As we approach the final stretch of 2017, it is important to look at how new technology has made an impact on our lives throughout the year. In particular, lets look at how tech has influenced TV.
When you think of watching TV, the words satellite, cable box, and antenna come to mind. This is completely normal considering this is how we have consumed media through television since the beginning of the television itself. Technology is constantly changing and advancing, however, which ultimately leads us to the topic of new ways to watch our favorite shows. Major brands such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and Roku have paved a new path to watching TV shows on demand. By offering streaming devices that simply plug-in to your TV and connect to your wi-fi, you open yourself to a whole new digital world of media. These platforms have been advancing at an accelerated rate in order to compete with the other companies and tv providers to allow more access to TV shows on major networks as well as access to on demand apps that offer their own original shows and movies such as Netflix and Hulu.
Now that companies like Hulu and YouTube started offering access to both On-Demand and Live TV, Companies like Xfinity, Dish, and Direct TV are becoming a thing of the past. No longer will you be required to sign a lengthy contract to be provided access to television, nor will there be a need for big bulky boxes and cords everywhere. One simple device from any of these other brands and you have instant access to all of your content that can be organized by apps and have multiple users. This way, everyone in the house can have their own custom TV streaming dashboard and user interface. Hulu is offering a live tv streaming and on-demand package for just $39.99 (USD) a month. YouTube’s Live TV starts at an amazing $35 (USD) a month. This gives you access to local tv as well as major networks. Currently, however, these live tv plans are limited to around 50+ channels. As time goes on, there will be more content added. For now, if you enjoy watching live local television and want access to tons of On-Demand content, I suggest at considering one of these streaming options.
The devices that support these features are becoming more and more affordable each year. The Amazon Fire TV Stick is currently around $35 (USD). Once you plug it in to your TV and connect to the wi-fi, you are ready to go. A simple click of an app puts you in front of 1,000’s of shows, movies, and content. One thing I personally found unique with amazon is that the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick have Amazon Alexa built into the platform. With a simple press of a button on the remote, you have access to the vast capabilities of Alexa and as time goes on, amazon will continue to add more capabilities to Alexa and the Fire TV User Interface (UI).
Apple has something similar called Apple TV. It shares a similar concept as its competitors. However, If you own an apple device, I would say it is the most cohesive with the apple tv and makes streaming things from your phone more simple. Apple, like amazon, utilizes its voice assistant Siri as a search engine for its content and for other digital assistant tasks such as looking up the local weather. The only downside to apple tv is the price. Starting at $179 (USD) for the 32GB to $199 (USD) for the 64GB, this makes the apple tv a little less enticing to buy, but still offers an amazing and simple User Interface (UI).
All in all, technology is changing. As it progresses, so do the things we once thought were never going to change. I’m sure 2018 will bring us many new things to shed light on and have discussions about. But for now, Im sure these streaming devices will make for an amazing gift this holiday season.