OTT platforms have taken over the world by storm, especially after the world reeled under the ill effects of a global pandemic. Even though OTT platforms were quite popular before the pandemic, post it, the world saw a new era. Digital TV services were slowly gaining ground before the pandemic, because with the introduction of streaming services and smart televisions, paying a hefty amount for cable and satellite TV seemed like money down the drain. A study conducted revealed that an average American was billed somewhere between eighty-five to about a hundred dollars monthly on their cable and satellite TV subscriptions. Hence, to curtail down the big bills, it seems like a rational decision to switch to streaming services.
However, television traditionalists would have a tough time severing their chords with satellite tv. But if they have somehow managed to do so, over a hundred streaming services are agreeing to provide any and every kind of content they are looking to browse. This would include a plethora of channels to select from, on-demand videos and channels, live recording, and a lot more at almost half the price. While we must admit that these streaming services wouldn’t provide an exact equivalent of the cable television ones, but as long as the consumer has the required devices, , intended for streamer and recorder of any movies or games, he/she could easily stream his/her favorite shows. This article enlists some of the best streaming television services out there that a user could choose from as per their needs.
How do streaming services work?
The best part about streaming services would be that they could be subscribed and unsubscribed at will, without having to go through the hassle of contacting the cable tv operator every time one needs a new channel. The essential difference between a cable and a satellite tv and streaming services would be that streaming services require a stable internet connection which should be of at least twenty to fifty Mbps in terms of bandwidth. Satellite televisions would require a cable but streaming services function on the present internet connection. The only thing a consumer requires is a smart television and if he/she does not have so, then an external device like a fire tv stick, to connect and stream the required services.
These tv sticks could include anything from the Apple TV stick, or the Roky Streaming stick, or even Chromecast. Amongst the most popular would be the Amazon fire tv stick, but there are other budget-friendly options available as well. The best fact about streaming tv services would be that they typically cost much lesser than satellite television and the consumers have the liberty to curate and relegate between the channels they do and do not want. Streaming services also provide the option of on-demand video and consumers do not have to go through the hassle of recording live videos all the time unless there is a match or a concert.
How do you select from a list of streaming services?
The streaming services provided by the OTT platforms could primarily be categorized into three parts- the pre-recorded shows and channels, the on-demand videos and channels, and live television recording services.
Pre-recorded shows and channels:
This would probably be amongst the most predictable categories. Streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and others provide the option of pre-recorded shows. To subscribe to certain channels such as sports channels like ESPN, Star Sports, or movie channels like HBO, consumers could opt for streaming services that provide such options.
Live television and recording services:
Such streaming services are mostly ones that showcase live programs, sports matches, and concerts. They also come with the option of recording the live programs. A few examples of live television and recording services would include Hulu TV Live, Sling television, DirecTV, and the most popular of the lot, Youtube Live TV.
On-demand videos and channels:
These would typically include the old time’s video-on-demand option. If someone wants intends on doing a movie marathon of all the old-time classics, this would be their go-to streaming service. Besides, if a person wishes to watch a particular show or program being telecast on a particular channel, they need to order their show or program as per their demand and their streaming service will assure that their demand is fulfilled. On-demand video streaming services include Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and the non-live version of Hulu TV.
If a list is to be made of all the top streaming services that are available for consumers as per different categories, it would somewhat look like so:
- Live Television Streaming services would include Hulu TV, DirecTV Now, Sling TV, and the most popular Youtube TV
- The ‘on-demand streaming apps would include Amazon Prime Video, the non-live version of Hulu TV, and most popular, Netflix.
- Pre-recorded shows and Channel specific services of streaming would include Showtime, HBO Now, ESPN+, Starz, CBS All Access, Sling TV, and of course, Netflix and Amazon Prime.
As additional icing on the cake, we suggest affordable live TV streaming options like Philo TV and Fubo TV and the best possible streaming TV sticks and TV boxes that consumers could resort to NVIDIA Shield, Apple TV 4k, Roku Ultra, Roku Streaming Stick, Chromecast Ultra, and of course the popular Amazon Fire TV Stick.
It must also be remembered that while all of these services come in packages and pre-defined subscriptions, one can also add extra channels and streaming apps as per their choice, but at an additional cost. They would find such options under the heading called ‘extras’ or ‘add-on’ packs.
Streaming services are going to undoubtedly be the future of television and binge-watching. “Netflix and Chill” did not just come about as the most popular slogan millennials swear by now. The popularity of streaming apps has been rising and seems to be gaining a more permanent position. Will it replace cable and satellite television service once and for all in the distant future is what everyone is curious about.