CBS All Access is the American media giant’s over-the-top streaming service. Designed to rival the likes of HBO and Hulu, it aims to provide a mix of original shows and third-party content in a similar way to current streaming king Netflix.
Most importantly, in the US it’s the home of Star Trek: Discovery and Picard, making it a one-stop shop for the latest and greatest in modern Star Trek series.
What’s more, CBS is merging with Viacom, which means there’ll be a whole host of shows and movies coming to the platform over the next few months. The service will also be getting a rebrand to Paramount Plus, and a global expansion.
In the meantime, here’s how you can watch the service from outside of the US.
How to sign up to CBS All Access
Viewers in the US can choose between two tiers of subscription, both of which offer up to two simultaneous streams. Paying $5.99 a month gets you access to its full library with occasional adverts, while the full $9.99 package provides an ad-free experience with support for offline downloads.
As CBS All Access is due to rebrand very soon, the company is offering 50% off annual plans. You can get the ad-supported version for $30, and the ad-free version for $50. All you need to do is sign up before 4 March (when the rebrand takes place) and use the code PARAMOUNTPLUS at checkout.
It is also available as an add-on for Amazon Prime subscribers. The e-commerce giant offers a number of Amazon Channels, add-on subscriptions meaning you can access other networks via your Prime membership.
Both these options feature one-week free trials, but are exclusive to customers across the pond. Unless you have a payment method registered in the US, you will be unable to complete the sign-up process.
How to watch CBS All Access with a VPN
The easiest way to watch CBS All Access in the UK is through the use of a virtual private network (VPN).
This allows you to use the internet anonymously by changing your IP address, meaning you appear in a different location and your activity cannot be tracked in the same way.
Many paid services, such as NordVPN, allow you to appear in almost any country around the world, whichever is most beneficial to you at that moment. On Nord (any many similar services) it is as simple as signing in and waiting for it to connect to the location of your choosing.
Some VPNs are even free these days, but we’d recommend checking out our list before you commit to one of the services.
Once you’ve chosen your VPN, you still have the issue of payment information. Fortunately, there is the loophole of gift cards. These are available in $25, $50 and $100 variants, and can be accessed through the likes of eBay and PayPal.
Here’s the steps you need to take to watch CBS All Access in the UK:
Connect to a US server on your chosen VPN
Purchase a CBS online gift card from either eBay or PayPal ($25 is the minimum, which will get you nearly four months worth of ad-supported viewing)
Choose the subscription plan you want to sign up for
You should now be able to watch CBS All Access.
Is CBS All Access worth it in the UK?
Prior to the merger with Viacom, subscribing to CBS All Access for UK viewers wasn’t as attractive as it seems. Star Trek fans should be aware that the Discovery series is also available on Netflix, while the Picard TV show is on Amazon Prime.
However, since the announcement there’s more tempting things on offer. Already the service has over 100 new films from Paramount, including the Star Trek films and The Godfather. Over the coming months, more shows and films from the likes of Nickelodeon, MTV and other properties will be expanding the library.
Of course, if you’re after the flagship original series such as The Good Fight and The Twilight Zone then this is the only place to watch them at the moment.
International viewers should also be aware that a UK standalone service will eventually be available. Bob Bakish confirmed that the paid streaming platform would come to “multiple markets” within a year, and that CBS All Access would get a complete rebrand.
What is Paramount Plus and when is it launching?
We now have confirmation that the service name will be changed to Paramount+, (or Paramount Plus – whatever you prefer) via Den of Geek.
Paramount Plus will launch on 4 March in the USA, Canada and Latin America, according to Variety. Later in 2021 it will launch in Australia and The Nordics, but no UK release has been confirmed.
The service will include everything that CBS All Access has, as well as new exclusive originals and theatrical film releases 30 days after they are first shown in cinemas. Some of the biggest movies coming to the platform are Top Gun: Maverick , A Quiet Place II and Mission: Impossible 7.
Here’s a taster of some of the exclusives coming to the platform.
Rugrats Reboot – The popular kids cartoon Rugrats will be getting a 3D revival on Paramount+. Lots of the original voice cast will be reprising their roles for it
The Italian Job series – Based on the popular action film series, this TV show will follow the grandchildren of the legendary Charlie Croker who inherit a safety deposit box which leads them on a quest
The Offer – This is a ten episode scripted series focusing on Al Ruddy, and his experience of producing and making The Godfather. It will also be written and executive produced by Michael Tolkin, Leslie Greif and Al Ruddy
Lioness – Spy drama based on a real life CIA program, in which a young marine has to befriend a daughter of a terrorist to take down an entire organisation. The series is created and executively produced by Taylor Sheridan.
Behind the Music – The Top 40 – This series will look at MTV’s biggest 40 artists of all time, examining their music and achievements.
The Real Criminal Minds – True-crime docuseries based on the drama series Criminal Minds on CBS
There’s also spin-offs of Flashdance, Love Story, Fatal Attraction and Parallax View on the way.