According to research, only half of all American households have access to streaming video. This statistic means there is a one in two chance that you might be a newcomer to the world of streaming TV shows and movies – and it’s fair to say that you are missing out. So, if you have yet to experience the delights of Netflix, Chromecast, or Roku sticks, this post is for you. Read on to find out more in this simple guide to streaming for rookies – let’s get started right away.
Why should you stream?
Streaming TV is a cost-effective way of watching your favorite TV shows from all over the world. If you are trying to cut the costs of watching cable TV, streaming is a great way to get started. It also gives you a lot more control over what – and when – you decide to watch those shows. For parents with young kids, streaming can be a godsend. While I would never recommend allowing your child to sit around watching TV all day, as a way of giving them some quiet time, an hour of streaming is the perfect solution. You aren’t reliant on TV scheduling, and your child can watch whatever suits them.
What streaming services should I use?
It’s possible to subscribe to a broad range of streaming services and still pay considerably less than your cable TV bill. The likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime are perennial favorites, of course, and cover a wide variety of TV shows, movies, and on-demand video. Free services are available, too. For example, this website has a ShowBox version made for Windows PC and Mac, and there are many other services such as Hulu that have an incredible array of free content. Even the likes of Walmart are getting involved in the streaming game, which shows just the mainstream direction that the industry is going.
How do you stream?
Streaming is a simple process, and most households can get up and running within minutes. You’ll need a streaming device of some description – preferably a smart TV or tablet, but modern Blu-ray players are also able to access streaming services. You can also buy small streaming devices that give you access to specialized services. These devices range from the simple Roku to the Amazon Fire Stick, which is available for less than $100. It’s important to have high-speed internet access, too – anything over 5 MBPS is more than enough to stream content without an issue.
What are the problems?
Before you start streaming, make sure that the services you are using are legal. While many people stream content illegally, it’s not something that I would encourage – you never know what might happen in the future if you were to get caught. It’s also important to restrict your streaming to WiFi use only. Using the 3G or 4g on your phone, for example, can end you incredibly expensive if you don’t have much of a data plan to burn every month. Finally, be wary of allowing your kids too much access to streaming services – you’ll need to be vigilant to ensure the content they watch is age appropriate. And, of course, that they don’t watch more than an hour or so every day!