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Chris O’Brien at SiliconBeat recently wrote an article about his cord-cutting experiment, which brought in a flood of tips, questions and other valuable information from his readers we thought we would pass along. Thanks, Chris, and keep the 411 coming!
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There is a growing interest among people fed up with being held for ransom by the high cost of subscription bundled TV programming to move to the darkside and cut the cord on their cable TV subscriptions. The current average cost of having hundreds of worthless channels delivered to our homes so that we can watch the ten coveted channels we’re really after is around $90 per month. Analysts are predicting that to continue to rise every year until by 2020 we are paying upwards of $200 per month. Some of you are thinking, “I am already paying close to this!”
More and more people are actually taking the plunge and cutting the cord. Nielsen, the group that tracks consumer viewing habits, says that over 5 million households have opted to be cable (or satellite) TV free. While this number might seem small when you consider there are about 108 milion households, that 5 million number is up nearly 23% from 2010. That is clearly a trend.
If you are itching to be part of that trend, there are a few things you should be aware of up front. For some people, these issues will not be a problem, but others may have to find alternative sources or even sacrifice. It’s important to begin with educating yourself on what’s required to stream. Click here to read the whole article.
While our goal at this website is to encourage people to give streaming services a try and experience their benefits, we would be doing you a serious disservice if we didn’t regularly sound the trumpet about managing your data plans. Most wireline internet providers (DSL and cable) as well as mobile data plans have limits on how much data you can consume within one month. Lots of people find this out the hard way when they discover streaming, and end up with some type of penalty.
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Movie streaming checklist helps you to define and understand your options. We define movie streaming vs. downloading, and provide a useful checklist for easy review.
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Consumer rumblings have been getting louder and louder about the ridiculously high cost of pay tv content. In fact, analysts have been reporting that consumers can expect to pay an average of $200 per month for cable TV by the year 2020. Many other news sources have noted that cord cutting is not a myth. Millions of people have abandoned the traditional model that has dominated the marketplace for several decades.
So what is stopping people from a major revolt? Content. The pay TV model is still the most convenient, and the best source, for the highest quality content, most people would agree.
But there are several “cord trimmers” who only keep cable around to gain easy access to local programming, perhaps because messing around with antennas is to much hassle, or more importantly, because the antennas are located too far away to pick up the programming they are interested in. But rest assured, these consumers are avid fans of services that provide online TV shows & movies for a modest monthly price. Learn more about these services here http://www.streaming-411.com/
Last month we reported on a new service being launched in New York City. In fact, if Aereo beats legal battles, it will rock for consumers! But, because they are rebroadcasting content via the internet without permission, it will be awhile before the legal system will settle this dilemma. However, there is a content provider that has been quietly building legal relationships within various markets for the rebroadcast of content, which will be able to be accessed through streaming media devices like your Roku player for starters. Atlanta-based Skitter TV is up and running in the Portland area, where consumers can view NBC, ABC, CBS and other local programming.
Learn more about Roku here http://www.streaming-411.com/roku.htm
The ways in which we are accessing content, and how will will access it in the future, are rapidly transitioning. There is so much choice available to consumers right now, that it can be extremely confusing to sort through it. But this is the best time to educate yourself, while things are in a state of flux and the clear choices will emerge in the next few years. A good rule of thumb right now is to not invest in a big ticket item if you don’t want to get stuck with a depreciating asset (unless you have money to spare, that is). Remember the Beta and VHS wars of the past?
Streaming and IPTV are not interchangeable terms. There are devices, such as high definition TV sets that are internet-connected, that can engage in both streaming as well as IPTV technology. It’s also important to note that IPTV is not available everywhere. In fact, availability is fairly limited in the United States. However, streaming is literally available to anyone with a broadband connection 3 Mbps and above.
Many of us believe that Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is simply a way to stream high definition versions of content online. While certainly you can set up to stream on an internet-connected television set, IPTV technology is not simply an overpriced, high definition streaming media player. Internet protocol technology powers many devices – your computer, your mobile device, and now, your television set.
IPTV service has to be subscribed to from an internet provider, and you must live within an area where they have expanded their fiber optic networks, in some cases, all the way to your doorstep. The fiber optics are instrumental in delivering the top quality experience of IPTV. Examples include Verizon FiOS and AT&T Uverse in the United States.
You can expect three kinds of content delivered via IPTV – live television options, video on demand, and time-shifted programming, which allows you to access content that has already begun and rewind it to the beginning. Standard DVR technology will not allow that unless you already had the channel up and running when the program started. It is the time-shifted programming that sets IPTV apart from a standard cable or satellite TV subscription. The pricing is similar to a cable TV subscription, albeit a bit more expensive. Satellite TV is still the lowest priced option.
When people throw around the term streaming, they usually are referring to accessing content from the internet and viewing it on their computer, mobile device, or TV set that has a streaming media player attached or built-in. Popular streaming services include Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and VUDU. IPTV and streaming can co-exist in one home. Streaming is very inexpensive, and streaming libraries are much larger than the on demand content that IPTV provides. However, subscription television providers tend to get new releases far sooner than streaming services. That is one of the reasons why it is so much more expensive than streaming services subscriptions.
The value of streaming lies in being able to access, on demand, entire past seasons of TV shows, as well as current programming. Where it lacks in new movie releases, it more than makes up for in television content. It can be an excellent way to keep yourself entertained on a budget, or it can also be a great supplement to your current television and movie options.
Simplistically, Smart TV enables you to have access to social media, chat with other viewers of the show you’re watching, have advertising targeted to your viewing habits, and much more while watching television. It is meant to make television a much more social experience. This technology is still in its infancy, but you can dabble in it both through IPTV (such as with Verizon FiOS and the ability to surf the internet through your TV set and access social media) and streaming technologies like Google TV that allow you to access apps for social media. However, true Smart TV that you can purchase off the shelf will continue to be a work in progress that is largely dependent on demand. Our thought is that it will not take off until we have a serious economic upturn.
What can you do in the interim? Keep the TV set that you have, and utilize a streaming media player to access content online unless you already have an internet-enabled television set. If you want to dabble in more smart TV technology, you can opt for a device that uses Google TV technology, which is considered quite powerful and effective, even though it’s still a bit buggy.
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If you have a den, basement, or extra room in your house, you may want to consider turning that room into a home theater. A home theater can be a wonderful space your entire family will love. You will have the ability to watch your favorite films in the comfort of your own home. A home theater space doesn’t have to be expensive. Home theaters are more popular than ever, making it easy to find hundreds of retailers. With a little research, you can find quality viewing equipment, furniture, and decorative products all at a low, affordable cost.
A great place to begin your research for home theater equipment and furniture is the internet. The internet is a great place to find hundreds of manufacturers and retailers that sell specific home theater products. You can find thousands of items and read up on information and reviews to see what other customers like best. The downside of using the internet is not being able to see the items firsthand. Also, if you order big pieces of furniture or equipment, you will have to pay a lot to have them delivered. It is great to use the internet to find local retailers.
If you want to shop in your local community, you can probably find everything you need in major chain stores. When you begin to shop for viewing screens, speakers, and surround sound options, visit your local Best Buy or Fry’s. Stores that sell electronics and appliances are always your best option. They will have the largest selections of flat screens and sound devices. These locations are also great because you can go into the stores and test products before you buy them. If you are unsure of what to get, professional staff should be able to give you helpful advice.
Next, you will probably want to shop for home theater furniture. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on home theater chairs. For comfort, all you need is a nice couch or recliner. You can even be creative and do throw pillows on the floor. Finding comfortable seating for your space can be done just about anywhere. Your local furniture stores are the best way to start. If you do want to spend more money and get something that is more like a real theater chair, look for manufacturers online. Many merchants allow customization of theater chairs. This means you can have them designed in whatever material, style, and color you desire.
Finding the right furniture and equipment for your home theater space is easy. It will be more affordable than you think.