HD; all shows available; unlimited downloads; TV-compatible)
- Singtel Viu Premium (contract-free): $0 first three months; $6.90/ month from month four
- Singtel Viu Premium (1-year contract): $0 first three months; $44.10/ year or $4.90/ month
The free subscription is best if you have a tight budget and if you aren’t bothered by commercials. You’ll also have to wait up to three days for TV shows to be uploaded online. Besides, the shows are no-HD and you can only watch them on your mobile devices.
So, if you want uninterrupted, unlimited, HD bingeing with all the new releases uploaded in a few hours, get a Premium Viu subscription.
3. HBO Go
HBO Go gives you access to all the six HBO channels so that you can watch all-time favourites like the Sopranos and Friends. Singaporeans also like police dramas like The Wire and the dragon-filled, fantasy-based Game of Thrones. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, try Veep or Barry. Or, you can try an enlightening documentary such as Our Bloof For Silicon Valley.
All these shows and documentaries are address poignant issues and delve into the problems of modern society. The actors that play in HBO shows are some of the biggest stars in US cinema, such as Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman. However, you can also see top Asian actors in shows like Folklore and The World Between Us.
- Direct service: $13.98/ month; no TV subscription required
- Singtel: Free for 24 months; $13.98/ month afterwards
- meWATCH: $13.98/ month; $119.98/ year
- StarHub: $13.98/ month; 139.80/ year with 2 months free
4. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is the best budget choice, especially if you’re already subscribed to Amazon Prime Grocery. For just under $3/ month, you can binge-watch a lot of popular US movies and shows to keep you entertained.
Although Amazon Prime has fewer options than Netflix and HBO, you can still browse a wide array of classic shows, as well as amazing originals.
If you’re a history buff, watch the revisionist show called The Man in the High Castle, where Nazis win and travel between alternate realities. The Office is a good choice if you’re starting to miss the old office atmosphere before the pandemic, while Downton Abbey is a fast-paced, funny drama that depicts the fall of a status quo.
If you’re into sci-fi and nostalgic about the old Star Trek, you can see Patrick Stewart make a magnificent role in Star Trek: Picard. Another good show for sci-fi geeks is The Expanse.
- Amazon Prime Subscription: $2.99/ month
5. meWATCH & meWATCH Prime
Do you want a mix of HBO and Viu? Subscribe to meWATCH or meWATCH Prime to get the best K-dramas and American shows. You’ll be bingeing for hours, so prepare a cosy seat on the sofa.
You’ll need it, particularly if you’re starting with Singapore produced film Derek, the Asian version of the popular Dexter. People in Singapore also like the thrilling horror show Raksasa, the funny Adventures of Titou and Dao, or The Pupil. If you want to add documentaries to the mix, meWATCH has plenty of those. A nowadays popular is BBC’s Seven Worlds One Planet, although Stronger As One is also a good choice.
meWATCH is the modern version of local TV from a few decades ago, so this platform targets mostly people over 35. You can choose between two subscriptions: Basic is cheaper, but Prime allows you to see your shows even before they’re screened on TV.
- meWATCH tvN Movies: $5.90/ month; $25.90/ 6 months; best for Korean movies
- meWATCH Prime: $9.90/ month; $35.64/ 6 months; Mediacorp dramas; Miao Mi shows;
- meWATCH HBO Go: 98/ month; $10/month with the 1-year $119.98 subscription
- meWATCH Prime and tvN: $18.90/ 3 months; $37.80/ 6 months; full access to Korean films, Mediacorp shows, and Miao Mi releases
6. Singtel TV Go
Singtel TV shows you how much telcos can change if they have a good enough reason. Modern streaming platforms hook a lot of young people with their originals and classics, so Singtel TV had to adjust its strategies to funnel more subscriptions.
As such, the benefit that Singtel TV Go brings to you is TV channels galore at an affordable price. You can watch all these channels on your TV, as well as your laptop or smartphone. For instance, you have access to top news channels in Singapore and abroad, you can watch documentaries, US shows, K-dramas, cartoon, and sports.
So, if you understand the particular charm of zapping, watching two shows at once, and eluding commercials, Singtel TV is a good choice for you.
- Plan 1: $6.90/ month; just one device at a time for home and on-the-go view
- Plan 2: $9.90/ month; access to three devices at the same time for home view; one device for on-the-go view
7. StarHub Go
StarHub Go is one of the biggest Singaporean telcos giants. However, it offers fewer channels than Singtel TV and its prices are double. So, StarHub Go is a good choice if you already have a subscription and plan to add individual channels.
For example, you can consider adding Disney to your subscription pack once your toddler is a little grown. If an elderly relative plans to move in with you, get the Go Select plans for some extra K-dramas or Hong Kong dramas. TVB, BBC World News, CCTV-4, FOX, National Geographic are available too! Generally, StarHub Go offers TV channels for kids, animal lovers, movie fanatics as well as the elderly.
- StarHub Go Disney: $4.90/ month
- TVB Anywhere SG Premium: $4.98/ month
- StarHub Go Select: $9.90/ month; Asian dramas
- StarHub Go Max: $29.80/ month ($19.80 for the first 12 months); 80 channels
8. Apple TV+
Apple TV+ is a cheaper alternative to Netflix if you want something similar to it. Apple strives to produce thrilling originals, but you can also watch some popular classics on your TV, phone or laptop.
For instance, you can start with The Servant if you appreciate light horror-fantasy-dramas. Move on to The Banker for a sprinkle of business savviness in the 60s, courtesy of Samuel L. Jackson. If you prefer teenage action shows, watch Ghostwriter. But if you don’t like ghosts, immerse yourself into a cute animation with your kids, such as Snoopy in Space.
- $6.98; free 7-days trial
- Buy an Apple device: Free one year subscription; $6.98/ month after the first year
- Apple Music Student Plan: Free Apple TV subscription
Another advantage to other platforms is that Apple TV+ lets you share your plan with your family of five. That way, you can watch all your favourites simultaneously on five screens with no commercials at a very low price.
COVID-19 pandemic will be here for a period of time. Citizens should do their part by following safe distancing rules and wear masks as long as they are out of the house.
If you can, avoid crowded areas and if you’re bored, consider staying home to watch shows and relax with your partner. To help the community, Credit 21 is giving out free masks to anyone who walks into their shop. Take care and stay safe!