In Part 1 we discussed what cord-cutting was and why it is so popular among consumers. This article will focus on the options that are available in the market. Looking at the apps and devices in this arena can be like drinking from a fire hose. So grab a cup of coffee and let's dive into this.
Reading this series some are wondering, how does one watch streaming content? There are many smart devices that allow one to consume streaming services. Many of these devices we already own. Windows PCs, Macs, iOS and Android devices all have apps that pair with these various streaming services. However, Smart TVs or streaming sticks are popular for watching content.
TV manufacturers have read the writing on the wall and have been producing Smart TVs that have the ability to use apps like Netflix and Amazon Video. Those looking to turn an older TV into a streaming box or that just want more versatility, picking up a streaming stick will fit the bill. Streaming sticks or boxes connect to one's TV via an HDMI cable or AV cables. Depending on price and needs you can choose from devices manufactured from Roku, Google, Apple, or Amazon. There are others, but these tend to be the most popular. Roku has boxes that work with older TVs that lack HDMI plug-ins. The rest are restricted to HDMI hook-ups unless one can find some kind of adapter.Lastly, many gaming consoles are becoming the all-in-one media device in many American homes. In fact, Sony's PlayStation is the hub for its live streaming service PlayStation Vue. All of these devices have their own benefits and price point. Research each one to that can fit your needs.
The popular streaming service you have probably heard of is Netflix. However, there are many other apps and services that provide a vast amount of advantages for consumers. For live TV there is:
All of these options have the benefit of choosing from the most popular networks for a low monthly bill that isn't tied to a contract. Also, many of these apps allow you to use one's login information for other niche streaming services like HBO Now. These niche services are a networks way to give you the option to stream their particular content online. ESPN, CBS, and many more have their own dedicated streaming service. Lastly, we'll cover the on-demand services that host other networks content, as well as produce their own original series. These services include Netflix, Amazon Video, and Hulu. Subscribers to these services have access to a mixture of movies and shows from a variety of providers. They will also have exclusive access to that services original content. All of these services share the benefits that we covered in Part 1.
Roll your own
For the tech-savvy or those individuals who already have a nice collection of movies and shows, making your own media center may be of some interest to you. Plex is a popular service available to those who would like to host their own content. Once you set up the Plex server app on the computer that houses your media, you will be able to stream your content to all of your device from anywhere with the Plex app. Think of it as your own personal Netflix that you control. If you recall in Part 1, I mentioned how antennas are coming back into vogue. Well, Plex offers a feature for you to record and watch your favorite over-the-air broadcast, using an antenna and digital tuner, on any device. Plex offers many free and premium features that can flex ones ability to control how they consume media.
Whatever content you're into, there is more than likely a streaming service to fill that need. Take a look at the services listed in this article and see which one best fits your needs. Curious about what services we use at Nexxtep. Me too! Here are the survey results for how Nexxtep cuts the cord.
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