Tips on Picking the Right Streaming Platform
Streaming companies, against all odds, have become a significant source of entertainment. A streaming platform like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video usually comes with a subscription model. Users get access to on-demand and 100% licensed content for a monthly fee. Since these services have huge subscriber bases, they also have the infrastructure to back them up. The lack of buffering, huge content libraries, and ease of use have all contributed to their popularity. But how do you choose the right one? Learn more about picking the right streaming service near you based on some helpful tips. Here’s what you need to know.
Different Streaming Platforms have Different Offerings
First things first, all platforms are not the same. Netflix and Amazon Prime follow an on-demand model. But even they differ in their approach. Netflix typically appeals to binge-watchers since it releases entire seasons in one go. On the other hand, Amazon follows a weekly episode format for new season releases. Then there are streaming services that offer more than just on-demand libraries. Hulu Live, for instance, offers a live TV component. This makes it very popular among users moving beyond cable TV altogether.
Other platforms have libraries full of limited but very exclusive content. Disney+ has all the content under the Disney Corp. Umbrella. That includes Marvel, Lucasfilm, and many other popular shows and movies. Similarly, HBO Max grants users access to exclusive premium HBO original content, sports events, and legacy TV shows.
Some Platforms May Not Work in Your Area
Before you sign up for a new subscription, make sure it is available in your area. Many streaming services, like HBO Max, are not available outside of the United States. Similarly, Disney+ only works in select countries across the world. Even Hulu Live may not deliver many US broadcast networks outside of the country.
This can make life difficult for the avid streamer. You can’t access the content that you want. And in many cases, you can’t join a virtual watch party, either. Using a VPN could potentially bypass restrictions. But you run the risk of a blocked subscription if found out. Therefore, be very sure about availability in your area when signing up for a new service.
Platforms May or May Not Support All Devices
Another key factor that should be a part of your decision is device support. Most streaming services work on popular operating systems like Windows, Android, and iOS/Mac. But that does not mean they support all devices. And it also does not account for the fact that every user can have their unique preferences when it comes to devices. Some may be used to watching content on their phone screens. Others may prefer to use a gaming console with the right apps, such as using Netflix on PS4 streaming. There is a range of devices that most popular platforms support. But there may always be the chance that a particular platform does not offer support for your preferred device. If so, you may want to choose another platform.
Multiple Subscription Fees Can Strain Budgets
Think of all the services you subscribe to. You may have a Netflix account for some great original TV shows. But you may have an Amazon account in parallel for content that isn’t on Netflix. And you may have a Disney+ subscription for content that you can’t legally access anywhere else. It’s great to have so many choices. But don’t overlook the subscription costs. Each service subscription represents hundreds of dollars in annual fees. When you rationalize it, you may find that the costs of all your streaming subscriptions far exceed the average Spectrum TV packages and prices.
Content Libraries Vary Based on Server Location
We saw above how certain streaming companies operate in certain areas. But even if you have their services available, you may not have access to the same content. Remember, many of these streaming giants operate across continents. And it can become impractical to have a single server location to handle so many users. Therefore, most companies have specific servers to address specific locations or regions. So, a Netflix user in India, for example, would have access to a different library than a user in Belgium. The type and volume of available content should play a big role in your decision.
Your Entertainment Tastes Should Drive Your Choice
Finally, the most important factor in your choice is your unique entertainment needs. You are the best judge of what type of content you want. You could be a sports buff, a reality show junkie, a documentary binger, or all three. Ultimately, you will need to assess the type of content each service offers. Prioritize the ones with a content library closest to your tastes. After all, there is no point in a monthly subscription if you intend to only watch one show.
How you choose to view content is also a big factor here. Streaming services let you watch content on a range of supported devices. But that point is no longer unique. Most cable providers now have similar tech, such as the Spectrum TV app. So, if you choose a streaming service simply to get entertainment beyond the TV screen, know that you can do the same with a good cable TV subscription.
Be very careful when choosing a streaming subscription. The signing up bit is easy. But make sure to put in a lot of thought before acting on it. Your entertainment gratification depends on it!