June 14, 2021
It’s streaming season again (i.e., it's too hot to go outside), so let’s take a moment to talk about live TV streaming. You’ve probably heard the term but may not know for sure what it’s all about. Live TV streaming is actually a lot like your typical cable subscription, minus one major thing—the contract. Plus, many of the services have a free trial period, so you can try before you buy. Once you pick a live TV streaming service, you can typically sign up quickly online, and assuming you have the appropriate device, start streaming immediately.
With your subscription, you are given access to specific channels. Each streaming service has a different selection of channels, so you will need to take some time to make sure the service you’re interested in has all the channels you love to watch. Just like with a cable package, shows will air at their normal time, and that’s when you get to watch. There are a few live TV services that also come with on-demand content (24/7 access to anything that is already available on the service, often full seasons of TV shows) as well as the ability to record, pause, or rewind shows.
There are several live TV streaming services available, and prices vary anywhere from free (yes, really) to over $100 per month. Making the choice to switch to live TV streaming from a cable contract may not necessarily be a less expensive option, so definitely take some time to do your research. Also, there may be some additional costs for streaming devices if you don’t already have the necessary setup.
If you’re curious about live TV streaming, here are some of the more popular options you might want to check out while you’re doing your research:
If you’d like to learn more about live TV streaming, or any video streaming, tune into the Library’s virtual event Not Quite Cable: Live TV Streaming on June 16 at 1:00 p.m. on the MCPL360 Facebook page. The program will also be available afterward on the Library’s YouTube channel. There are also all kinds of books on OverDrive (which can also be used as a streaming video service!) and some past blogs that might be helpful!
Consumer Technology Specialist