More TV networks are starting to offer their own standalone streaming services, but CBS was one of the first. Their product, CBS All Access, provides on-demand access to thousands of CBS show episodes, as well as some live content. CBS All Access is actually one of our favorite streaming services. In this CBS All Access review we will look at why it’s one of the best streaming services, what the service has to offer, any special features, and the overall benefit of CBS All Access.

There is a nice mix of currently airing and what they call “classic” shows, which are just shows that aren’t really airing anymore. You also have access to a variety of specials and awards shows that have aired. Additionally, in many areas, CBS All Access offers the CBS live stream, which means you can watch live CBS as it airs. That also means access to live sports! Keep reading our CBS All Access review for the full details.


What is CBS All Access?

cbs all access reviewCBS All Access is an on-demand streaming service that works over the internet. It costs only $5.99 per month and does not require a contract. There’s even a free 7-day trial available! It does not require a cable subscription. You can use it on most streaming devices, from wherever you are (as long as you have the internet). Primarily, the service provides subscribers with direct access to on-demand streaming of select CBS TV shows. There are more than 10,000 episodes available to stream!

In addition to the on-demand functionality of CBS All Access, there is also a live streaming feature for many people. Currently, residents of most major US markets will get the CBS live stream with this service. This is super useful for sports fans, as CBS hosts some NFL games and other sporting events. Our full CBS All Access review below has more info.


CBS All Access Features

cbs all access action shotCBS All Access has a lot to offer. Beyond the fewer ads and the option of removing ads altogether, CBS offers the option for on-demand streaming of over 10,000 individual episodes, and the ability to watch on multiple devices. Key features include:

  • On-demand access to over 10,000 episodes of hit CBS TV shows
  • Original series available¬†exclusively on All Access, like The Good Fight and Star Trek: Discovery
  • Watch on-demand on your own schedule
  • Watch over the internet – from anywhere!
  • CBS All Access Roku & Apple TV apps are available
  • Choose from limited commercials or NO commercials (2 different plans)
  • Watch live streaming of CBS (in select markets)
  • Watch LIVE NFL games when games air on CBS!
  • Watch on nearly any device
  • Watch exclusive CBS All Access Originals
  • No Commercials plan lets you download episodes to watch offline
  • There is a free 7-day trial available

You won’t be tethered to any one specific device as you can access CBS All Access on your computer, phone/tablet, or some of the best streaming devices like Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, or Xbox. No matter how you choose to watch CBS All Access, the setup is pretty much the same. It’s easy to find the shows you’re looking for, and it’s easy to search for shows and other content.

If you live in a major city, there’s a good chance that¬†you can watch CBS live streaming. You will have the opportunity to watch whatever is airing on CBS. If you’re not in one of these cities they will be adding more, so it’s only a matter of time until it’s available to you. Shows tend to be added to the network shortly after they air on TV, so if you have to wait, it shouldn’t be for long. While you can get CBS via an antenna, this is a great solution for how to stream local channels without having to subscribe to a cable contract.

Many of the shows offer full seasons. The current shows offering full seasons include Madam Secretary and Scorpion. Classic shows have full seasons available, as well. And now, CBS will also be offering All Access originals including a new Star Trek series.

The only real downside also has to do with the episodes. Unlike a streaming service like HBO or Showtime, where you get every episode of every show, with CBS, some shows offer you all the episodes, and other shows, like Code Black or Criminal Minds, only offer anywhere from four to seven episodes at any given time. In some cases, the episodes don’t go in order. For instance, if a new season show is available there might be two or three episodes from the beginning of the show, and then a few more of the most recent episodes.


CBS All Access Devices

CBS All Access now works on most devices. You can use the service to watch CBS content on:

Streaming Devices, including Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV

Mobile Devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android phones & tablets

Gaming Consoles, including PS4 and Xbox One

Smart TVs, including select models from Samsung and Vizio

Computers, via web browser


How Much Does CBS All Access Cost?

How much is CBS All Access? Not very much, considering what it gives you!

Ultimately, it depends on if you want to sit through commercials or not. If you’re patient and don’t mind some commercials you can pay just $5.99 per month. This is a phenomenal deal, especially if you watch a lot of CBS shows. If you hate commercials, you end up paying $9.99 for the commercial-free plan. Canceling CBS All Access is as easy as logging into your account and clicking the cancel button. It really is a hassle free process. There is not currently a CBS All Access gift card at this time.

All Access also offers discounted annual plans. You can get 1 year of the Limited Commercials plan for $59.99, or 1 year of the No Commercials plan for $99.99. This basically gives you two months free.

There’s also a CBS All Access Student Discount of 25%. So if you’re a student, you can save even more on this already-affordable plan!

If you’re on the fence you can make use of the CBS All Access free trial. Like a lot of streaming services these days, the CBS All Access free trial lasts for a week. That gives you a few days to watch as many of the shows as you want, and really get a good feel for the service. Use the time and see how much you’re actually watching the service.


Is There a CBS All Access Free Trial?

There sure is! You can now try All Access CBS for FREE for 7-days by clicking here. No contract or commitment is required, so if you decide not to keep the service you are free to cancel at any time.


CBS All Access Review: Bottom Line

For as little as $6 per month, CBS All Access is an amazing deal. It offers a ton of on-demand content, plus you can watch NFL games online at times, and live CBS content for some people. It’s a great way to stay current on CBS shows, and the quality of the streaming service rivals the best of them. If you’re undecided, try the free trial and see how you like the service.

Ashtyn Evans

Author Ashtyn Evans

Ashtyn Evans is a screenwriter and freelance writer from the Midwest. She owns nearly a thousand films on Amazon and holds streaming subscriptions to everything from HBO and Hulu to Showtime and Starz. Email her at [email protected] Disclosure: Streaming Observer is supported by readers. Articles may contain referral links. For more information, see the disclosure at the bottom of the page.

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Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • Bob says:

    Has “CBS All Access” gotten better? Will it get better before “Star Trek Discovery” debuts?

    Here is the reason that I am asking: I tried it in Winter/Spring 2016. I paid the $5.99 and it sucked! The image was blurry when in rendered. The streaming paused frequently. No it was not me , not my devices, nor my router, nor my internet provider. I stream 4K Netflix, and HBO Go, and 4K YouTube, and have no problems. The picture quality of CBS All Access was awful.

    And to top that off, I was paying $6 , and still got commercials! The aforementioned paid-for streaming competition doesn’t have commercials!

    So I repeat my questions ……… Has “CBS All Access” gotten better? Will it get better before “Star Trek Discovery” debuts?


    • Eric Anthony says:

      I haven’t experienced the performance issues with All Access, so I can’t speak to your experience there. The $6 version does still have commercials, but they do have a $9.99 commercial-free version now.

  • Joe says:

    CBS is so poor run, it’s amazing it’s still in business. Madam Secretary is our favorite show, but it almost never starts on time and so we are constantly missing the end. I don’t know how a station can so consistently mess up it’s schedule. No wonder HBO, Netflix and YouTube are running them out of business. I downloaded the app and it’s just as horrible. Total waste of money. I hope Netflix picks up Madam Secretary.

    • Sue says:

      I also like Madam Secretary and this has happened to me as well. CBS airs many sporting events during the year (i.e. Golf,Football, etc), It is not the fault of CBS that these events run longer than expected. So I DVR a show that comes on after Madam Secretary to avoid this issues. Just a suggestion.

  • Greg says:

    You missed something.
    I tried to watch 3 of my most recently died shows and got a “subscribe to watch” button instead of watch
    I can watch any preceding episodes but not the new ones.
    Click on subscribe to watch and i get bc sent back to the main screen. I also agree with the 2 preceding posts but have suffered through the shoes for the most part (i have turned to other shows on channels that work a few times though)

  • Joanna says:

    I tried the “limited commercial” version. That’s in quotes because the limit is 26 ads/commercials for an hour long show.

  • Merlie says:

    Would sign up just to watch the new show “The Good Life”, but want to watch it on the big screen tv, supposedly my cable provider is not on the list. All of the other shows can be watched “on-demand”. Sucks!

  • Lina Downs says:

    I want to be able to watch all seasons 1-10 of the big bang theory and I want to make sure i can watch all of them on CBS all access and not an episode here and there as that is what I already do. It is also not available on other streaming sites.

  • Kathelyn Bush says:

    I loved the Good Wife….. and when I saw the first episode ofThe Good Fight I was so excited! But then when I realized that I could not watch it without “Paying” for it…….I was really upset. I already “PAY” for cable…… I will not pay “twice” to watch this show. Talk about GREED! I think CBS is making a big mistake. If this show fails, it won’t be because of the writing and actors, It will be because of CBS’ greed!

  • Pamela says:

    So I see in the fine print for the commercial free version that “select shows [still!] have promotional interruptions”, (and I don’t believe they are talking about live TV, which obviously has commercials). What does THAT mean? That’s NOT commercial free. Does anyone know what this entails?

  • Raymond Hood says:

    I would like to see the new Star Trek Discovery show, but it looks like CBS All Access is too much of a hassle. Anyway, I have had to erase whole seasons of shows from my DVR as it is because there is already so much good stuff to watch.

  • Gary Johnson says:

    I live in a remote area and can only get satelite (DISH) service. How will I get CBS all access, if I decide to subscribe?

  • Steve says:

    As is typical with networks they give you very little info. on the website other than the FAQ which seldom as the questions you need answers to.
    Is there any 4k content and how do you find the markets they stream in? Will I be able to watch my local CBS news or only the national news?

  • Debbie Back says:

    I had CBS all access before and I had to let it go.. How do I deep and still use my email address?

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