Watching TV has evolved to the point where this phrase doesn’t always refer to watching a TV network or even using an actual TV set anymore. Technology has opened up a new world of options for enjoying TV programming with a completely customized experience. Here are some of the best new ways to watch TV today.
Through a Streaming Subscription Service
Streaming movies and television shows is an increasingly popular option. The number of homes with wired cable decreased 4.1 percent in 2011. Meanwhile, Netflix topped 40 million worldwide subscribers in 2013. Between this, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, the market for streaming media is getting more competitive every day. In addition to offering popular TV series, Netflix also has its own exclusive content now, such as the political thriller “House of Cards.”
There are many compelling benefits that make streaming subscriptions more appealing than traditional cable. You can watch your favorite shows any time you want with no worries about remembering to record the latest episode. You don’t have to wait for the weekend to catch a good marathon, either. A Nielsen study revealed that most people who use streaming services will “binge” on three or more episodes of the same show consecutively. Commercials are limited with services like Hulu and nonexistent on Netflix. At about $8 a month, streaming video services beat out cable handily.
On Network Web Pages
If the small subscription fee for a streaming video service is more than you’re willing to pay, you can still enjoy many TV shows completely free online. With a strong Internet connection you can get many network shows straight from their websites. Just find out where you can get satellite Internet in your area and you’re set. Though offerings are more limited and do generally include ample commercials, this option comes to you free of any subscription charges.
Synched Through YouTube
With YouTube’s device pairing, you can enjoy this online video site in many ways. Pair your smartphones to a PS3 and take turns sending your favorite YouTube videos to the television. Pair a computer to a TV device and you can keep kids videos streaming while working from another room. With everything from full cartoon episodes to hilarious homemade shorts, YouTube is a fun and free way to explore a whole wide world of different videos. Some have commercials but these are typically short. Accessing YouTube is free.
On Your Computer
You no longer really a need an actual TV set to watch TV. With a computer and Internet connection you can watch TV through a paid streaming service or a free site, as mentioned above. With a laptop you can take your subscription services with you for easy access in your hotel room as long as you have an Internet connection.
Even a desktop computer can become a source for TV through various online services. The next time you’re considering a new tech purchase, you may need to decide whether to spend the money on a fancy new television screen or a large computer monitor that does double duty.
On a Mobile Device
Mobile devices make it easier than ever to take TV with you. YouTube, Netflix, and other services have their own apps so you can use these programs from any smartphone or tablet. Even without the app, you can go through an Internet browser for similar results. This puts the power of TV in the palm of your hand, literally.
If your mobile collection includes a tablet or smartphone, you can watch TV in the car (hopefully not while driving, though), at the park, at a coffee shop, or anywhere else you may find yourself with a little time on your hands. If you use traditional cable services, you can often get access to these on your phone as well through apps offered by your cable provider.
Today’s changing TV landscape makes it possible to customize your experience with any of these options or – more likely – a combination of them. Pick one subscriber service or several and enjoy access through multiple devices for TV viewing that’s perfectly suited to your tastes.