BASICS Step 07: Streaming Services
Your home is ready, willing, and able to get those outstanding streaming services so what do you do now? Which one do I buy? Are there any free ones? Which one has the stuff I want? Movies, TV shows, podcasts, music, it all seems overwhelming. Like my dad used to say, "It's clear as mud."
Well, it can be overwhelming. You just need to take one step at a time and mush through all of the options to figure out what fits your and your media lifestyle.
I gave grouped TV Shows and Movies together because when we choose the streaming service for TV shows we will probably be choosing that same service for movies. If you have some unusual TV show favorites like a non-English channel, you may end up with two (or more) different programming services so you can get everything you want.
Let's take a look at the most popular streaming services. Keep in mind that some of these services and what they offer change almost on a daily basis. This list represents the most popular but not all of the streaming services.
Which One Do I Choose?
Back in Step 2, you listed what kind of video you want. Movies, TV Shows, specialty programming, and so on. This is your selection guide.
Shop around and see what fits your video wish list. You may end up with 3 or 4 different services to get exactly what you want. Don't overlook the more expensive full content services, they may have just what you want all on one service.
You are not locked in when you make a choice. If you change your mind later, just change your service.
This is a moving target. Services that may be a perfect fit today may change dramatically going forward. Your programming tastes evolve. Keep an eye on the monthly bill and when things start creeping up, start shopping.
Action Item: Must get a streaming media service to replace my Cable TV channels.
What is your budget? New shows, old shows, classic movies, family only, there are a lot of choices out there. Here are four websites, in no particular order. that are dedicated to finding the right streaming service for you. These websites will point you in the right direction
Yidio says, "Yidio's fleet of robots is continuously monitoring hundreds of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Get personalized recommendations and notifications based on TV shows and movies you like to watch. Finding something to watch is a breeze when you can search and browse all your streaming services at once."
Untangle.TV says, "Tell us what you watch and how you watch it. Our cord-cutting wizard analyzes your info. Buy only what you need and save money."
JustWatch says, "Get personal recommendations for movies and TV shows available on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many more."
SUPPOSE says, "Suppose compares billions of combinations of TV services and finds the best for you."
I am laughing as I write this because it really is so confusing. There are so many services, and not only do they offer a tremendous amount of content, but the services seem to change their offerings daily. Choosing a service makes me think of a room full of stockbrokers tracking endless numbers on multiple screens.
Don't overthink it. You have your list of shows that you want to narrow down the list by using your needs. Compare prices, make sure that the service you want works with your streaming device, and then go for it. You are not buying a house; you can always change your mind later.
I have explained that I chose Amazon because I already was an Amazon Prime member, and the media offerings were just part of the package. Turns out that Amazon is a good fit. Additionally, I like PLEX (Step 16-Media Management) which has recently started offering content.
Pick a service and give it a shot. Most of the streaming services have a trial period so you can check it out before you make a commitment. Watch out for the trial period expiration date, if you snooze you lose and may end up paying for something you really don't want. Have fun!
ACTION ITEM: Ask your friends and co-workers about their streaming services
- Which one(s) do they have?
- How do they like them?
- Are they easy to use?
- What is the picture quality like?
- Are they happy to have left Cable TV behind?
You may get some surprising answers. Surprising or not, you will get the honest scoop about streaming services, and that's what you are looking for.
Buy Me A Cup of Coffee
And a doughnut or two, maybe...