by Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert
Streaming services are starting to win the battle for your viewing and listening time. Many of you have cut the cord by canceling your cable TV services and now are watching content on Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and others. Even enjoying your favorite movies, shows, and music on DVDs, VHS, and CDs is a thing of the past.
Most of you know how to connect your devices to your favorite streaming service...but there's some of you that struggle with this just like you struggled to connect your VHS, DVD, or Blue Ray player to your TV. Fear not, I'm here to help you end the struggle of getting connected to and managing your favorite streaming services.
Before you cancel cable and set up a streaming service, do some investigating to find out if streaming is for you and which service will work for you. If you are a casual TV viewer, cutting the cord and moving to a streaming service will be an easy task. If you want to stay up to date with your favorite shows and love watching a variety of sporting events, you will have to cover all of your bases (no pun intended) before you take the plunge (pun intended). Same thing with music. If you're a casual listening, it's pretty easy ... but if you love your CDs and vinyl records and need to keep up with specific artists, take your time.
Setting up a streaming service is pretty simple. You just need to visit the website or download the app of your desired streaming services. Most streaming services have different levels of services, but not every service will have the same movies or music, unlike your cable packages.
If you're looking for popular services to watch your favorite television shows and movies, Netflix, Disney Plus, Netflix and Hulu are the most common services. If it's music you're after, check out Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music and Pandora are the most common options.
Setting up Streaming Services
The best and easiest way to set up a streaming service is to go to the website of your desired streaming service on any computer, smartphone or tablet. Why? Entering your credentials and payment information is much easier on the streaming services website.
Once you get your account setup, then download the from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store type in your user name and password and you're set. When setting up your streaming service, take care not to use the user name and password information that you've used for another online account.
Streaming services are items that cybercriminals target. If you use information that was leaked in a data breach, hackers can use methods like 'credential stuffing' to get access to your accounts, steal them, and then sell them online. Most streaming services give you a 30 day trial period, but look to many of these services to follow Disney's suit and only give a 7 day trial period.
Setup on a TV
If you own a smartTV, the most popular streaming apps are probably already installed on your TV. Just choose it from your TV’s menu and enter your login information that you created when you set up the account. If you don't have a smart TV, you can use a streaming box like Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV that will turn your dumb TV into a smart TV. Keep in mind Disney Plus is so new it may not be available on older Smart TV...but you can use a streaming box to access that service.
Downloading Videos for Later
Most streaming services allow you to download videos to watch within the app (for copyright protection) when you have poor Internet service. If you have a limited cellular data plan, you will want to connect to a Wi-Fi or wired network. Downloaded content will only stay within the app for a limited period of time to prevent people from downloading a ton of content and canceling their subscription.
Canceling a Streaming Service
If you want to cancel a streaming service, the easiest way to do it will be through a web browser on a smartphone, tablet or computer. Navigate to the home page for your streaming service first and make sure you’re logged in. From there it will differ depending on which service it is.
I couldn't imagine a world without streaming services, and I'm sure many of you who enjoy them think the same way. If you're new to the game, do a little research and find out if you can save money on your cable bill and change the way you enjoy music and movies this year.
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