While many people are still new to streaming, it has become easier to try thanks to the availability of smart TVs which eliminate the need for an additional device that plugs into your TV. For those who have cable television, the new smart TVs still work with the cable set-top boxes, but they also can play streaming content.
Streaming services provide the content you watch via the Internet. Some streaming services are free and some are subscription-based.
Netflix is an example of a paid subscription service that offers on-demand programming. Additionally, many cable television providers offer a paid streaming service that provides in-line programming (like traditional television, you tune in to scheduled programming in progress on a variety of channels) as well as on-demand content.
You can access these services on your SmartTV or through a streaming device by using the apps which appear on your home screen – much like they appear on a smart phone. They function somewhat like many smartphone apps as well. When you download and open a new app you set up an account in order to use it. Smart TVs and other streaming devices come with a number of standard apps that appear on your home screen, with an option to download more apps to customize your experience.
Not Universally Compatible
Streaming services are not always compatible with all streaming devices. What does that mean? It’s possible you could buy a big-brand smart TV and set it up only to discover the television does not support one of the subscription services you’re paying for. Of course some services are more broadly compatible than others. You may need to do some homework when selecting a new smart TV for your home or business.
Ways to Stream
Another appealing feature of streaming is the flexibility for viewing content. There are a number of ways to access streaming content on your television. And you’re not locked in to watching on just a television set. Here are the primary ways you can stream:
- Smart TVs – TVs that connect to the internet and have a default interface that allows you to create an account and download streaming service apps from an app store
- Streaming devices – small devices like Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire Stick, that you plug into your television set
- Smartphones, tablets, or desktop computers
- Gaming consoles – allow you to use their interface to download streaming service apps in addition to games
Of course in order to stream video content you need to have a reliable high speed Internet connection. How much you need will depend on how many devices are active on your network and how much bandwidth those devices use. Streaming in HD requires 5.0 Mbps and 4k streaming will need 25 Mbps! Additionally, a managed WiFi setup with a GIG router gives you the technology and the tools to make the most of your Internet connection and your streaming experience.