How to stream like a pro: Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku


– So, I’ve never paid
for cable but I’m still able to watch everything that I want to. A bunch of TV shows, movies. I’m watching Westworld on HBO right now. You probably already know this, but you save a ton of money by streaming everything you want instead of paying for cable. And I’m not talking about
pirating things either. Going the streaming route, lets you be a lot more selective about what you get, and what you don’t. And that can save you a bunch of money. The average cable bill
is over $100 a month, but there are some decisions to make, especially if you get a lot of channels. It’s not as easy as
just calling up Comcast and Verizon and asking
them to turn your service. But if you’re thinking of going the streaming route, the fact is that you don’t have to miss out on a lot, and you can save a lot of money. Okay, so first, we need
to talk about hardware. But before we even get to streaming, one thing you should know is that you can still get a number of channels for free using a digital antennae. Seriously, it’s legal
and it’s like 20 bucks. But, this is old school TV. It’s in order, with ads. There’s no DVR, no on demand. So, that’s really helpful because it’s free and always available, but it’s not going to be as convenient as streaming. Alright, so what do you need to stream? You already know how to do it on your phone or your computer, but the real goal is to
get these shows on your TV. And, if you already have a smart TV, then you’re basically set. If you have something that can play Netflix or Hulu, or has an app store that lets you
download those apps, then you’re good to go. And if your smart TV is really confusing, then don’t worry about it. Everybody who doesn’t have a smart TV, like myself, you’re just going to have to buy a streaming box. And, that box will probably have a better, easier interface. I’ve got a Samsung TV from 2012 with absolutely no smart features. And so to get streaming, I have two boxes hooked up to it. I have an Apple TV, and a Chromecast. You don’t need both, I’m just a nerd. The Chromecast is super cheap. It’s like $35, but it
doesn’t have an interface. Seriously, you turn it on and there’ just nothing. You control it all through your phone. So, it’s a little confusing and I really wouldn’t recommend
it for most people. My favorite is the Apple TV. I don’t even have the newest one. My model is from 2012,
and it still works fine. If you have a 4K TV though, make sure you get the newest model. And if you’re not a big Apple fan, Roku also makes some really
nice streaming boxes. All of these devices will let you stream whatever service you want, you’ll just have to go and look for it. You’ll usually have to browse app by app to see what’s available, which can be a little slow and frustrating if you’re used to live channel surfing. But I definitely prefer it. It’s certainly quieter. And that’s pretty much it. The next step is to pick which services you want to pay for. But, before we get into that, let’s talk for second about why streaming services are so complicated. Because, they’re supposed to be a dream. Where you pay for just what you wanted and nothing you didn’t. It’s really not that at all. Sure, you can subscribe
to Netflix and Hulu on their own, but that’s
just like HBO and Starz. They’re basically premium cable channels, that stand on their own. And, yeah, you can rent anything you want from iTunes, but that’s basically just a modern DVD store. If you actually want
to stream traditional, live TV, then you’re still going to be stuck with a bundle. Why is that? The problem is TV is expensive, and TV networks know they can make more money by
selling channels together. So, Viacom might require your cable provider to offer MTV,
BET, and VH1 together. Even if it just wants MTV. Do that over and over and over again, and suddenly, you’re at the 200 some channel cable package you have today. Streaming TV isn’t that bad. It still has bundles,
but streaming services know that consumers are
looking for smaller packages, and so they don’t get too out of hand. But it gets tricky when
you bring in sports. Sports are really popular,
and really expensive, and rights for them usually end up spread across a bunch
of different networks. That means streaming
services have to out of their way to get certain
games, and you’ll have to go out of your way to make sure you pick the services that have what you want. Alright. So what services should
you actually subscribe to? What’s too much, and what’s too little? Right now, I’m subscribed to Amazon, Hulu, and HBO and I’m mooching
off of Netflix account. Between those, I have
access to most of the TV shows people are talking about, and some huge back catalogs to watch. I actually don’t think any one service is amazing for movies, so I like to rent them off of iTunes. They’re like three to five bucks a piece, and just doing that once a week, is still going to be cheaper than subscribing to another service. OK, so that works for
me, but what about you? What if you’re watching a ton TV shows on a bunch of different channels? Are you still gonna be able to go the streaming route and save money? The answer is, probably, as long as you’re watching stuff on major networks. Hulu has a live TV service with 50 some channels for $40 a month. Sling TV offers even smaller packages. One starts at $20 and comes with a bunch major channels you might not be missing out on a lot, including
AMC, ESPN, and CNN. AT&T says it’s going to start an even cheaper service at $15 a month. Being able to choose from smaller plans is a really great opportunity to figure out which channels actually need, and pare down on the ones that you don’t. All of these streaming services are available on the streaming boxes I was talking about earlier. They’re going to be more expensive than just paying for Netflix or Hulu, but the point is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just
these newer streaming services. You can still get old fashioned TV, and you can do that while spending less than you would on cable. OK, but the big question is sports, and yeah, with steaming services, that can get complicated. It’s going to depend on what sports you care about, which
teams you’re following, and where you live. If you’re fine with just watching some primetime and playoff games then any streaming service that just provides the major broadcast networks and ESPN will probably get the job done. Most sports leagues offer their own streaming services, so if you’re really serious about catching everything, you should check those out. But, just keep in mind, they’re pretty expensive and they have a lot of restrictions on them, like game blackouts. So, be sure to read up on
that before you sign up. And keep in mind, if you
get a digital antennae, like I mentioned earlier,
you’ll probably have the network that’s
broadcasting your local team. So, that covers TV, movies, sports, and the streaming boxes
to watch it all on. There might be a little bit of a learning curve at first,
but it’s really not that hard. And in the long run, you’re
going to be saving money. You won’t miss out on any of
the seasons biggest shows. Hey, thanks for watching, this part of our new series, Workflow. Let us know what you
thought in the comments, and be sure to check out our
new channel, Verge Science.

Danny Hutson

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