Streaming has become an integral part of TV consumption. In 2018, scripted original TV shows on streaming services surpassed those on broadcast and basic cable for the first time. According to a recent Deloitte study, more U.S. consumers now subscribe to a streaming service rather than a traditional TV subscription.
Video streaming services are particularly popular, with 78% of all U.S. households subscribing to at least one platform. This marks a significant 52% increase since 2015.
With the abundance of streaming options available (over 200 in the U.S.), it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed. You might even be wondering what streaming is all about. Let’s dive in and demystify it for you.
Do I Need A Streaming Device For My Smart TV?
Streaming can be done with just a smart TV and an internet connection. External streaming devices are not required if your TV is modern enough. However, this is the only way to stream on older TVs and external equipment will definitely cost less than a new Smart TV.
Using a streaming device offers more flexibility and a wider range of channels. Even if you have an old Smart TV, you can upgrade it using streaming devices. This will achieve better graphics and increase the speed of the device. In this case, Smart TV turns into a regular TV, since all data processing operations are performed by the streaming device. It simply transmits the finished signal to the TV.
Which TVs Support Streaming?
You can stream on your TV even without a smart TV. Use an HDMI cable to connect it to a streaming device if your TV has an HDMI port. Alternatively, connect your TV or computer monitor to a smartphone, tablet, or desktop/laptop PC using a USB-C to HDMI adapter. In this way, the same image will display on both screens. Connect your TV to a desktop computer, and it becomes an external monitor. Control both devices from your couch with a wireless mouse and keyboard or a gaming controller. If your TV lacks an HDMI cable, use a USB-C to coaxial cable adapter with your phone.
Which TVs Support Streaming?
You need to take just 3 steps to set up online streaming on TV:
To set up your TV or streaming device, start by connecting it to your regular TV. Plug it in and adjust the settings to receive video from your computer, smartphone, tablet, or streaming TV device. On the back of your TV, you’ll find ports labeled HDMI 1, HDMI 2, Audio, Cable, or RCA.
Once the physical connection is complete, the source must be selected. To do this, there is an Input or Source button on the remote control. Here you need to select the port to which you connected the device.
Connect your TV or streaming device to the internet. Sign in to your home’s Wi-Fi network to start streaming videos. Look for the Wi-Fi password on the side of your modem or router. You need to connect an Ethernet cable to the Wi-Fi router, and on the TV, connect to the network.
For devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and most computers, you can use an Ethernet cable to connect them directly to your modem, eliminating the need for Wi-Fi. Wired connections are often faster and more reliable.
Install and set up streaming services
Once your TV or streaming device is connected to the internet, sign in to your favorite streaming apps. Many smart TVs and streaming devices come pre-loaded with popular apps like Hulu and Netflix. You can also discover new apps by browsing the internet. Create a username and password to log in to your chosen streaming services.
Advice! Not all streaming services are available in your area. but it can be fixed. Want to watch Roku TV but it’s not available? Use VPN for Roku TV to change your region. With VPN on Roku, you can switch to any other region and unblock all content on the service. The main condition is a good VPN service, such as VeePN, otherwise, your account may be blocked.
What Streaming Services Can You Use?
- Netflix is known for its range of plans, including Basic with ads, Basic, Standard, and Premium, priced from $6.99 to $19.99 per month. Their extensive library features original content such as Stranger Things, The Crown, Bridgerton, Black Mirror, and Glass Onion.
- Max (formerly HBO Max) stands out as one of the most popular streaming services offered by HBO. With three plan options—With ads, Ad-free, and Ultimate Ad-free—priced from $9.99 to $19.99 per month, Max boasts a massive library with over 35,000 hours of content. Notable TV shows on Max include Game of Thrones, Euphoria, and The Last of Us.
- Hulu provides an ad-supported plan for $7.99 per month, and an ad-free plan for $14.99 per month. Additionally, you have the option to bundle Hulu, Live TV, Disney+, and ESPN+ for $69.99 to $82.99 per month. What sets Hulu apart is its Live TV option, offering extensive channel coverage and great DVR capabilities. On the on-demand side, Hulu offers a robust lineup of original content and popular TV shows and movies like The Handmaid’s Tale, The Great, and Only Murders in the Building.
- Amazon Prime Video offers a wide range of on-demand movies and shows. Some of them are free while others come with ads or can be rented or purchased. Starz subscription costs $4.99 per month for the first three months, and then it increases to $8.99 per month.
- Xfinity Stream, also known as Xfinity On Demand, is available at no additional cost with Xfinity Internet service. You can enjoy it from anywhere, using any device. Moreover, you’ll receive a complimentary Xfinity Flex 4K streaming box with a voice-activated remote and free access to Peacock Premium.
Streaming to TV is not just another option, it’s a must if you value unique content. Yes, you can continue to watch cable TV, but there won’t be much. Streaming services have everything from sports matches to unique movie premieres.