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What to think of when watching/streaming movies online

by Cara

Before you join the online community that doesn’t use cable TV for watching their favorite programs, there are options you must consider. Most of these considerations are evaluations and also options that will enable you to make the right decision on whether you’re ready to start watching and stream your movies online. Let’s look at what you need to know.

Subscription vs Pay-per-view vs Free

When streaming online, the digital world gives categories on how you can access your movies and other programs. With the many advantages of streaming, many content companies have taken the advantage too, and now you have to pay for the services, or you may decide to go free.

Paid streaming is usually in two categories, subscriptions and pay per view. Subscriptions lets choose a particular plan, pay for it and get your content. The expensive plans/ long-term are considered to be the best as they offer everything without limitations. With subscriptions, you get to watch as much as you want for that particular fee. The only downside is that the services may lack latest releases.

Pay per view is considered streaming on an on-demand service. i.e. if you want to watch a particular live event or the latest release, you only have to pay for it. In most cases, its pricey and you are allocated a period in which you’re supposed to watch let’s say a particular movie. After watching, the stream or video won’t be available anymore, it more like renting. The best thing about the paid services is that you get a free trial period mostly a month. You can try different services and stream for a month without paying a penny. You can also cancel the subscriptions at any time you wish to.

Free streaming involves watching the content without paying for the service forever. For free streaming, you need to have specific hardware, software and put up other measures that will ensure your security. The most known and best ways to watch and stream movies include loaded Kodi and Plex. But in both, there is the hectic procedure to follow to get things working if it’s your first time.

Minimum internet speed

After settling on your streaming plan, the next you ought to consider is how you will be watching your streams. According to your preference, you may choose; standard definition(SD), High Definition(HD) or 4K. The recommended definition is HD of 720p or 1080p. To achieve this resolution and enjoy watching online without interruptions and buffering, its recommended to use an internet of 5mbps to 10mbps, on average 10mbps is considerable. Some streaming sites also indicate the minimum or suitable internet speed required to stream, be sure to check that out.

You might also consider the internet plan with the above speed which doesn’t have data caps or ISPs who throttle your speeds. The best favorable plan should offer you unlimited internet at the said speeds. The ISP you’ll choose will dictate on how you watch and further on how your watching experience will be.

Total costs to streaming

Overall, the total cost will determine if you’re going to watch your movies online or you will stick to the cable. The total cost includes the internet cost and the subscriptions cost. You may exclude the initial cost of acquiring the necessary hardware. If the entire cost is cheaper than the cable TV or you can afford it, then go for online streaming. In case of paid services, you will be required to pay monthly; the deductions are made directly from your credit card. If you choose the plan, you only need to worry about the internet cost and other subscriptions such as VPN.

Extra essentials

These are devices and other software that you will need for streaming. The first thing you will need is a router if you don’t already have one. A router will provide an access point to which you can connect the devices which you prefer to stream with. It allows mobility; you can watch from anywhere in the house without being worried about detaching the cable. The router should have an output that doesn’t cap the original ISP internet speed.

Another you’ll need is a streaming device unless you prefer using your laptop to stream. There are a lot of options to consider, and others are very cheap. Popular ones include Roku, Kodi box, amazon firestick and TV and also Apple TV and others. If you have a smart Tv, you might not need the devices anymore as most streaming services have apps you can install, or you can access via their website. For media organization, you have a better chance with a streaming device.

For free streaming, a Kodi Box is preferable. For a better experience, it’s recommended to have a VPN so that you can access geo-restricted content. As a matter of fact, you need a VPN any time you’re streaming online. To avoid the hassle, go to https://vpnadviser.com and check out the best VPNs. When streaming online for free, you may tread in copyright infringement area, and with a VPN nobody will know it was you. The VPN you choose should have best qualities such as no logging policy, worldwide high-speed servers and also support up to 3 to 6 devices simultaneously. The best options are VPN-enabled routers as you won’t have to worry installing the VPN on unsupported devices.

Watching continuity plan

Like in any business, this is a disaster recovery plan in case things go wrong. Consider it a back up plan that can be used and guarantee you that you will watch content. This is applicable if you decide to cut the cord for good.

Before cutting the cord, purchase an HD antenna and test which channels are available in your area. Most HD antenna should be able to connect you to Free to Air (FTA) channels. These channels will depend on your location, i.e. are you in Canada, US or the UK. Although most of the channels aren’t good, you might capture some that are worth your while. You may use a standard antenna, but you might miss out some HD channels.

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