This summer, OTELCO is introducing a new blog series all about cutting the cable and moving to streaming-based TV. OTELCO’s guide will help you find a streaming option that caters to your unique entertainment requirements. These are the steps we will be expanding on in the following weeks:
Step One: Evaluate Your TV Needs
Evaluating your TV needs is the first step toward saying goodbye to cable and satellite forever. Take an inventory of the shows you watch, the channels you can’t live without, and the things you like most about watching the tube. Are you a sports addict? A rerun aficionado? Can you live without channel surfing? Questions like these will help you define what you want out of a streaming service.
Keep in mind that streaming usually involves a little more work than traditional TV. It is very unlikely that you will be able to get all the shows you want from one platform. If convenience is king for you, then sticking with cable or satellite may be the right move.
You will also need to evaluate how much you are willing to spend on TV before you start shopping around. Once you evaluate all your needs and how much it will be to meet them via streaming apps, you may find that your current package is the most cost-effective option for you. Streaming is great, but just like everything else in life, it isn’t for everyone.
Step Two: Find the Right Device
There are lots of different ways to stream. Most TV’s produced today are “smart,” meaning they come with built-in streaming capabilities. That doesn’t necessarily mean you can get every streaming app though, and many users find that devices specifically designed for streaming are easier to use. Amazon, Google, Apple, and Roku are the big players when it comes to streaming devices. Here we will review their costs, benefits, drawbacks, and individual features. We are also going to review how you can stream using the devices you already have, like a laptop or gaming console.
Step Three: Decide Where to Watch
The last step is where the real fun begins. Once you have evaluated your TV needs and know what you are going to use to stream, you can start looking for the right apps. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are easily the most popular streaming platforms, but there are so many others you can pick. There are on-demand services, live TV options, providers that only focus on sports, and niche apps that provide content based on specific interests (e.g., horror, cartoons, movies, etc.). In some areas, Internet TV or antennas are worth considering. Basically, there are a ton of options out there, and we are going to cover as many as we can for you.
Do You Have the Speed You Need?
Internet speed is a large component of video streaming. Before you even start to consider cutting out cable or satellite, you should asses your bandwidth needs. OTELCO’s bandwidth calculator is an easy way to gauge how much speed you need.