Are you trying to decide which streaming service to invest in? Maybe the Canadian subscription service Crave caught your eye, but you can’t decide between the two options offered.
The video-on-demand subscription service formed in December of 2014, has programs from a slew of different streaming services, including HBO Max, Showtime, and Crave originals. Users pick between two packages, Crave Mobile and Crave Total.
Here are the pros and cons of each.
Crave Mobile at a Glance
- Great for single users – Crave Mobile only reaches one mobile device and web browser. That being said, it is the perfect plan for those who stick to viewing content alone and on their phones. You don’t have to share content with others, and the service doesn’t allow you to. With this option, you can keep your content choices as personal as you please.
- Free trial – Crave Mobile provides subscribers with a free one-week trial. You can see if the content is right for you, or you can choose to part ways with Crave Mobile after the initial seven days. You won’t be billed until the free trial is over.
- Great content selection – The content selection includes Crave originals such as LetterKenny and Shoresy, HBO shows and movies, Showtime series, popular blockbusters, and some French films and shows. You will not struggle to find content on Crave Mobile.
- Limited devices – The mobile choice of Crave limits users to only register one mobile device, or browser, at a time. Meaning if you used to split a subscription with a family member or friend, you cannot any longer because the outlet only allows one person to watch at a time.
- No offline viewing on mobile – Subscription services sometimes allow users to download programs when connected to the internet. With downloads, you can watch programs when you don’t have access to the internet. Maybe you want to download a movie to watch on an airplane or a show while you camp somewhere without service. Crave’s mobile option does not allow downloads. You need to be in the range of WiFi or cellular data when you want to watch content.
- Pricier than some – Crave costs $9.99 a month, which is a more expensive streaming service. Although the cost comprises original content and riveting programs, you can only watch from one device at a lower quality of streaming. Crave Mobile uses SD (standard quality) streaming instead of HD (high-definition) streaming meaning the streaming takes a shorter time to load, but the quality is not as clear as HD.
Crave Total at a Glance
- Four users available – Crave Total allows up to four users to stream programs simultaneously. Take a family, for example. Mom can watch The Handmaid’s Tale on the living room TV while Dad watches LetterKenny in the basement on his iPad. The teenager can tune into Game of Thrones on his tablet in his room while the little sister loses herself in Despicable Me in her playroom. Crave Total streams in HD so everyone can watch their own programs while the quality remains crisp and clear.
- Cast to TV – Casting refers to using a phone or a computer to project content on the TV. Crave Total allows casting from any of the registered devices. Maybe you want to have a family movie night, but your WiFi is down. Well, if your phone’s mobile data is working, just connect your mobile device to the television and tune in to the film. This method comes in handy at work outings and parties. With casting, there is no need to distribute your login to random people at parties, just plug your phone or device into a TV and go from there.
- Download to various devices – Crave Total permits downloading content to various devices. When connected to the internet, download programs to come back to at a later time when you know you won’t have access to the internet. You can enjoy Euphoria from 30,000 feet in the air on a plane to California, or you can watch all of the Harry Potter films if your power goes out.
- Loading issues – Crave Total streams in HD, which in theory is good. However, if you have issues with spotty data or if your WiFi goes out frequently, it might be difficult to view programs unperturbed. HD takes longer to load, but the quality is better, so you will need access to a lot of bandwidth to benefit from Crave Total. You can only rely on the service to work properly if your internet is up to speed.
- Only five devices – This package lets devices stream at the same time but only allows subscribers to register five devices at a time. Today, people own more than one device. Almost everyone possesses a phone and a computer, not to mention televisions, iPads, tablets, etc. Crave Total lets users deregister five devices and register five new devices, but under a time constraint. A 30-day countdown begins once you download a program to the first registered device. This could be difficult if your family or friends regularly purchase new electronics.
- More expensive – Crave Total costs $19.99 per month. The subscription includes access to HBO movies, blockbusters, Crave originals, Showtime originals, French cinema, and French shows, but the price is higher than every other streaming service. The annual cost of a Crave Total plan equals $199.90 with two free months of subscription.
Both options have advantages and disadvantages, but the editor’s choice is Crave Total.
You just can’t beat a combination of the highest-quality streaming and an endless option of groundbreaking shows (looking at you Euphoria and Westworld). The price is higher than the mobile option, but the available content counterbalances the cost.
What’s the Difference Between Crave Mobile and Crave Total?
The main difference between Crave’s video-on-demand services is pricing. Crave Mobile clocks in at a lower price with a total of $9.99 a month, or $99.90 annually, with a free one-week trial and two free months of service. Crave Total asks subscribers to pay $19.99 per month or $199.90 annually with a one-week free trial and two free months of service.
Both Crave Mobile and Crave Total let customers view the entire Crave catalog— HBO, Showtime, new movie releases, kids programming, and Crave original shows and movies— but, of course, the different outlets encompass different provisions.
Crave Mobile’s plan includes one registered mobile device or a web browser and SD streaming when connected to the internet. Crave Total includes up to five registered devices, HD streaming, downloads, casting, and up to four streams at a time.
If you live on your own and prefer to watch programs by yourself, you will benefit from Crave Mobile. If you live with other people or spend a lot of time with others, you can get your money’s worth from Crave Total.
Verdict: Whether a subscriber chooses Crave Mobile or Crave Total depends on the person.
Both options offer identical content but differ on how many devices (and what kind of devices) can be registered. Crave Mobile allows users to register one mobile phone for usage, limiting who can watch content and where and when you can watch content.
Crave Total allows users to pick up to five devices to register at once. The platform allows the deregistration of five devices and new registration for five new devices. So you can register up to ten devices with a Crave Total account.
Verdict: Crave Total wins
Crave Mobile and Crave Total vary in their streaming qualities, primarily because the resolutions they stream through differ.
Crave Mobile streams solely on a mobile phone and utilizes SD streaming. SD uses less bandwidth than HD, but has lower resolution images. The mobile option only streams on a phone, which has a smaller screen than a computer or TV.
You don’t need to have the clearest quality to watch content and SD works well with slower internet because it does not require as much power on the backend as HD streaming. The quality may be lower, but reloading and buffering is minimal.
Crave Total streams in HD, which requires higher bandwidth and high-speed internet and results in higher resolution pictures. When viewing programs on bigger screens, such as flatscreens or laptops, HD becomes more noticeable.
The clean pictures attract users and keep them watching. Since Crave Total can be used multiple times at once, HD is necessary.
Without it, the internet would buffer, and the programs would take longer to load. With high-definition resolution, the images are clearer, but if you run into internet issues, your programs will take longer to load and buffer.
Verdict: Crave Total wins
Crave Mobile or Crave Total?
Crave Mobile and Crave Total yield the same programming content under differing circumstances.
Crave Mobile focuses on providing a single user with phone streaming, while Crave Total satisfies families and friends, allowing streaming on various devices at the same time. Users need internet access to use Crave Mobile, meanwhile Crave Total lets users download programs to watch content if they don’t have access to the internet.
The option subscribers pick depends on individual factors. Crave Mobile is cheaper than Crave Total, but you will get a better deal investing in Crave Total based on streaming access and device registration limits.