With a reasonable budget and some technical savvy, the world of digital content one can stream to their home or desktop is essentially a limitless expanse these days.
In addition to more than 200 different types of streaming services, there are even (legal) ways to defeat content restrictions that allow you to, for a handful of extra dollars a month, view the streaming options available in Canada, the United Kingdom, Asia and Australia, among other locations.
There are also a number of ways you can maximize your content without having to break your bank.
We cut the cable for a reason
One of the great options about using streaming content options versus the traditional Spectrum, Uverse, DirecTV or any of the traditional cable television service providers, is that, in those models, the viewer is relying on when the content provider wants us to watch the show or movie.
Streaming services not only give greater freedom of what to watch, but they don’t ever require any contracts. This is an important aspect to remember, according to Mo Hoosen, editor-in-chief of Streamr, a content review site that also shares a weekly podcast that shares insights on the universe of options available to watch online.
“I’d say that there’s a kind of deception or a presumption that people have to stay billing with, with a certain service. So if you want to watch a show that’s coming on Netflix in two months’ time, there’s a presumption that you or the person kind of in the back of their heads is thinking, ‘Oh, well, I don’t want to get tied into a contract with Netflix, or I’ll just forget to cancel it, or something like that. And I think … that’s a symptom kind of cable and satellite television,’” he said, referring to the culture of longer-term contracts.
He even suggested people could set reminders on their calendar. The cancel option also allows you to check out more services to see if maybe the changing content selection might have something you were missing.
Check out more content insights from Hoosen at TheStreamr.com.
Be master of your content universe
If you’re looking for what you can watch and where, the content-review service What’s on Netflix recommends Just Watch, contains an exhaustive list for what movies or TV shows are available on what services, in case you’d like to browse around before you shop for the best service for you.
It’s helpful because the content packages for services like Netflix have benefited from enormous investment in content production, in addition to streaming rights.
“On competition, it’s getting much harder to differentiate Netflix and other streamers as they all vie to take the crown and, as such, they’re all making diversified content for all ages and all tastes,” said Kasey Moore, who runs What’s on Netflix, which is specifically devoted to giving information and reviews about the service’s offerings. “Netflix’ international selection is growing at a pace far beyond anyone else and with a couple of exceptions, every week on Netflix has easily between 20 and 100 new additions to watch so there’s rarely any lulls in stuff to watch.”
And Moore and Hoosen both mentioned another point of streaming: JustWatch reviews content for different markets, too. And you might have noticed more and more foreign country selections being inserted into suggested viewings, as the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, et al have their own universes of content to peruse — if you’re feeling more of the accents and foreign language vibes.
There are legal ways to go around restrictions that content providers try to impose by region, notes Hoosen, with the StreamLocator being his suggestion. Working on a similar idea as a VPN — a device that masks your IP or internet address — StreamLocator is nice because you dont have to be a tech savant to operate one, and they work with most smart devices, Hoosen notes. It allows you to set and change your geolcation to watch more content from essentially anywhere.
For more information visit, StreamLocator.com. For an explanation on VPN from Norton, visit: nr.tn/3toZ0ay.
Find the free
If you’re already overwhelmed by the content choices and would rather just peruse what’s free as opposed to shopping for more services, the good news is there are a bunch of options. Komando has a list available of free sites and apps that allow you to check out everything from classics to selected recent releases at no charge.
Kanopy, Vimeo, YouTube and Internet Archive are just a few of the free options you can check out.
If you are thinking about canceling a web service you pay for, there are a few things you might want to consider doing, according to former Sunday Signal contributor Kim Komando. Her site lists a number of special offers you might be eligible for and didn’t even know about, and you should always be aware of your billing cycle dates, and that’s where your computer can also help with setting reminders.
Check out more tech tips from Kim’s site at: komando.com/kims-column/10-ways-to-watch-movies-for-free/707720.