How to Stream TV and Cut your Cable Bill
If you’re wondering how to stream TV, here’s a quick breakdown to get you started.
Smart TV or Set-Top Box
First of all, you’ll need the right equipment. If you are going to stream programs to your TV, you’ll either need to invest in a set-top box or a smart TV that gives you access to settings that allow you to set up streaming. When buying a smart TV, check to see which settings are in the menus, so you know which streaming options you’ll have access to. If you are buying your TV used, ask for the user manual to see a breakdown of the menus and capabilities.
If your TV does not have streaming features built into the menus, or if they’re missing options you want, you may need a set-top box. There are plenty of options available, so if you’re wondering how to choose a set-top box, the main features to focus on are which streaming services the box is compatible with, and the price. You can often save on these boxes by shopping online for used models. There are usually plenty of lightly used options available, as people upgrade to the newest models and sell their previous units.
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Subscription Streaming Media Sites
A go-to for streaming content, streaming media sites provide a range of content, from popular TV shows to original content. They usually offer a monthly subscription package that can be much lower than your monthly cable bill. Other services allow you to only subscribe to series that you want to watch, allowing you to precisely curate your viewing. Take the time to research which shows are available on which platforms, to see which platform may be the best fit for you, or whether you want to subscribe to several, to ensure all of your favourite shows will be accessible.
Streaming Services From Your Internet Service Provider
Often, your internet service provider will include a streaming content library with your package. This IPTV service can be a great way to explore your favourite programs, as well as shows you may not have seen, especially locally produced content and independently produced shows.
Streaming Shows From TV Network Sites
If you have a particular list of shows that you want to stream, check the websites of the networks those shows air on. Often a network will offer an online media player with their programming so you can stream episodes on demand. To play them on your TV, you may need to cast to a smart TV from a laptop or device. Check the user manual of your TV to see if this is a feature that is built into your TV, or if you will need a set-top box that is enabled for casting. Alternatively, if your TV features an HDMI port, you can plug your laptop into your TV to play streaming content.
Making the jump from traditional TV to streaming services can put more power into your hands in determining what you want to watch and when. With the right equipment, you’ll be ready to start enjoying your favourite shows whenever you want.