Peacock Review

9

Great

Price 9 out of 10

Interface 7.5 out of 10

Compatibility 9.2 out of 10

New Shows 8 out of 10

Peacock is a streaming service from NBCUniversal which is designed to go up against others in the market, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and Disney Plus. It provides access to over 15,000 hours of content across a range of genres – from news and entertainment to sports and reality TV. There are also original series, such as reboots of classics Punky Brewster, Battlestar Galactica and Saved By The Bell.

Many sought-after shows have been acquired by this streamer, such as The Office, Parks and Recreation, Law & Order and Chicago Fire. To further invest in its content offering, Peacock has available movies from major companies such as DreamWorks Animation, Illumination, Focus Features and Universal Pictures.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  1. Free subscription plan available – People don’t have to part with a monthly fee if they sign up for the free version of Peacock, which is ad-supported.
  2. Reboots of classic TV shows – Subscribers can relive childhood memories by watching reboots of series such as Gossip Girl and Saved By The Bell.
  3. Flexible content viewing – There are options for viewing a channel guide, streaming TV shows or movies and browsing short-form content clips.

Cons

  1. Launching later than other new services – Some people may not be on the lookout for a new streaming service now that new platforms from Disney and Apple are here.
  2. Smaller content library – Inevitably, Peacock doesn’t have as large or varied a library as major competitors such as Netflix and Disney Plus.
  3. Ad-free tier may be pricey for some – The ad-free Premium version is a few dollars more expensive than the plans from Apple TV+ and Disney+.

Types of content available

Peacock has over 15,000 hours of content on offer, which includes sought-after TV series, a range of movies and a selection of original features and shows. There are also linear channels available, which is similar to the setup with Pluto TV. These include live content, such as 24/7 feeds of particular channels.

Those subscribed to the premium pricing tier of this platform gain access to Premier League games which can’t be viewed on linear TV. Full episodes of shows such as The Tonight Show are available on a daily basis from 8pm ET.

In terms of original content, Peacock focuses on the nostalgia factor for reboots of classic shows. For example, Saved By The Bell, Punky Brewster and Battlestar Galactica are receiving this treatment. Other original content includes Dr Death, Rutherford Falls and a docuseries about Saturday Night Live.

In the TV shows department, you can expect such titles as The Office, Law & Order, Parks and Recreation, Two and a Half Men and Chicago Fire. A lot of the shows you can find on Hulu are also available on Peacock – notable examples include Cheers, House, Frasier, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Film titles to keep an eye out for in the Peacock content library include American Pie, Meet the Parents, Back to the Future, Brokeback Mountain, ET, Erin Brockovich, The Breakfast Club, Dallas Buyers Club, Knocked Up and Jaws. Franchises featured on Peacock include Fast & Furious, Bourne and Despicable Me.

Top Peacock TV shows and movies

Division One – When a new female coach arrives to head up a womens’ collegiate soccer team, they have to decide if they’re going to keep losing or start winning.

MacGruber – After over a decade in jail, it’s time for MacGruber to seek out Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth.

Expecting – Ellie asks her gay best friend Jonathan if he’ll donate his sperm so she can become a mother.

Clean Slate – A car wash owner in Alabama is overjoyed to have his estranged child return after 17 years. Then he finds out his child is a proud trans woman called Desiree.

Girls5Eva – A girl group reconnect after having a one hit wonder in the 90s and decide to give fame another go.

Saved By The Bell – Peacock is rebooting the 90s drama which followed A.C.Slater, Screech, Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski through high school, college and adult life.

Punky Brewster – Abandoned by her parents, a child is taken in by a photographer whom Punky and her dog Brandon teach a few things about lightening up.

One Of Us Is Lying – Based on the novel, this show tells the story of five high school students who walk into detention, but only four walk out.

Battlestar Galactica – A group of people on the battleship Battlestar Galactica have to leave their planet after an attack from Cylons.

The Office – This mockumentary focuses on the lives of typical office workers at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Frasier – A psychiatrist called Dr Frasier Crane relocates to Seattle so he can have a fresh start. He ends up on the air as a radio psychiatrist.

Will and Grace – A lawyer allows his best friend to stay in his house when her marriage breaks down. But she never leaves.

Everybody Loves Raymond – A comedy focusing on successful sportswriter Raymond Barone and his life with a jealous sibling and obnoxious parents.

Parks and Recreation – Leslie wants to help a local nurse convert an abandoned construction site into a community park, but encounters obstacles from the neighbours.

30 Rock – Focuses on the head writer of a sketch comedy show who has to run it successfully while dealing with kooky stars and an arrogant boss.

Bates Motel – Norman Bates struggles with his life when his mental health suffers. Norma, his mother, tries to get him the right help.

Cheers – People from various walks of life come together at a bar called Cheers, run by Sam in Boston, and share their experiences while working and drinking there.

User interface

Peacock took the inspiration for its user interface from that used by Sky in the UK for its streaming services. Generally speaking, there are three options for subscribers when they enter the app – they can go to channels, trending or browse. While they pick one of the options, a video will autoplay in the background.

When a user enters browse mode, they will be able to look through over 15,000 options across TV and movies. This is where the app looks most similar to competitors such as Disney Plus or Netflix, as the selections are broken down into rows.

If they go into the trending tab, they will see short-form content such as news, pop culture or a sports event highlight reel. This is where the section aims to compete with YouTube, as Peacock hopes to lure people away from there and towards the streaming service – which has more to offer beyond this kind of feature.

In the channels section, people will find that the interface here is most like traditional TV. As seen with cable packages, there is a channel guide to scroll through, with options ranging across TV shows, movies, news, sports and various specialised content hubs.

Here are some of the additional features subscribers can make the most of with Peacock:

Curation hubs – Fans of a particular show will be able to navigate to its hub and choose one of the characters. From there, they can watch set sequences such as episodes which focus on them.

Profiles – All Peacock accounts include the option to create a profile. You can create a profile for each member of the household. Various Universal characters are available for use as avatars.

Parental controls – Accounts can be set up in Kids Mode, which enables just content which is focused on children to be shown when browsing with this profile.

Multiple streams – Peacock lets you stream on multiple devices simultaneously, allowing for clashes over what to watch to be avoided.

No ads – While there are tiers in the pricing structure which feature ads, there are only five minutes worth of advertising per hour. Furthermore, these can be removed altogether for an additional $5 per month.

Peacock Free

$0
No fixed term

Peacock Premium (ads)

$4.99
Monthly

Peacock Premium (no ads)

$9.99
Monthly

How to watch

Peacock is compatible with a range of devices. These include Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, iPhone, iPad, web browsers, Android phones and Android tablets. Currently, Peacock is not compatible with Android TV, Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, VIZIO Smart TV, LG Smart TV or Samsung Smart TV.

What setup do I need?

There aren’t currently any specific requirements when it comes to a setup for Peacock. We do know that nearly all content on the streaming platform is available in HD, and those who upgrade to Peacock Premium will be able to access most shows and movies in 4K. Similarly, some titles are available with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, but users should be aware that Peacock doesn’t support Dolby Atmos Audio.

Generally speaking, those who want a stable and high quality streaming experience will need a broadband connection speed which is 0.5Mbps or higher. The recommended quality is 1.5Mbps. For SD, you’ll need 3.0Mbps, and HD requires 5.0Mbps. Finally, Ultra HD requires a minimum connection speed of 25 Mbps.

How to cancel Peacock

  1. Navigate to your account settings.
  2. Scroll down until you reach the section regarding billing and subscriptions.
  3. Select the option to cancel your subscription.
  4. Confirm your selection.

Plans available

There are two tiers available with Peacock – Peacock Free and Peacock Premium. On Peacock Free, there are no payments to be made, as the service is entirely supported by advertising. There are 7,500 hours of programming available, which includes next-day access to NBCU shows in their first year, certain movies and classic series in their entirety.

With Peacock Premium, there are two options – an ad-supported version for $4.99 a month, or an ad-free version for $9.99 a month. The Premium tier enables access to 15,000 hours of programming. This includes next-day access to current seasons of all NBCU series, early access to late-night shows, original content from Peacock and live sports such as the Olympics and Premier League games.

Trials and subscription options

There are discounts on subscription options available for certain people. For example, those who are already Comcast or Cox subscribers will receive a discount across the board. This means that they will be able to sign up for an ad-supported Premium plan for free, or pay just $5 a month for the ad-free version of Premium.

While Peacock rolls out on July 15, those who are current Comcast customers will be able to use the platform three months early. If you’re signed up for Comcast Xfinity X1 cable or Flex, Peacock becomes available from April 15, 2020.

Competitors

Peacock has its pros and cons compared to other streaming services on the market, as does any other option in the industry. For example, well-established services such as Netflix will have years of expertise and reputation under their belt, and Disney Plus has an enviable back catalog of titles to draw in customers.

However, Peacock has made decent inroads when it comes to picking up highly sought after series such as The Office. Furthermore, rebooting classic shows such as Gossip Girl and Saved By The Bell enables this platform to appeal to people who want to pick up the storylines they loved watching when they were younger.

It’s clear that Peacock has put some effort into establishing itself as a platform which is unique in its offering. For example, having a channels section provides the feel of a cable service that the main competitors don’t currently have. Furthermore, the content hubs are a touch not seen elsewhere at the moment. Plus, the use of short-form video and highlight reels could prove to be real competition against YouTube in the months and years to come.

What we liked about Peacock

We recognise that Peacock has a lot of potential as a new platform with innovative features. For example, the ability to select certain characters from a TV show and watch episodes just focusing on them is a nice touch. Similarly, the ‘beginner’ mode which enables people to watch key episodes so they can get stuck into a series takes into account different ways of being introduced to classic shows.

Furthermore, the ability to browse a channel guide like you would with traditional cable, as well as look through short-form content clips and the ‘traditional’ selection of streaming TV shows and movies allows people to use Peacock as a central hub for binge-watching TV, tuning into a particular channel or watching a quick highlights clip for news, sports or pop culture.

What we disliked about Peacock

There is little to dislike about Peacock. The interface can take some adjusting to, and there isn’t as much content available as you’d find on other platforms, but these will most likely be growing pains. While the advertising-supported tiers are a unique and innovative way of delivering a streaming service to users, waiting for adverts to finish playing before resuming content can be annoying. That said, this problem is quickly eliminated by upgrading your plan to the ad-free Premium version.

Is Peacock worth it?

The nice thing about Peacock is that people won’t be parting with any money each month if they don’t have to. We think it’s likely that a lot of people will give this streaming service a go by signing up for the ad-supported version. This gives Peacock a solid subscriber base to keep pushing out content that’s high quality enough to potentially convince a high portion of users to unlock the full library by taking up a paid subscription. This pricing plan could mean Peacock is the underdog on the surface, but the streaming service which ends up generating a lot of revenue due to the hugely attractive free sign-up option.

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