On November 29th on CBS, Hooligans everywhere will get a real treat: Bruno Mars’s first ever TV special.
The show was filmed at the historic Apollo Theater, a venue that many agree is the perfect setting for Mars. Jack Sussman (CBS’s EVP of Specials, Music and Live Events) even said, “[Bruno Mars] burns the roof off the Apollo while paying respect to its tradition and history.”
We don’t know about you, but we are hooked. So if you, like us, can’t wait for Bruno to tear it up at the Apollo, you first have to figure out the best way to watch the show.
That’s where we come in. We’ve reviewed the options for livestreaming CBS, and we definitely think CBS All Access is the best way to watch the 24-karat magic live.
Mars’s first-ever TV special is set to be broadcast on CBS, so it only makes sense to watch the show on CBS’s own streaming service. As you might expect, CBS All Access offers the most CBS livestream access nationwide, so you’re most likely to get your local CBS channel via its service.
Watching Bruno Mars: 24K Magic Live at the Apollo on CBS All Access
Streaming quality on CBS All Access is pretty solid. It has a tendency to buffer a bit when you first tune in to a livestream, and it’s not immune to the occasional glitching. But compared to a lot of other services, it’s pretty smooth. The interface is also pretty easy to use, so you don’t have to waste a lot of time trying to navigate menus to find what you need.
If you opt to wait and watch 24K Magic Live on demand instead, CBS All Access offers a great experience there too. CBS All Access customers are able to watch all of CBS’s content on demand the day after it originally airs. And if you sign up for the Commercial Free plan, you can even enjoy your on-demand content without having to put up with commercials, though you’ll still have to deal with commercials when watching live.
CBS All Access Pricing Options
CBS All Access is dedicated to providing content from just one channel: CBS. Consequently, it’s a lot more affordable than other services. Limited Commercial plans are just $5.99 per month, while the Commercial Free plan is $9.99 per month. So even if you get the more expensive plan, it’s still $25 a month less than the next-cheapest option for watching Bruno Mars.
Of course, you can also opt to pay for your CBS All Access in yearly installments rather than monthly installments. If you do, your cost goes down even more, as the Limited Commercial yearly price is just $59.99 and the Commercial Free price is $99.99. That’s basically the same as getting two months free, though it does mean a larger up-front payment. You’ll have to decide which method is better for your situation.
What Else Does CBS All Access Include?
While CBS All Access is primarily dedicated to CBS livestreams and more recent CBS content, the service does include other content as well.
CBS All Access customers also get access to old CBS shows. We’re talking Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Touched By an Angel, JAG—even classics like Perry Mason and I Love Lucy. You also get original content exclusive to CBS All Access, including recent hits like Star Trek: Discovery and No Activity.
That’s a lot of great TV that can’t be found anywhere else. So even if you’re mainly trying to watch Bruno Mars, we still highly recommend CBS All Access as an ongoing subscription. It delivers a lot of binge-worthy content you can look forward to each week for not a lot of cash.
CBS All Access Compatible Devices
CBS All Access is available on pretty much every major streaming device, including Windows 10 devices and Xbox consoles.
When it comes to watching Bruno Mars: 24K Magic Live at the Apollo, CBS All Access is the clear winner. The show is set to be broadcast on CBS, and CBS All Access is the leading streaming service in terms of delivering CBS access across the nation. Plus, CBS All Access is definitely the cheapest way to get your local CBS livestream.
But if (for whatever reason) CBS All Access doesn’t work for you, you do have other options. The following aren’t as cheap, but here’s a quick overview to help you pick the best for your needs.
PlayStation Vue is our number-two pick for watching the Bruno Mars special online. While the service is certainly more expensive than CBS All Access, it’s about the same as the other options below at $39.99 per month.
PlayStation Vue offers the second-highest number of CBS affiliate stations nationwide after CBS All Access, so you have a reasonably good chance of being able to watch your local station. We also love the smooth streaming experience and high-end picture quality you get with PlayStation Vue. To find out more, you can check out our PlayStation Vue review.
#3—Hulu with Live TV
Hulu with Live TV is also available for $39.99. Hulu’s streaming quality is pretty good overall, plus you get access to tons of on-demand shows (both old and new), content from other networks, and award-winning original programming along with the live shows.
Like CBS All Access, Hulu Live also offers a Commercial Free plan for an extra $4 per month, but it ultimately gets ranked beneath PlayStation Vue because it offers fewer CBS affiliates (which makes it less likely you’ll find your local CBS station).
If none of the streaming services we’ve mentioned work for your home, you can always invest in a digital antenna. This is not an online streaming service, so you won’t get any on-demand options or playback features, but antennas are generally a reliable way to get your local CBS station.
Most antennas cost about $30, though your investment will vary depending on which antenna you decide works best for your home. While that could mean a larger up-front cost, antennas don’t require a monthly investment thereafter. They simply pick up the over-the-air broadcasts for your area.
Pop Pop, It’s Showtime
Overall, we think CBS All Access it the best way to watch the upcoming Bruno Mars special, but if you’re not sure, check out our CBS All Access review to learn more about the service.
Planning to watch 24K Magic Live some other way? Let your fellow Hooligans know in the comments so we can all dance the night away on the 29th.