Tips on using TV streaming services
By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)
Originally published by Cox Media Group on 6/15/20
If you haven’t already checked out streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or YouTube, you might want to give it a try!
Though my company mostly helps with computers, lately more customers have been requesting help with streaming. It could be because most of us are sticking close to home these days and possibly getting tired of the usual cable channels. Whether you plan on keeping cable/satellite TV or not, streaming gives you a lot of choices for movies, shows, videos, and music.
Here are some tips to consider if you want to give it a try:
Check your streaming capabilities: First, you need some device that supports the streaming services. You most likely already have one: a computer, smartphone, or tablet. You can access and watch nearly all the streaming services right from your computer or mobile device, but you probably won’t find that as comfortable as watching on the TV. However, if you’re just getting started with streaming and just want to try it out, maybe consider using the computer or mobile device temporarily until you set it up on the TV.
Your TV itself might have apps for streaming services if it’s a smart TV, and many DVD and Blu-ray players also have them. Take a look at your controllers as some have Netflix or YouTube buttons directly on the remote. You can also try a Home or Menu button to see if you can get to the main menu of the TV or player, where you might find access to streaming apps.
There are many cable and satellite boxes that support them, but I think in the Dayton area it’s really only Dish satellite that offers streaming apps on their boxes.
Yet another way to utilize streaming services is through a gaming console like Xbox or Play- Station, but I only suggest that if you’re used to using the gaming controller.
If needed, buy a streaming device: If your current TV or DVD/Blu-ray player isn’t “smart,” you can buy a device that connects to your TV and gives you access to many different streaming services.
Examples include Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV. These devices each support many different streaming services.
Connect your streaming device to the Internet: Whatever is playing, the streaming content must be connected to the Internet. If your Internet modem or router is nearby, it’s best to hardwire the device to it if the device has an Ethernet port. If that’s not possible, then you should be able to connect the device to the Internet wirelessly if you have Wi-Fi.
Check content each streaming service provides: There are many streaming services out there. Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu are the most popular and each requires a separate paid subscription if you want to watch them. However, Amazon Prime and Hulu allow you to at least browse and search to see what content they have before subscribing. You- Tube offers a free service if you don’t mind the ads or commercials, so you can always check out their content.
Evaluate your Internet speeds: Streaming video requires much more Internet speed or power than web surfing and email do. Most cable Internet connections these days should work fine, but you may have issues if using a slower DSL-based connection (like from AT&T, Earthlink or Frontier). If you do have issues, check if you can upgrade your plan. You’ll likely have better luck when using cable Internet from Spectrum or a fiberbased connection like from AT&T U-verse or MetroNet.
Get help from a techie if needed: If you need assistance and your family can’t help, most computer techs can assist with TV and Internet streaming. We can check what your current equipment supports and help get it connected or help set up a third-party streaming device.