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FAQ - TV Streaming

Are They Worth the Money?

Most definitely. With average cable TV costs in the US now rising to $107 per month, they’re beginning to bleed subscribers at an alarming rate. Streaming services are providing a low-cost alternative and have proven they’re able to match the networks for quality with top-rated shows such as Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and Amazon Prime Video’s “The Expanse”.

For a fraction of the cost, TV streaming services provide 1000s of movies and TV shows that work around your schedule, allowing you to watch when and where you want.

Each one offers something a little different so consider mixing and matching to make sure you get exactly what you want. You’ll still be saving on an expensive cable subscription.

Can I Still Watch My Favorite Network Shows If I Switch to a TV Streaming Service?

This will depend on the streaming service you sign up to, All of the big streaming services license out shows and movies from the studios and networks directly, as well as produce their own original content.

If you can’t live without your favorite shows, hunt around for the streaming services that have licensed them out or have them available as extras. Be careful though, as sometimes these license agreements can end without warning and your shows might disappear from a streaming service.

Do Streaming Services Offer More Variety Than Traditional Cable?

Not at the moment. You’d have to sign up to multiple streaming services in order to match the variety provided by cable and this isn’t something we’re all prepared to do. However, consumers are still making the switch in order to access the convenience and quality VOD streaming offers.

Can I Watch Live Sports?

This is limited to a small number of streaming services at the moment. You’ll have to subscribe to a sports specific service such as ESPN+ or NFL Game Pass, although Hulu does offer a live TV sports option alongside its original series. Who knows what the future holds, though. As the streaming wars heat up, we might see more sports options become available in the future.

Are Free Trials Available?

If you’re not sure which service works for you, almost all streaming services offer either a one week or 30-day free trial with no obligation to buy. So get some binge watching in and use the time you have before committing to ap purchase

What Devices Can I Stream To?

All VOD services make tuning in as effortless as possible. Whether on the move or at home, the most popular ways to watch your favorite shows are:

  • Smart TVs
  • Web browsers
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Games consoles

In most cases, you’ll simply need to log in or download the service’s app and you’re able to watch in just a few clicks.

I Don’t Have a Smart TV. Can I Still Stream From My Old TV?

Yes, there are a few solutions you can apply if you don’t have a smart TV. 

  • You can connect a device like a laptop to your TV via a HDMI cable and watch this way. It’s not as straightforward but it works 
  • The more popular solution is to use a streaming stick or box. These connect to your TV via USB or cable connection and let you stream your chosen service to your TV. A Roku streaming stick or Amazon Fire can be picked up for around $50.

How Many Devices Can I Stream to at the Same Time?

This will depend on the provider and the level of subscription you go for. For example, Netflix allows up to four people to watch shows on different devices at any one time, while Disney plus will allow seven different users to register on one account with streaming available on up to four devices at once.

Each streaming service is a little different so make sure you do your research if you’ve got a big family to cater to.

Do I Need a Fast Internet Connection to Stream?

If you want to watch in high-quality HD or 4k then yes, you’ll need a high-speed internet connection. However, many streaming services offer the option to watch their shows in a lower resolution. 

You can usually stream non-HD shows from about 3Mbps (megabits per second) and Ultra HD from 25Mbps. If you’re not sure what your system can put out, just check your internet speed for free right here.

Does Streaming Use a Lot of Internet Data?

Streaming services are data-hungry. Ultra HD videos can eat up a crazy 7.2GB per hour while regular HD can use between 1GB - 3GB of data per hour. So be very careful and make sure you have an unlimited download package on your home broadband and try limit how much you use your phone for streaming when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi.

Can I Download Content to Watch on the Go Instead?

Many streaming service providers realize that you don’t want to eat up all of your data watching TV when you’re out and about. That’s why most of the big names like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, offer the option to download shows to your mobile device via the apps so you can watch on the go without worry.

Can I Watch in 4K and Ultra HD?

Each streaming service has a list of shows you can watch in ultra HD but not everything is covered. However, the most popular movies and shows are usually compatible. Bear in mind this can also be affected by the plan you’re on. Some basic plans, including Netflix’s, don’t provide high definition at all and you’ll have to pay for a more expensive package.

Are There Any Extra Charges Once I’ve Signed Up?

You should never find any hidden costs once you’ve signed up. Your monthly subscription is all you’ll have to pay. However, many streaming services offer the option to purchase additional content, such as new movie releases or licensed TV shows, for an extra cost. These will always be made clear to you before you purchase, so you should never pay any more than you want to.

Will I Be Locked Into a Contract?

One of the main selling points of VOD services is that your subscription is on a monthly rolling setup. You’ll never be locked into long 18 or 24-month contracts, for example, and you can cancel at any time.

Will I See Ads on My Streaming Service?

You may see ads on some levels of subscription on certain services. Hulu runs limited ads on some of its services and Amazon Prime will place trailers for other shows and movies in between streams. You’ll never see ads for third parties, however.