Setting up your TV for streaming means you'll need a device to stream on, a reliable internet connection, and good content to watch.
If you haven't already hopped on the streaming bandwagon, the options can feel overwhelming. So, what is streaming TV? Here's all you need to know.
Streaming is receiving or transmitting data (audio or video) in a computer network. The process of streaming is synchronous; it allows the download of data in a continuous flow while the remaining of it is received, almost like the file is stored right there on your device.
You don't have to save or decompress it first. So if you're looking to get in on the streaming fun, you'll have to get a device that can connect to the internet. It could be a laptop, smart TV, or your phone.
Depending on how many services you subscribe to, streaming is cheaper, and you don't have to fret about getting into long-term contracts. So, let's compare a few aspects before deciding on a winner.
The first and most noticeable difference is the price. Cable TV options can be pretty expensive, especially once the promotional period is over. On the other hand, most streaming services offer month-to-month subscriptions with no contract requirements, making it convenient for users to cancel whenever they want to.
In addition, cable providers often charge equipment fees, like a monthly DVR fee. In contrast, everything is usually included in the subscription price with internet streaming services.
Both cable and streaming TV offers a range of content, like movies and shows. However, a significant difference is that cable TV means you have to watch shows as they are on-air, while streaming TV services offer on-demand streaming or watching shows you like whenever you want to.
Recently that has changed; many cable providers now offer on-demand content. In addition, with the advent of DVRs, users can record shows to watch them at a later time. So overall, there is a wider variety of content on cable TV.
Another big difference between cable and streaming TV is the number of offered channels. Typically, cable TV provides a wider variety than streaming TV. However, getting all your favorite channels in one bundle is also challenging. So, cable providers make an effort to create bundles that can cater to user preferences and offer more variety. Check out these cable and internet bundles customized to your streaming needs.
On the contrary, most streaming TV providers let users choose the channels themselves. In turn, offering viewers more autonomy over monthly billing, so they're only paying for the networks they watch.
Cable TV providers often require signing a contract of 1-2 years. Whereas streaming TV services don't require any contracts, you can cancel the subscription whenever you want, without strings attached.
Regarding the compatibility of devices, streaming devices are only compatible with TVs with HDMI ports and can secure a WiFi connection. So, if your TV doesn't have an HDMI port, you'll probably have to buy a streaming stick, cable box, or an HDMI converter. Whereas cable TVs are built for cable connectivity, you can even connect a streaming device with newer models/ smart TVs.
Now, here is the step-by-step process of streaming TV in your home. Just three quick steps, and you'll be watching all the movies and TV shows on your watch list.
Setting up your smart TV or streaming device is the first step.
If you choose the device route, switch your TV to the correct input after plugging your device in. Then follow the instructions on your screen to get to the homepage, where you'll find all the applications in one place.
Don't worry if you don't see your favorite streaming service on your screen. Depending on your device, you may have to go to the Store or Channels app to download the apps you want displayed on your home screen.
The notification for this might already have been sent to you during your device or smart TV setup. If not, here's your cue to connect to the internet. Again, we suggest doing so with a high-speed internet connection.
Once you've figured out the internet service provider for your consumption, go to Settings and connect the device. Then click on an app to make sure you've successfully connected.
Most Smart TVs have all the mainstream apps on the homepage. The Apple Store is the only place to download apps, but you can customize your layout for devices like Apple TV.
Log in or sign up for the streaming apps after launching them. Then, after you've done that, you can watch your favorite shows.
If you're streaming on your smartphone, we recommend an unlimited data plan or internet packages so you can stream as much content as you want. You can also choose a provider with no data caps like Windstream Kinetic.
The technology empowering internet streaming services wasn't much accepted ten years ago. However, it has tremendously evolved after Netflix broadened its services from DVD rental to online streaming in 2007.
Internet streaming has enabled content delivery networks that give users access to media at high speed and high-quality resolution.
Transcoding capabilities have evolved, making it possible to transmit different types of files over networks and improve connectivity in devices, allowing for streaming video at such high speeds.
Recent innovations like AI are transforming the streaming experience. For example, Netflix uses AI to make relevant, personalized recommendations, automatically adjust video resolution to optimize speed for the user's connection, and prevent interruptions.
The overnight success of streaming TV indicates a new consumption trend in the digital era. Consumers are now glued to their screens. As a result, companies are stringently focusing on creating a user-centric experience by producing premium quality content. The expectations of 21st-century consumers are pretty high and entail on-demand content, a variety of options, and personalization.
Apple TV has Hulu, Netflix, ESPN, iTunes, HBO Max, YouTube, Disney+, Sling, etc. And whenever a new app comes out, it'll be available for download in the app store to the homepage of your Apple TV device.
Roku is compatible with Alexa, and there are apps such as Disney+, Netflix, NBC, ESPN, Hulu, STARZ, SHOWTIME, Disney NOW, and HGTV.
Amazon Fire TV is an excellent cost-saving option and has all the popular streaming apps. Among the apps are Prime Video, HBO, Disney+, Netflix, Sling, Hulu, and others similar to its competitors.
This game console gives you double the value in the price of one. Netflix, HULU, Prime Video, and more streaming options while playing video games.
Sony works with Alexa to give awesome HD pictures and offers the usual apps like Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO.
Samsung has Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility and applications such as Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO Max.
Millennials and Gen Z are more prone to embracing the streaming boom than other generations. However, the adoption rate is still pretty high for consumers of all generations. Users are shifting to streaming services because it offers a single platform where they can stream all their favorite content in one place—in addition, they are getting a lot more value for money and time than a TV subscription.
Another advantage of streaming is the vast array of titles, customized and curated content, and access via mobile devices. For example, the Cox Contour TV app lets users create eight individual profiles + DVR up to six shows at a time.
The upward trends in streaming indicate that it is here to stay. The upcoming generations are digital natives growing up with streaming services, unlike older generations with TV schedules. The boom is also contributing to the increase in supremely produced content to match consumers' demand.
Viewers binge-watch shows like there's no tomorrow, so more high-quality shows than movies are being made with a targeted audience.
According to a survey, users are inclined to pay for three to five services, so the more streaming options, the merrier. However, consumers are significantly canceling their cable subscriptions, causing cable companies to be more competitive with streaming platforms by offering more on-demand options and apps.
We'll likely witness more network leaders hop on the streaming bandwagon shortly. In addition, streaming platforms are merging to offer more value in bundles to stay ahead of the competition. Consumers view these bundles as the digital equivalent of traditional cable options. And excitedly sign up for many, enabling them to create a personalized library of content. In addition, the experience becomes seamless with high-end technology and navigation through streaming apps.
The streaming wars are only getting started and impacting businesses immensely. We're yet to see what's in store for content production, manufacturing, and other industries impacted by the streaming TV services boom. And we can't wait to experience the growth first-hand.
Streaming devices offer stronger compatibility and a robust ecosystem for streaming apps, making it easier to search for the content you're looking for.
Streaming TV is a way of watching TV via the internet. There is nothing to download in advance. All you need for streaming is a strong internet, preferably from a reliable service provider. We recommend these internet deals.
There isn't one answer to this question because it entirely depends on the kind of content you like to stream. However, we know that Cox Communications has recently partnered up with Disney+, so you can pair the two if that's your go-to platform.