Online broadcast options for insiders | 2021
Be good. Rewind! It’s a phrase so old and strange in today’s world of Blu-ray, Video on Demand and streaming over the Internet that it makes no sense to most of this generation. Let’s consider how popular this phrase would be if you were there to try out the clunky rectangle that is VHS tape. Your entertainment was counting on drives to your local Blockbuster Video to check out the latest releases or old favorites. I, myself, remember how on the nerves of my younger brother I was for “squandering” my only rent at Child’s Play for the tenth time. What can I say? I loved the bullshit that scared me when I was a kid. So as the years have progressed, we’ve gone from virtually screening movies to pay-per-view VOD from the comfort of our home, to what is now the most popular source of entertainment, online streaming and instant downloads.
To be able to stream movies and TV shows instantly from your couch is what made online streaming a successful business. Besides being convenient, you can actually watch any movie or TV show you want in a matter of minutes. Think about the time when you used to show up in a video store and the movie you wanted to rent had already been checked out. Either they didn’t have enough copies or it was a new version and everyone wanted to watch it. Online broadcasting eliminates this problem. What you are facing now is the decision on which service is best for your needs.
Let’s start with Netflix. The popular online streaming service relies on three plan options: Basic, Standard, and Premium. All options offer unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows at $8 to $12 per month with an additional option to add on DVD rentals. Watching Netflix is easy when you can access it on the go via your smartphone and tablet, or at home through your laptop or video game console, such as the Xbox One. Netflix has thousands of movie and TV show options and regularly adds new movies to give subscribers more of what they want. With the popularity of this service, Netflix has branched out and produced its own TV shows known as Netflix Originals, like the Daredevil series that premiered last April.
Another option is Amazon Prime Instant Video. This option is the benefit of being an Amazon Prime member. Amazon Prime is $100 per year, and $8.25 per month, which ends up being a great value especially if you shop on Amazon a lot. They hold almost the same Netflix movies and also have their own produced shows called Amazon Studio Exclusives. The viewing options are also similar to Amazon Prime Instant Video, which can be accessed through other devices in addition to Amazon’s Fire TV. One of the features that Netflix excels at is the option to rent non-free movies through Prime as well as the ability to purchase movies that are instantly downloaded to your account. This gives you a better choice in areas that may lack Netflix.
If Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video are topping the movie streaming game, Hulu Plus is dominant when it comes to streaming TV shows. At $7.99 per month, Hulu Plus has a better TV program catalog than the previous two streaming services and still offers a few full-length movies. This subscription service is for people who want to watch old shows as well as those that are currently streaming in real time. Hulu Plus releases new episodes of shows that are currently showing days or sometimes hours after they air on TV. It gives you the convenience of watching your shows later, or lets you catch up when you’re late. Hulu Plus is a good supplement to add to the previous two to give you more variety in your TV show choices.
Depending on whether you have an iPhone or run Android, some options for downloading content can also open. They may not be the most popular option, or the cheapest, but they carry a wide selection for about the same price. Both the iTunes and Google Play Stores offer newly released and older materials, and all content is paid, rented, or purchased. YouTube has also gotten into the business of renting or buying movies.
For me, and I’m sure many others, online streaming and instant downloading have changed the way I get the content I want. No more leaving the video store or Redbox kiosk empty-handed, or leaving my house for a while. Everything is within my reach. Who says that in the future I can’t stream movies instantly in a car that drives itself? It’s sure to make those long trips more bearable.