When you think of the name Netflix, you might think about the DVD mailing service you can subscribe to that is more convenient and cost-effective than store-front video and game rentals. Problem is, that's not what Netflix primarily is anymore. In fact, companies like Netflix, Hulu, and Blockbuster are embarking on a new way to provide customers with the television programming, movies and games they want, through an innovative technology called streaming services.
What's most striking about these subscriptions is that they are very inexpensive compared to a cable or satellite television subscription. Generally priced from $8 to $15 per month, subscribers can access unlimited streaming of movies, including new releases, television shows (including entire seasons of classics as well as current-running programming), music or games.
Companies that offer these services all have different ways of engaging the marketplace.
- Monthly subscriptions or rental/purchase options
- Ability to place your account of hold during months you may not watch much media, such as summertime or vacations
- Annual subscriptions that not only give you access to streaming media, but other services and perks as well
- Options to watch on various devices, like internet-enabled television, mobile broadband devices, gaming consoles and more
When you consider the monthly subscription cost of cable or satellite television, you can easily see the cost benefits, as well as the myriad of extra options available for such a low price. But let's consider what these subscriptions are lacking. For starters, you will not be able to watch your local news through these services. If this is important to you, you can downgrade your cable subscription to just the bare basics, including local news and programming. It is highly likely that you will save a considerable amount of money by having a bare-bones cable subscription coupled with a streaming services plan, and you will receive a lot more bang for your buck.
Another snafu you will likely encounter is you may need to purchase an acceptable device in order to view your new programming options. Unless you already own a device supported by the service you are interested in, or you don't mind sitting in front of your computer all the time to watch TV, you will have to do a few things.
- Purchase some type of device as listed on the streaming service providers' website that is supported by that company.
- Be able to set up and trouble-shoot any technical issues. If you have a tech-savvy friend, this won't be much of an issue. But you may have to count the cost if you need to hire technical services.
Without a doubt, if you are an avid movie and/or television buff, or you love playing games or streaming music, there is a great plan available for you that will open up your options for a great price.