If you’re interested in signing up for a streaming service, then you’ll already have clocked just how many options are on the market right now. Your first job is deciding whether you want a live-streaming service or an on-demand platform. Live streaming is probably the way to go if you don’t want the extra cost of a satellite or cable tv bill. Want the option of binge-watching your favorite shows? You need it on-demand.
But that’s just the beginning! Below you’ll find the other things you need to consider to pick the best streaming service for you and your family and ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, even if you’re on a tight budget.
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Lots of Things to Watch
To put it basically, you need to make sure that you’ll be able to find plenty of things you’d like to watch on the platform. For live streaming, this means checking how many channels are available and the nature of these channels. In general, platforms with the most channels will be the most costly. Is access to local programming important to you? If so, put this on your list of streaming service must-haves. Similarly, if you love to watch live sporting events, then check that there’s a plentiful supply of these on the platform’s roster. Have a look at the top 10 live tv streaming services to get an idea of which option offers the most channels and represents the best value for money.
If you’re going down the on-demand route, look at what’s available before signing up to ascertain that the platform has plenty of content and a frequently-changing schedule of shows. Netflix is one of the priciest platforms, but subscribers get around 5,500 titles to enjoy, so weigh up how much content you want against the price you’re willing to pay for it.
DVR Storage Space
If you’ve decided to opt for a live-streaming service, you may also want to consider the DVR storage space available. At present, the industry average is approximately 500 hours. However, if a package is more pricey as it offers premium levels of storage space, think carefully about how much you’ll really need before signing up.
Some of the most cost-effective live-streaming platforms offer users 50 hours of DVR storage space, which could be sufficient for your needs.
Check the package to find out how many devices the streaming service can support as part of making a decision- especially important if multiple people in your household are likely to all want to watch different things!
Your internet connection will also need to be up to par to ensure that everyone watching will enjoy the same high-quality visuals and sound, so check its speed status and consider an upgrade if necessary.
In connection to the question of supported devices, looking for a platform that offers parental controls is an excellent idea if you have a young family. Parental controls allow you to restrict access to certain types of content, so you can have peace of mind that your kids aren’t able to view inappropriate material.
Whichever option you pick, it’s got to be easy to use – no one wants the frustration of fiddling around with the remote control for half an hour every time we want to watch a tv show.
Most streaming services will allow you to explore their user interface before subscribing, so you can get an idea of how easy (or otherwise) it is to find the titles you want, access the settings, etc.
Skinny Bundle, Anyone?
Skinny bundles are becoming increasingly popular, and finding out whether the streaming option you’re considering has such a plan could be the deciding factor for you, especially if you’re on a budget.
Skinny bundles are cheaper, more streamlined alternatives to the bloated cable packages of yesterday, with hundreds of channels included in the plan that we largely weren’t aware of, let alone watched! These skinny packages allow the consumer to pick the channels they want to be included in their plan and often offer significant cost-saving potential.
Privacy and Security
Be sure to check out the platform’s privacy and security processes and credentials before signing up for a plan; you should be able to find this information on its website. The website should deploy SSL security – to verify this, check that the address bar starts with HTTPS instead of just HTTP.
Have a look at plenty of online reviews from past and current users to get an idea of both this and the general service you can expect to receive.
Prepare to Stream!
Use the tips above to help you choose the best streaming platform that suits your needs and budget. Many platforms offer free periods, which can be the perfect way to try out several options without committing any cash. Set a reminder in your diary for when this trial period is over to prevent a charge from being taken from your account if you forget to cancel.
Taking some time to think about precisely what you want to get from your new streaming service and how you’re likely to use the platform can help ensure you get the best value for money possible.