How to Use Paramount+

Cheap TV service isn't that hard to get

What to Know

  • Go to www.paramountplus.com and select Try It Free. Enter your name and a password.
  • Select Sign Up and choose a billing plan. Select Paramount+.
  • Choose Select Your Device to set up a streaming device.

This article explains how to sign up for a Paramount+ account and covers how to select a plan and watch CBS live television and on-demand content. Paramount+ can be viewed on televisions from a variety of manufacturers including, but not limited to, those made by LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, and Vizio.

How to Sign Up for Paramount+

Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access) is a single-network streaming service that allows cord-cutters to watch live television without a cable subscription. Unlike most other streaming services, it offers content from CBS and other channels from the parent company, ViacomCBS. It's also one of the only places you can watch CBS online, and it is the only place anywhere that you can watch exclusive content like Star Trek: Discovery.

Paramount+ is very easy to sign up for, and it includes a free trial period. You do have to enter your billing information, but you won't be charged if you decide to cancel before the trial period ends.

To sign up for Paramount+:

  1. Navigate to www.paramountplus.com.

  2. Select Try It Free.

    Selecting Try it Free on the Paramount+ website.
  3. Select Continue.

    Beginning of the Paramount plus addition.
  4. Select a plan (Limited Commercials or Commercial Free) and select Continue.

    Different plans for Paramount+.
  5. Select Continue.

    Selecting continue.
  6. Enter your information and choose a password, select Continue to proceed.

    Selecting Continue after entering account info.
  7. Select Continue.

    Selecting Continue after entering account info.
  8. Enter payment details.

    You won't be charged as long as the subtotal amount on this screen shows $0.00, but you will be charged at the end of the trial period if you don't cancel first.

    Payment method page.
  9. Select Start Paramount+ or if using Paypal, select Checkout with PayPal > Start Paramount+.

    Finishing payment and activating Paramount+ account.

Choose a Paramount+ Plan

There are two plans available from Paramount+, and the only difference between them is the amount of commercials that you have to sit through.

Different plans for Paramount+.

The cheaper Paramount+ plan includes commercials embedded in on-demand videos, while the commercial-free version removes them. However, even if you pay for the commercial-free version of Paramount+, the commercials are not removed from the live CBS stream.

The other difference between the two plans is that if you choose the ad-free version, the free trial is shorter.

If you decide that you would rather have the ad-free version, or switch back to the version that has ads, you can do so at any time after you subscribe. Ready to quit? Cancel Paramount+ in a few steps.

How to Use Paramount+

In order to use Paramount+, you need a high-speed internet connection and a compatible device. The easiest options are to watch on your computer with your favorite web browser, or on your phone, but Paramount+ also supports devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV. You can also cast Paramount+ from your phone to your TV from Android or from iOS.​

What Content Does Paramount+ Offer?

Paramount+ technically competes with other live television streaming services, like Sling TV, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now, but on a smaller scale. While those services provide dozens, or even hundreds, of channels, with a price tag to match,

Paramount+ pulls from its parent company's catalog, ViacomCBS, which includes programming from channels like BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Smithsonian Channel, TV Land, as well as Paramount Pictures films.

ViacomCBS has a massive library of shows. For instance, you can watch the entire run of shows like Cheers, and every Star Trek series, on Paramount+. While those shows originally aired on other networks, CBS is the one that owns them. Other popular shows include BET's Real Husbands of Hollywood, Comedy Central's Chappelle's Show, and Nickelodeon's Rugrats.

The weak point of most live television streaming services is local network television, which is usually only available in a handful of limited markets. This is where Paramount+ is unique since it's available in 200+ markets across the United States. So if you're having trouble finding an online streaming service that can provide you with a local network, there's a good chance that Paramount+ will have coverage where you live. 

In addition to your local CBS affiliate, Paramount+ also provides a stream of CBSN, which is CBS's 24/7 live news channel.

How Many Shows Can You Watch at the Same Time on Paramount+?

When you watch a show on Paramount+, whether it's on the live feed or an on-demand episode, it's referred to as a stream. CBS limits the number of these streams that can be active at any one time, so even if you have Paramount+ on multiple devices, there's a limit to how many you can use at once.

Paramount+ allows two streams at once, and those streams apply to all the devices you own and to any type of video you stream.

That means you can watch a live stream of your local CBS affiliate on your computer at the same time someone else uses the same account to cast an on demand episode to your television.

However, a third person would be unable to watch either live or on-demand content at the same time on a third device of any kind. You can mix and match devices, and live or on-demand content, but you're always limited to two streams at once.

How Fast Does Your Internet Need to Be to Watch Paramount+?

Paramount+ requires a high-speed internet connection, and the quality of the video will vary depending on the speed of your connection.

The minimum speeds recommended for Paramount+ are:

  • 800+ Kbps to stream on a mobile device.
  • 1.5+ Mbps to stream live television or on-demand video to a computer or a device like Amazon Fire TV or Roku.
  • 4+ Mbps to stream Big Brother Live feeds.

Big Brother Live uses four simultaneous video streams, which requires more bandwidth than usual.

Does Paramount+ Offer Any Options or Special Features?

Paramount+ add on options.

While Paramount+ is technically a ViacomCBS streaming service, it does offer the option to add Showtime content for an additional fee. This is likely due to the fact that CBS owns Showtime, which makes the addition of premium Showtime content to Paramount+ a natural fit.

How to Watch Live Television on Paramount+

The main focus of Paramount+ is providing an online feed of your local CBS station, which means you can use the service to watch CBS on your computer, phone, or even on your television with the right hardware.

To watch live television on Paramount+:

  1. Navigate to www.paramountplus.com.

  2. Move your mouse over Live TV.

    The Paramount+ website.
  3. Select CBS (Local Station) to watch your local CBS channel, CBSN (24/7 News) to watch a live feed of CBSN, CBS Sports HQ to watch sports news, or ET Live to watch entertainment news.

    Watch live tv on Paramount+.

    While the video player has a pause button when you watch Paramount+ on your computer, you can't pause live television with the service.

Does Paramount+ Have On Demand or a DVR?

While the main focus of Paramount+ is live television, it does include a selection of on-demand content. The selection is limited to the current season for most shows that are still on the air, but full seasons and even full series are available for some older shows.​

In addition to current series and older shows, Paramount+ also has some exclusive content. For instance, the only place you can watch Star Trek: Discovery is on Paramount+. The Good Fight, which is a spin-off of The Good Wife, is also exclusive to Paramount+.

Paramount+ doesn't have a digital video recorder (DVR) feature, so the only way to watch a show you missed is to wait for it to appear in the on-demand section.

To watch an on-demand television show or movie on Paramount+:

  1. Navigate to www.paramountplus.com.

  2. Select Shows to reveal a list of available series, and then click on the one you want to watch.

    Select Shows to see all available programs.
  3. Select Watch Now to immediately jump into the show, or scroll down and select a specific episode that you want to watch.

    Paramount+ on demand and exclusives.

    You can pause on-demand content, and if you leave and come back, it will pick up where you left off. You can also select a spot on the video timeline to fast forward, but if you try to skip past a commercial, the commercial will play automatically.

Can You Rent Movies on Paramount+?

Some live television streaming services also provide pay-per-view and rental content, but Paramount+ doesn't. There is a selection of free on-demand movies available, and you get access to more if you add Showtime to your subscription.

Movies on Paramount+.

If you're looking to rent a recent release, you can do so through non-subscription services like Vudu, Amazon, and many other online sources.

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