Written by: Thomas Reese
May 23, 2024

The lines between traditional cable TV and streaming services have become increasingly blurred. 

Two entities that have found themselves at the center of this intersection are Paramount Network and Paramount Plus. Although they share a parent company in Paramount Global, these services offer distinct experiences catering to different viewer preferences.

As a reader, you may wonder, “What exactly is the difference between Paramount Network and Paramount Plus, and which should I choose?”

In this comprehensive article, I will dive deep into the key features of these two services. And compare their content offerings, accessibility, pricing, and unique features to help you make an informed decision.

Paramount Network vs Paramount Plus: Quick Comparison

Paramount Plus dominates across most categories, particularly in cost, flexibility, and the breadth of content available. To better understand, let’s compare the two and see who wins each feature.

FeatureParamount NetworkParamount PlusWinner
Service TypeCable TV channelStreaming serviceParamount Plus
Content-TypeLive TV, serialized dramas, movies, reality showsOn-demand TV shows, movies, originals, live CBS accessDepends on individual preference
Access to ContentVia cable or satellite providersAny internet-connected deviceDepends on individual preference
Device CompatibilityDependent on cable/satellite providerSmart TVs, smartphones, tablets, PCs, streaming devicesDepends on individual preference
Subscription Cost$20 to $65

(in case of rent, you get around $1.99 to $2.99)
$5.99/ MonthParamount Network
Unique FeaturesLive broadcasts of shows like “Yellowstone”Offline viewing, simultaneous streaming, personalized recommendationsParamount Plus
Offline ViewingAvailableAvailable on the Premium planDepends
Simultaneous StreamsOnly OneUp to 3 devicesParamount Plus
Free TrialNot ApplicableOne WeekParamount Plus
On-Demand AccessLimited to provider’s offeringsExtensive on-demand library availableParamount Plus
Accessibility FeaturesStandard cable accessibility featuresSubtitles, audio descriptions, interface customizationParamount Plus
International AvailabilityPrimarily in the U.S.Available in multiple countries with varying contentParamount Plus

Paramount Network: Traditional TV Meets Streaming

Paramount Network has been a traditional cable television channel for years. 

Unlike its streaming counterpart, Paramount Network delivers a curated selection of movies, TV shows, and original series through cable or satellite providers.

One of Paramount Network’s key advantages is its focus on high-quality, serialized dramas. 

The channel has gained widespread acclaim for hit shows like Yellowstone. 

Paramount Network Homepage
Source: Paramount Network

In addition, Paramount Network also features a diverse range of content, including reality shows and movies, and overall caters to viewers who prefer the traditional TV viewing experience.

Paramount Plus: Streaming for the Modern Viewer

Paramount Plus caters to the growing demand for on-demand digital entertainment.

One of Paramount Plus’s standout features is its diverse content selection. 

Additionally, it offers the latest episodes of popular shows from Paramount Network. The streaming service also provides access to:-

  • A wide range of original programming. 
  • Viacom-owned channels, such as CBS, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and MTV. 

Subscribers can access a wide array of fan-favorite shows, from Star Trek: Picard to South Park, in one convenient platform.

Paramount Network: Subscription Plans and Pricing

Paramount Network is typically bundled with cable or satellite TV packages, which vary in price depending on your network provider and the channel package you use. 

Here are a few scenarios to consider:-

  1. Bundled with Cable Packages

Paramount Network is included in various cable and satellite TV packages. The cost varies widely depending on the tier of service you select. 

For example, lower-tier packages, including Paramount Network, cost around $20 to $50 per month, depending on the provider and their promotions.

  1. Streaming Services

You can also access Paramount Network through certain streaming services that offer live TV, such as Sling TV, Philo, and Hulu + Live TV. These services typically cost around $25 to $65 per month, depending on the service and their packages.

  1. Direct Purchase or Rental

For specific shows like “Yellowstone,” a popular series on Paramount Network, you might also find options to purchase or rent episodes or seasons through digital platforms like Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, or Google Play. 

Prices per episode can range from $1.99 to $2.99 for SD/HD.

Paramount Plus: Subscription Plans & Pricing

Paramount Plus offers a more straightforward and flexible pricing structure. 

FeatureParamount+ EssentialParamount+ Premium
Monthly Cost$5.99$11.99
Annual Cost$59.99$119.99
Content Library AccessFull Paramount+ content libraryFull Paramount+ content library
Live Local CBS Station AccessYes (where available)Yes
Commercial InterruptionsSomeNone
Offline Viewing (Download Content)NoYes
Simultaneous Streaming DevicesUnknownUp to 3 devices
Free Trial7-day7-day

The key differences between the two Paramount+ plans are:

  1. Ad-Free Viewing: The Premium plan offers an ad-free experience, while the Essential plan includes some commercial interruptions.
  2. Offline Viewing: The Premium plan allows subscribers to download content for offline viewing, while the Essential plan does not.
  3. Simultaneous Streaming: The Premium plan supports up to 3 simultaneous streams, while the limit for the Essential plan is unknown.

Both plans provide access to the full Paramount+ content library and live local CBS station access (where available). 

Paramount Network vs Paramount Network  Plus PRicing

Source: Paramount+

The choice between the two plans will depend on whether you prefer an ad-free experience, the ability to download content and the need for multiple simultaneous streams.

Paramount Network: Content Availability and Accessibility

As a traditional cable channel, Paramount Network is primarily accessible through cable or satellite TV providers. This means that viewers must have an active subscription to a pay-TV service to access the channels. 

Paramount Network’s content is also subject to the channel’s programming schedule. 

Viewers must tune in at specific times to catch their favorite shows.

Access Through Providers

  • Available through Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, DirecTV, and Dish Network. 
  • Use the channel finder on Paramount Network’s website. To do so, enter your zip code to find the exact channel number in your area.

On-Demand Access

  • Episodes are available on-demand through most cable and satellite providers’ digital platforms.
  • Full episodes are available for streaming via the Paramount Network app or website, which can be accessed by logging in with cable provider details.

Streaming Services

There is a wide range of streaming options, including:

  • Sling TV
  • Hulu + Live TV
  • YouTube TV
  • Philo
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Roku
  • Apple TV
  • Amazon Fire TV

In addition, you can even rent the episodes and seasons on:-

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • iTunes
  • Google Play

Paramount Plus: Content Availability and Accessibility

Paramount Plus Show Time
Source: Paramount+

Paramount Plus is a streaming service that offers a more on-demand and flexible viewing experience. Subscribers can access the platform’s extensive content library through a wide range of devices, including:

  • Smart TVs
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Streaming boxes like Roku and Amazon Fire TV

This allows viewers to watch their favorite shows and movies whenever and wherever they choose, without being tied to a specific programming schedule.

Paramount Plus also offers a broader content library, with various movies, TV shows, and original programs from Paramount’s various networks and studios. This includes the popular titles from Paramount Network from channels:-

  • CBS
  • Nickelodeon
  • Comedy Central

Unique Features and Exclusive Content

Both Paramount Network and Paramount Plus offer unique features and exclusive content that set them apart. So, let’s go through each of them one by one:-

  1. Paramount Network

The platform provides a traditional TV viewing experience with live programming and the ability to watch shows as they air. This includes access to popular series like “Yellowstone,” which can only be watched live on the Paramount Network channel. 

You can also choose on-demand options provided by your cable or satellite provider.

Some of Paramount Network’s unique features include:-

  • Live Traditional Broadcasting
  • Special Events and Movie Broadcasts
  • Behind-the-Scenes and Extras
  1. Paramount Plus

Paramount Plus shines in its ability to deliver a more diverse and expansive content library. 

Along with streaming content from Paramount Network, some of Paramount Plus’ unique features include:-

  • The ability to download content for offline viewing
  • Simultaneous streaming on multiple devices
  • More personalized user experience with targeted recommendations and content suggestions.

Paramount Network: Technical Specifications and Requirements

Paramount Network’s technical requirements are primarily dependent on the infrastructure and capabilities of the cable or satellite TV provider. 

  1. Cable/Satellite Provider Dependencies

To access Paramount Network’s content, users will need an active subscription to a pay-TV service. Check it below:-

Set-Top Box Requirements

Paramount Network is accessed through a provider’s set-top box, which requires proper installation and setup. The specifics may vary by provider but typically involve connecting the box to both the television and an external cable or satellite dish.

Service Subscription

Access to Paramount Network requires a cable or satellite service subscription that includes the channel in its package. The quality of broadcast (standard definition or high definition) can depend on the subscription level.

  1. Additional Viewing Options

Many cable and satellite providers offer digital streaming of live channels through their apps, which might include Paramount Network. These apps generally require a compatible smartphone, tablet, smart TV, and internet connection.

  • Third-Party Live TV Streaming Services: Paramount Network may also be available through live TV streaming services such as Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, and Philo. These services have their technical requirements:
  • Device Compatibility: Streaming devices (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast), smartphones, tablets, PCs, and smart TVs.
  • Internet Speed: A stable internet connection with at least 3-5 Mbps for standard-definition content and 5-10 Mbps for high-definition content is recommended for uninterrupted streaming.
  1. Internet Speed Recommendations for Streaming

While not directly applicable to traditional cable or satellite access, a reliable high-speed internet connection is crucial to ensure smooth streaming and high-quality video playback if accessing Paramount Network via a streaming service.

By understanding these technical specifications and requirements, viewers can ensure they have the necessary setup to access Paramount Network through traditional cable/satellite services or via modern streaming platforms.

Paramount Plus: Technical Specifications

Paramount Plus has two specific technical requirements: Internet and Hardware. So, let us go through each section and understand how Paramount Plus works:-

  1. Internet Speed Recommendations

Paramount Plus recommends a minimum internet speed of:-

  • 3 Mbps for SD 
  • 5 Mbps for HD streaming

For the best experience, Paramount Plus suggests an internet speed of at least 10 Mbps, especially for families or users who plan to stream on multiple devices simultaneously.

Internet speed requirements may vary depending on the resolution, bitrate, and number of devices accessing the service simultaneously.

  1. Hardware Requirements

Paramount Plus is compatible with various devices, including smart TVs, streaming media players, gaming consoles, smartphones, and tablets. 

For the best performance, Paramount Plus recommends the following hardware specifications:

  • Smart TVs: Android TV, Roku TV, or Samsung Smart TV with a minimum of 2GB RAM and a quad-core processor.
  • Streaming Devices: Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, or Google Chromecast with a minimum of 2GB RAM.
  • Mobile Devices: iOS 12 or later, Android 6.0 or later, with at least 2GB RAM.

Users with older or less powerful devices may experience occasional buffering or lower video quality, depending on their internet speeds and the number of concurrent streams.

Paramount Network vs Paramount Plus: User Interface Customization

Paramount Plus HomePage
Source: Paramount Network

Paramount Network does not offer extensive customization options within its user interface. Users are limited to the viewing experience provided by their cable or satellite TV provider, which typically includes:-

  • Channel selection 
  • Program guide navigation

Paramount Network: Parental Control

Paramount Network is a general entertainment cable channel that does not offer extensive family-specific features or content curation. 

The channel’s programming is not primarily targeted toward children or families, and parental controls are typically managed through the user’s cable or satellite TV provider.

Paramount Plus: Profile Creation and Management

  • Paramount Plus allows users to create multiple profiles within a single account, enabling personalized recommendations and viewing histories for different family members or individual users.
  • Profile customization options include setting a profile picture and name and setting content restrictions for child profiles.

Paramount Plus: Parental Controls and Content Filtering

  • Paramount Plus offers better parental controls, allowing users to set age-based content restrictions and pin-protect profile access.
  • The service also provides content filtering options, enabling users to exclude specific genres or titles from their recommendations and search results.

Accessibility Features Across Both Paramount 

Paramount Network Application Accessbility
Source: Online Tech Tips

Paramount Network’s accessibility features are limited to those provided by the user’s cable or satellite TV provider. It may include options like:

  • Closed captions 
  • Audio descriptions

However, the availability and customization of these features can vary.

Paramount Plus: Subtitles and Closed Captions

  • Paramount Plus supports subtitles and closed captions in multiple languages, allowing users with hearing impairments or those who prefer subtitled content to access the service.
  • The subtitles and captions can be customized in terms of font, size, color, and positioning on the screen.

Paramount Plus: Audio Descriptions

  • Paramount Plus provides audio descriptions for titles, enabling users with visual impairments to follow the on-screen action through descriptive narration.
  • The availability of audio descriptions may vary depending on the specific title and language.

Paramount Plus: Interface Customization for Users with Disabilities

  • The Paramount Plus interface can be navigated using keyboard controls and screen readers, making the service more accessible for users with physical or cognitive disabilities.
  • Additionally, the service allows users to adjust font size, contrast, and other accessibility settings to suit their needs.

Paramount Network: International Availability and Content Variations

For Paramount Network, its international availability and content variations can be significantly different from the offerings in the U.S., primarily due to licensing agreements and the specific preferences of local markets. 

Paramount Network: International Availability and Content Variations
Source: FossByte

Here are some key points about the international presence of Paramount Network:-

  1. International Availability

Paramount Network’s availability can vary widely, with some regions having limited access to the channel or its shows being broadcast on different networks due to local licensing agreements.

United States: Paramount Network is a cable channel with full access to all its programming, including flagship shows like “Yellowstone.”

Canada: Some cable providers offer it, but content like “Yellowstone” may not be available due to regional broadcasting rights.

United Kingdom: Paramount Network is available and offers a mix of American imports and local content tailored to the UK audience.

Latin America: The channel is available in several countries, offering a mix of U.S. programming and some local adaptations.

  1. Content Variations

Potential subscribers should check local listings and service offerings to understand what specific content is available in their region. Understanding the following variations is crucial for international viewers expecting the same content as the U.S. version of Paramount Network. 

Regional Differences: Paramount Network programming outside the U.S. often includes a mix of locally popular shows and American content, varying significantly based on regional tastes and content rights.

Local Regulations and Censorship: In some countries, content might be modified to meet local broadcast standards and regulations, affecting the type of shows available or how they are edited.

Availability of Flagship Content: Key shows like “Yellowstone” might not be available on Paramount Network in certain regions but could be accessible through other services or networks due to exclusive regional licensing.

Paramount Plus: Global Availability

Paramount Plus is currently available in the following countries and plans to expand to additional international markets.

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Latin America
  • Australia,

The service’s availability and pricing may vary depending on the region, subject to local licensing and distribution agreements.

Content Differences by Region

  • Paramount Plus’ content library can differ significantly across markets, as title availability is often subject to regional licensing deals and partnerships.
  • Users in certain countries may have access to a more limited selection of movies, TV shows, and original programming compared to the US or other major markets.
  • Some Paramount Plus Originals may also be exclusive to specific regions, requiring users to use a VPN or other methods to access content unavailable in their local market.

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Conclusion: Paramount Plus caters to evolving viewer needs compared to Paramount Network!

Paramount Plus is the superior choice for most viewers, offering extensive on-demand content, flexible viewing options, and competitive pricing. 

While Paramount Network caters to those preferring traditional cable TV, especially with exclusive live broadcasts like “Yellowstone,” Paramount Plus adapts to the evolving demands of modern viewers with features like offline viewing, multiple device streaming, and international accessibility. 

Whether you opt for Paramount Network’s nostalgic appeal or Paramount Plus’s expansive offerings, each service provides unique value tailored to different viewer preferences.

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