Peacock is finally here! NBCUniversal's new streaming service has been floating around waiting to launch for some time now. This includes NBC's excellent catalog of shows as well as Universal's movies, which is plenty to keep you occupied for a while. If you've been looking for a new service and some fresh content to binge, we've got all the details on how you can make that happen right here.
When did Peacock launch?
NBCUniversal launched the new streaming service, Peacock, on July 15, 2020. The service debuted for an early trial with Xfinity X1 and Flex customers back on April 15, but now it's available to everyone.
How much does NBC's Peacock cost?
Let's just get to the meat of the issue, right? What's this new service going to cost? Well, the good news is it doesn't have to cost you anything. Not at first anyway. Peacock has a completely free version of the service supported by ads. You don't even need to give them a credit card. It's not a trial period. Just sign up and watch hours of content. In fact, according to some sources, it's about 13,000 hours of content compared to the upgrade plan that includes around 20,000 hours of content.
The free tier will also have a delay in live content. As shows air on NBC they will become available on Peacock, but the free tier will be on a week delay instead of a single day delay like on the Premium track.
For $4.99 a month you can get Peacock Premium. This opens up the entire collection of what Peacock has to offer, gives you faster and more access to live and curated content, and access to exclusive Peacock-only content.
Another $5 bumps the cost up to $9.99 a month, but you'll get upgraded to Premium Plus, which includes everything above and a mostly ad-free viewing experience. Apparently it still won't be 100% ad-free as the site says "a small amount of programming will still contain ads (Peacock channels, events and a limited number of shows and movies)." Still, every true binger knows getting rid of ads is the ideal way to move through content.
The new Peacock streaming service is here and you can get started for free today!
Can you get Peacock Premium for free?
Yes, actually. Through some internet service providers. Comcast, for example, owns NBCUniversal. So if you use Comcast's Xfinity service, you've had free access to the service for weeks now and probably didn't know it. This access will continue for Xfinity and Digital Starter TV customers for some time. And upgrading to the ad-free Premium Plus plan will only cost $4.99 a month instead of $10 for everyone else.
NBCUniversal is also working with Cox subscribers for a similar deal that includes free access to Peacock Premium. If you don't have Comcast or Cox, don't worry. NBCUniversal is still working with other providers to create plans there as well. Keep an eye on your ISP for ways to save in the future.
What shows can I watch on Peacock?
A lot actually. You might think with so many streaming services already out there there's no way Peacock has stuff you don't already have access to, but you'd be wrong. After all, NBC has a lot of shows. Some of those shows will be coming down from other services. Netflix is losing The Office for example, and that will be moving to Peacock in 2021.
Right now, you can settle for "Office Shorts," clips from one of the greatest shows of all time. This is one of several similar bits of curated content on the platform including SNL Vault for Saturday Night Live highlights, Fallon Tonight which pulls from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers Now for Late Night with Seth Meyers, and more.
You'll be able to check out clips from trending news shows like Today, NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press, Noticias Telemundo, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, and E! News and Access Hollywood. In addition, watch live news and sports when they are on.
If you're into comedy, you know you'll be satisfied with NBC's offerings. Binge 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Saturday Night Live, and more. Binge older sitcoms like Everybody Hates Chris, A.P. Bio, and Frasier. Add Psych and Monk to that list and the list of available detective shows. Other shows you'll be able to watch include Suits, Downton Abbey, Royal Pains. Other dramas include popular shows like This is Us and Friday Night Lights. The list goes on and on, actually, and this is all on the free tier.
The Premium tier adds other options like Ray Donovan, House, Everybody Loves Raymond, The King of Queens, Law & Order: SVU*, and more.
Movie options include everything from Shrek to The Matrix to Jurassic Park. I mean, just think of any movie Universal has done and it's available to you. Many of the movies seem to be locked behind the Premium paywall, though.
What about original programming on Peacock?
Peacock is putting a lot of effort into curated content like we mentioned earlier, but there's also some original shows available right at launch. Brave New World is a drama adapted from the classic Aldous Huxley novel. Psych 2: Lassie Come Home has been of particular interest to me since I love the TV show Psych, and this second movie has been a long time coming. You can watch both of those for free.
Other original shows include a thriller called The Capture and a comedy called Intelligence starring David Schwimmer. There are some original documentaries as well including In Deep with Ryan Lochte and Lost Speedways. NBCUniversal has been pretty aggressive in getting some new stuff out there right away, so you can expect to see a lot more as time goes on.
Where can I watch Peacock?
The streaming service will be available pretty much everywhere right from launch. Get it on your iOS or Android mobile device. Watch it through Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and other television smart platforms like LG's Smart TV or Vizio SmartCast.
You can watch on your Xbox One right now, and the PlayStation 4 app should be available next week. If you're on a computer, there's even a desktop app for Windows, Chromebook, and Mac.
What about Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and all those?
NBC has a lot of content exclusively owned by NBC. We've already seen them work really hard to move The Office from Netflix. You can bet pretty much everything NBC-owned is going to follow suit to help promote Peacock. Hulu has a lot of NBC programming, and it's also the only other great streaming platform for watching live on-air content almost as soon as it airs. NBCUniversal does have a stake in Hulu, too, though, so it remains to be seen if these two streaming platforms will be competing with each other and how that will impact what's available on either one.
It's hard to say that one platform is better than the other, but it seems pretty easy to say that if you like what NBC offers through shows like Law & Order or Parks and Recreation, you're going to want at least a free Peacock membership.
The fact that you don't have to even give the service your credit card to binge most of what it has to offer is a huge deal, too, because you might be feeling "Streamer Fatigue" with all the dozen of different apps and services you subscribe to. Peacock might have the lowest barrier to entry of all of them, honestly, so there's no reason to feel like that here.
What else do I need to know about Peacock?
The maximum streaming resolution for Peacock is just HD right now. More advanced resolutions including 4K or HDR support aren't available yet. You also can't watch Peacock shows offline yet, but the Premium Plus plan will eventually be updated to include that function. Lastly, you can share your account with friends and family for a maximum of three streams at once.