Remember the days of purchasing movies and tv series on DVD and manually loading them into your home theater system? In those days, you had to find what you wanted in a store or order it online and wait. You may still have a closet full of disks that you’re unsure if you should keep or donate. Today, streaming services allow you to watch virtually anything you want without storing the video physically or in the cloud. The challenge is figuring out how to select the best streaming services for your family to manage the subscription fees within your budget.
Live Streaming Television versus Streaming Services:
Streaming television offer consumers alternatives to traditional cable services. Some of the most popular include Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, DirectTV Stream, and YouTube TV. Each of these offers its unique blend of television programming. For example, Hulu + Live TV offers some local channels along with sports and entertainment networks, while fuboTV is almost exclusively sports channels. Pluto.tv is a free option providing a large selection of live channels in addition to on-demand programming. The cost for most platforms ranges from $65 to $100 per month.
Streaming services, on the other hand, offer primarily on-demand movies and television programming. Often current television shows are available to stream on-demand the day after they are released on network tv. The two oldest popular platforms are Netflix and Hulu. At one time, viewers could find almost any movie or television show on one of the two. Today, there is a wide variety of streaming services, and many are connected to network channels such as Peacock (NBC), Paramount+, and HBO Max. Most of these services have subscription fees, typically between $4.99 and $20 per month.
While many consumers may turn to streaming services to reduce cable expenses, it’s easy to see how these subscription fees can add up quickly. These services automatically charge their fees to a credit card or other online payment account, so many are unaware of how much they spend each month. On top of that, you may pay more for internet services without including it in a bundle with cable television.
Tips for Managing Your Streaming Service Expenses:
- Consider how much you watch television and movies. You’ll get more value for your dollar with many streaming television services if you find your family watches television and movies more often. If you rarely watch network television but prefer on-demand, perhaps a free live service like Pluto.tv plus your favorite on-demand services is right for you.
- Track which shows you watch now. Note the shows and networks you watch most frequently now so you can determine the best platform to continue watching them on with a streaming service. There’s no reason to subscribe to those that you rarely enjoy.
- Take advantage of free trials, but don’t forget to cancel the ones you don’t want. Free trials usually require you to provide a credit card number, so they will automatically start charging for the subscription when the free trial runs out. It could be a while before you realize you’re paying for them if you forget about them.
- Decide if you care about commercials. Many streaming services provide a cheaper version that includes commercials. If you can sit through them, this is an excellent way to save some money. The “commercial breaks” are often not nearly as long as they are with regular television.
- Pay for them when you want them. Unlike traditional cable, these services don’t charge setup and cancellation fees. Sign up for them when you want to watch something and cancel them when you’re not using them.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your home theater experience, visit Accurate Electronic Interiors.
At Accurate Electronic Interiors, we’ll help you create the perfect environment to view television and movies in your home theater. We are Southern Oregon’s first choice in home theater and SMART home electronics design and installation. Our teams install quality electronic systems that seamlessly automate your home theater, window coverings, lighting, outlets, surveillance system, and more. Visit our showroom or give us a call to learn more about how we can make your life easier.