First world problems: stuck in a class while your favorite television show is on, being bored with no cable where you live. No worries; technology has made it possible for you to solve these issues with streaming TV. How does each option for streaming compare? What effect does this technology have on the television world?
Streaming TV has changed the way the public gets their fill of viewing an array of television shows. Everyone has different lifestyles, and having the option to view what and when you want is very appealing, especially for college students.
Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon and AppleTV are some of the most popular methods of streaming. Each has different features and appeal to audiences in a different way.
Netflix offers unlimited viewing of an ever-expanding selection of television shows and movies for $7.99 per month without advertising. It is available on almost any Internet capable device, including, but not limited to, PC/Mac, Wii, iPhone, iPad, Windows devices and Android on the way. They also just added a new feature where you can have different profiles if you are sharing an account with your family or a roommate.
Hulu Plus is an expansion of the popular site Hulu.com and allows viewing of currently running series and more at the same price as Netflix. Access is also available on about the same devices as Netflix. This service has advertising, which tends to repeat each time the ads come up.
Amazon is a newer streaming service currently available through web browsers and a small selection of connected devices. They have old and new movies and current TV shows, all of which are typically charged by view for a small fee
iTunes’ streaming capability is similar to that of Amazon’s. They have current TV shows, new releases and other movies available for purchase or rent. Apple products, including portable ones, are available to view the desired content.
Netflix has a lot of pull for me. I can watch it on all my devices. I can access my account anywhere I have Internet. I can have captions that aren’t obnoxious, no ads and all for a pretty good price. Granted, I have not tried any other streaming method besides searching Google for some random place to find an episode, so I don’t have much to base my judgment on, but I have no complaints.
While having the option to stream shows at your convenience is great for the public, what does it mean for the television industry? Measuring the popularity of a show based on how many people were tuned in on their television used to be easy. That process has become more difficult because of the Internet. The industry is having issues knowing how well their show is doing. Solutions are being discovered, so that should soon not be an issue. Another concern with online streaming is the advertising. We are used to getting what we want, when we want it, and as fast as possible. That attitude will skip as many ads. A balance must be found to please viewers and keep up with the needs of the producers.
Online streaming can be a great tool for those that want flexibility in their viewing and has the potential to attract more attention since the content can be accessed after the live release. On the other hand, the television industry must discover new ways to meet their requirements while keeping us as viewers happy.