The first thing you will most likely think when analyzing streaming TV is that it is very complicated. This is not actually the case. In fact, there is a pretty good possibility you already have everything that you actually need inside the home right now. If you do not, in most situations, you just have to spend a small amount of money, like $50 or even less.
Basically, if you want to take advantage of options like TV choice Spectrum and stream on your TV, you need a good device to actually stream on, a good internet connection, and something that you want to watch.
A Fast Internet Connection
The best possible streaming experience always starts with the internet connection you have. There are actually some specific minimums that you need to be aware of, based on the type of streaming you will do. These are:
- Standard Definition (SD) Streaming – You need a connection of at least 3 Mbps.
- High Definition (HD) Streaming – You need a connection of at least 5 Mbps.
- HDR (or 4K) Streaming – You need a connection of at least 25 Mbps.
If you do not know the type of streaming you will do or want to do, it is always good to opt for the minimums associated with high definition.
The standard definition resolution right now is simply disappearing. The last TV show that was broadcast with the use of SD happened in 2014. Most TV shows and movies are being created in high definition starting from 2009 since the FCC actually mandated the use of digital signals when broadcasting.
Nowadays, there are no SD TV sets being produced. The only streaming service that still offers a standard definition plan is Netflix. This is actually done just to promote the low starting price.
The 4K TV set is exactly the opposite of the standard definition. It offers the very best possible picture and can put huge stress on the internet connection. This is why most TV sets are still HD. And you need to have a minimum of 5 Mbps as a download speed. If more devices are connected all at the same time, you need an even faster connection.
The Streaming Device
After you are sure the internet connection is fast enough, it is time to look at what device you will use for streaming TV. The three very common options are:
- Streaming Devices – For instance, Amazon Fire TV. You can just plug these into the HDMI port of the TV set.
- Smart TVs – These stand out as the most popular option available when you want to access a streaming service. Actually, 30% of people use the method. In the event that you bought a new TV in the past 5 to 10 years, you most likely have a smart TV set.
- Gaming Consoles – When you do not have one, chances are you will end up having to spend over $300 for one. If you do this just to start streaming TV, it is not worth it.
Do You Need A Special Streaming Device?
Streaming devices have two main advantages you may want to take into account. The first one is that you get to access many more services. The second one is that the interface is much more user-friendly. Smart TVs on the other hand come with several streaming apps included. And there is a possibility you cannot add anything extra. For instance, if you want to see something on Disney+ but this is not present on the TV, not much can be done.
We should highlight those streaming devices make it so much easier to change services. And you get to search titles on all the apps you use, which can be advantageous.
Photo by Dario