1) What are the alternatives to cable TV?
Alternatives include live TV streaming services (like YouTube TV or Sling TV), on-demand streaming services (like Netflix or Hulu), and free, ad-supported services (like Peacock or Pluto TV).
2) What is Streaming?
Streaming is the process of continuously sending data, typically audio or video, from a server to a client, allowing the client to start using the data before the entire file has been transmitted.
3) What is a streaming subscription?
A streaming subscription is a recurring payment, usually monthly or annually, that gives you access to a streaming service’s content.
4) Is Streaming legal?
Yes, streaming from a legitimate service like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime is perfectly legal. Streaming from unauthorized sources can be illegal.
5) What is “cord cutting”?
Cord-cutting refers to the trend of consumers cancelling their traditional cable or satellite TV subscriptions in favor of streaming services.
6) What is a “streaming war”?
The “streaming war” refers to the competition between various streaming services to attract new subscribers.
7) Can I share my streaming account with others?
This varies by service. Some allow it, often with restrictions, while others don’t.
8) How much data does Streaming use?
This depends on the quality of the stream. For example, streaming an hour of standard definition video on Netflix uses about 1 GB of data. High definition can use up to 3 GB per hour.
9) Do you need a satellite to stream?
No. You need an internet connection.
10) What’s the difference between streaming and downloading?
When you stream content, you’re viewing it in real-time as it’s sent over the internet. When you download, you’re saving the content to your device to view later.
11) Can I download shows from streaming services to watch offline?
Many services, like Netflix and Amazon Prime, do allow you to download some content to watch offline.
12) What is a streaming device?
A streaming device, like a Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, or Apple TV, connects your television to the internet to allow streaming.
13) What’s the difference between a streaming app and a streaming device?
A streaming app is a software application for watching content from a streaming service, while a streaming device is a piece of hardware that allows you to stream content on your TV.
14) Can I stream on multiple devices at once?
This depends on the service. Many, like Netflix, allow multiple simultaneous streams for an additional fee.
15) Do I need a smart TV to stream?
No, a streaming device can turn any TV with an HDMI port into a smart TV.
16) Is streaming easy?
Yes. It’s different to cable or satellite. But once you get accustomed to the interface or the guide, you will wish you had done it sooner.
17) Is it easy to switch from traditional satellite or cable to streaming?
Yes. There is no need to set up an appointment with a cable installer to set up cable boxes.
18) What do I need to start streaming?
You need a supported device, a high-speed internet connection and a subscription to your favorite streaming service. Keep in mind, there are many streaming services that don’t even require a subscription.
19) What internet speed should I have?
Internet speeds of at least 8Mbps or more is recommended for the best quality at home. If you are watching on 3 devices, you should have at least 3 x 8Mbps or 24Mbps of internet speed.
On mobile devices, you should have at least 150Kbps to 2.5Mbps for standard-definition or 2.5 to 7.5Mbps for high-definition streaming.
20) What is cloud DVR?
Cloud DVR gives you the ability to record live TV and play it back on your own time. You can fast forward and rewind your recorded content.
21) Can I record shows on streaming services?
Many live TV streaming services offer cloud DVR, which lets you record shows to watch later
22) Can I watch on multiple devices at the same time?
Many streaming services allow you to stream on more than one device with many allowing up to 3 devices. If you wish to stream on more than 3, you can, by paying more.
23) Can I get news channels on streaming services?
Yes, many live TV streaming services include news channels.
24) Can I watch sports on a streaming service?
Yes, many services offer live sports, and some, like ESPN+ and FuboTV, specialize in sports.
25) Do streaming services offer free trials?
Many services offer free trials, though the length and terms vary.
26) Can I cancel a streaming service at any time?
Most streaming services operate on a month-to-month basis and allow you to cancel at any time.
27) Do I have to sign a contract?
No. Currently, there are no contracts and you can cancel any time without cancellation fees.
28) What is ad-supported streaming?
Ad-supported streaming services are free or discounted in exchange for showing ads during the content.
29) What’s the difference between ad-free and ad-supported plans?
Ad-free plans cost more but have no ads, while ad-supported plans are cheaper or free but include ads.
30) Can I skip ads on streaming services?
On some services with an ad-free plan, yes. On others, you’ll have to watch ads.
31) What is original content on streaming services?
Original content refers to shows and movies a streaming service produces exclusively for its platform. It can’t be used by another streaming service unless there is an agreement.
32) What’s the difference between Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime?
These are all streaming services but they have different libraries of content, pricing structures, and additional features. For example, Amazon Prime also offers free shipping on Amazon orders.
33) What is the difference between Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, and Apple TV?
These are all streaming devices, but they have different interfaces, features, and app availability.
34) What is live TV streaming?
Live TV streaming is the digital distribution of television content via the internet in real-time.
35) Can I get local channels from my streaming service like CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS and FOX?
Some services, like YouTube TV, Hulu Live, and Sling TV, offer local channels in many areas while other streaming services don’t provide any local networks. We always recommend you separately purchase an HDTV antenna.
36) What’s the difference between on-demand and live streaming?
On-demand streaming lets you watch content whenever you want, while live streaming occurs in real time.
37) Can I pause live TV on streaming services?
Many live TV streaming services do allow you to pause, but it varies by service and sometimes by the specific channel or show.
38) Why does my stream keep buffering?
Buffering is usually caused by a slow or unstable internet connection.
39) Why is my streaming quality poor?
This can be due to a slow or unstable internet connection, or it could be a problem with the streaming service or your device.
40) How can I improve my streaming quality?
Ensure your internet connection is stable and fast enough for streaming. You might also try restarting your device or re-installing the streaming app.
41) What is streaming latency?
Latency refers to the delay between when a video is transmitted and when it appears on your screen. Lower latency is better for live events.
42) What is a VPN and why would I use one for streaming?
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. A VPN can help protect your data, and it can also make it appear as if you’re browsing from a different location, which can be helpful for accessing region-restricted content.
43) Can I use parental controls on streaming services?
Most services offer parental controls which can restrict access to mature content.
44) What is 4k streaming?
4K streaming refers to streaming video in 4K resolution, which is a very high-definition format with four times the number of pixels as standard 1080p HD.
45) What streaming service offers 4k?
Many services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, offer some content in 4K.
46) What’s the difference between SD, HD, and UHD?
These refer to video quality. SD is standard definition, HD is high definition (usually 720p or 1080p), and UHD (or 4K) is ultra-high definition.
47) Can I use streaming services on my phone or tablet?
Yes, most services have apps for various platforms, including smartphones and tablets.
48) Can I use streaming services on my computer?
Yes, most services allow streaming directly in a web browser.
49) Do streaming services offer closed captioning?
Yes, most streaming services offer closed captioning or subtitles.
50) What is binge-watching?
Binge-watching is the act of watching multiple episodes of a TV show in one sitting.
51) Why do streaming services remove shows and movies?
Services often license content for a specific period. When the license expires, they may not renew it.
52) Is streaming cheaper than having satellite or cable TV?
It’s the $100,000 question. Let’s break it down.
The average cable bill in 2022 was $217/month. It’s even more now. You should be able to keep your streaming costs below that figure if, and I stress if, you keep it simple.
It means going with one or two paid streaming services. The monthly cost for a live TV streaming service is between $20-$89/month.
In addition, you have to pay for your monthly internet connection. The average internet bill is $60/month.
Add those two figures up, you get a total of between $80-$149/month, which is still below the average cable bill.
However, if you add two or more paid streaming services, your bill will begin to look more like a traditional cable bill.
In our household, we have one premium service coupled with a bunch of free ones and we are very happy.
53) What is an OTT service?
OTT, or “over-the-top,” refers to any streaming service that provides content over the internet.
54) Can I use a streaming service when traveling abroad?
This varies by service. Some allow it, while others restrict content based on your location.
55) Why is a show available in one country but not another?
Licensing agreements often vary by country, so a show might be available on a service in one country but not in another.
56) What is geo-blocking in streaming services?
Geo-blocking restricts access to content based on the user’s geographical location.
57) Why am I seeing black bars on the top and bottom/sides of the screen?
This is because the aspect ratio of the video doesn’t match your screen. It’s normal and doesn’t affect video quality.
How to watch TV without cable or satellite, can be read here
4 things cable companies don’t want you to know about antennas, here
How to rescan your TV, here
How to reduce your cable bill, here