Thursday, April 25, 2019

How To Pick Your Streaming Service


So, you've decided to cut the cord and start streaming your TV programming. To start you will need a fast, reliable internet connection, a streaming service and a streaming device.  Choosing the service can be a bit overwhelming because there are so many options to choose from. To make it easier for you One Source has these helpful tips to share:

Local Channels -  Do you want or need to be able to watch the local news? If the answer is yes, then you will need to do one of two things.

  • You can buy an over the air antenna and try to pull in your local channels that way.
  • Choose a streaming service that offers local programming in their package.

Programming - Which streaming service has all or most of the channels that you want?  We recommend that you start a channel diary.  Take a few days and have everyone in the house write down which channels they watch on a regular basis.  This will help you identify which channels are your ‘must have’ channels and the ones you can live without.  You can then compare your channel diary to the different packages offered by each streaming service to determine which service fits your household the best.

Streams - How many devices do you want to watch TV on? Each streaming service offers a set number of streams to watch at the same time.  You will want to find a service that has the appropriate number of streams for your needs.

DVR - Do you want to be able to record?  Most streaming services offer a DVR option, sometimes it is included and others charge an additional fee. Watch for the number of hours it will hold, will it be enough for your needs? 

Device - Not all streaming services are available on all smart TV’s or all streaming devices.  You will want to make sure that whatever service you choose will be available on your preferred streaming platform.

Remember another great thing about streaming services is that you are not locked into a contract, so if it turns out you are not happy with one that you chose, no problem, just cancel and try another one.  Most services offer a free trial period too!  If you have any questions on this process or need any additional help you can contact One Source at 778-8611, by email at OneSource@midcentury.com, or on Facebook at One Source.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Do I Need A Smart TV


Do I need a Smart TV to be able to stream? 

That is a question we get asked almost daily here at One Source and we are here to tell you that you DO NOT need a Smart TV to be able to stream.  Smart TVs are a nice way to get into streaming as they usually come with some pre-installed apps like Netflix and Hulu.  Some Smart TVs are not as user friendly and may not have the ability to add different streaming options.  So, for those who don’t have a Smart TV or even those that do and want a device dedicated to streaming here are some of our favorite devices that will make your dumb tv a Smart TV and turn your Smart TV into Albert Einstein.


Best Budget Streamer | Roku Premiere Plus | Price $49.99   

Pros    The Premiere Plus delivers 4K and HDR video in a small package for an affordable price. It    Video quality, quick response time in menus, voice capability, and the remote can control your TV volume and power
is user friendly, has more 4K HDR apps, and a better search option than others.

Cons    No support for 5GHz Wi-Fi, the voice capabilities are not quite as good as the Amazon Fire Stick 4K at the same price point.

Conclusion     For $50 you’ll have a hard time finding a better device that offers as many features plus delivers 4K HDR streaming. 


Best Voice Controls | Amazon Fire Stick 4K | Price $49.99      
     

Pros     Amazon Fire Stick 4K comes with best-in-class Voice features and you can use your existing Echo or Dot products to control it with Alexa.  Good selection of apps, with quick menus and good video quality. The remote controls volume and power on your TV and soundbars.

Cons   Pushes Amazon content too aggressively. No Google Play apps or ethernet adapter for hardwiring your device if needed, is not included.

Conclusion     Great for Alexa fans and those of you who have 4K TVs and want Dolby Vision.  Promotes their own content on the home page too much for us to like more than the Roku at the same price point.


Best for Apple Fans | Apple TV | Price $179

Pros    Apple TV 4K has some of the best streaming video available. Offers 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision to compatible TVs. Has a very good remote and Siri voice controls.  Very premium feel.

Cons   Expensive! Won’t stream YouTube in 4K or HDR. Devices from Roku and Amazon offer a lot of the same features and video quality for a lesser price.

Conclusion     Although it is the most expensive, if you are an iOS user it is one of the best streamers on the market today.    


One Source’s Best Overall Device | Roku Streaming Stick Plus | Price $59.99  

Pro      The Roku Streaming Stick Plus comes with Roku’s easy to use interface. It offers more apps and a better search than others.  The remote allows you to control the power and the volume of your TV.  It has lightning fast menus and good quality video.

Cons   The voice search isn’t as good as some of the other streamers and there is no ethernet port for hardwiring your device if you have issues with WIFI.

Conclusion     The Roku Streaming Stick Plus delivers 4K and HDR video in a compact package for an affordable price.  With its super simple and easy to use interface, more apps than its competitors, and more features that you will actually use makes the Roku Streaming Stick Plus our favorite device in early 2019.


As always feel free to call us with any questions @778-8611 or follow us on Facebook @One Source as we post daily streaming news.

Monday, February 25, 2019

One Source Favorites


Are you tired of paying too much for channels that you don’t ever watch? Well you’re in luck, cutting the cord has never been easier than it is right now. There are so many different streaming services available creating an option for everyone.  Here at One Source we find the hardest issue for people to get started is figuring out which streaming service is best for them.  We want to help you though that process, here are a few   of our favorite services.

One Source Favorites 

Three Base Package Options with Optional Add-On Packages Available:

Sling Orange $25/month with LIVE TV.  Receive 32 channels including ESPN, Disney, HGTV, History and more.  Includes one stream.
Sling Blue $25/month with LIVE TV. Receive over 40+ channels including FS1, NBC Sports (regional), FX, HGTV, History, Nick Jr and more.  Includes three streams.
Orange + Blue $40/month combines programming from both packages and includes four streams.
Add-On Packages:  There are multiple to choose from, starting at just $5.
DVR: For an additional $5 per month you get 50 hours of storage
One Source Review: Sling has a great starting price point of $25/month.  You have the option to purchase add-on packages or combine both Sling Orange and Blue to get all the channels you want. The service does not include local channels at this time.

Two Package Options

Package 1 $16/month with LIVE TV.  Receive 44 channels and three streams.
Package 2 $20/month with LIVE TV. Receive 57 channels and three streams.
Channels: AMC, Animal Planet, Discovery, Food Network, ALL the Hallmark Channels, HGTV, History and more; NO SPORTS OR LOCAL CHANNELS.
Streams: Is the number of devices you can watch TV on at the same time, for example TV’s, tablets, phones, laptops, etc.
DVR: Unlimited DVR, save shows for up to 30 days.
One Source Review: With an unlimited DVR, three streams and a low price of $16 Philo has a nice offering, but for those who need local channels and sports this service won’t be for you.

One Package $40/month with LIVE TV.  Local channels, ESPN, BTN Network, FS1, FS2, NBA TV, Disney, CNN, TCM, TNT, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, TBS, and more.  Includes three streams.
Streams: Is the number of devices you can watch TV on at the same time, for example TV’s, tablets, phones, laptops, etc.
DVR: You can record as many programs as you want at the same time, without ever running out of storage space and you can keep each recording for 9 months
One Source Review: YouTube TV has some of the best features with its unlimited DVR, ability to stream to three TV’s at the same time and an easy to use interface.  The channel lineup focuses mostly on sports and lacks quite a few of the more popular entertainment channels, so this service may not fit everyone’s needs.

One Base Package with Optional Add-On Packages Available:

Base Package $44.99/month with LIVE TV.  Receive 85+ channels including local, FS1, NBA TV, NFL Network, AMC, History, HGTV, BTN Network, Hallmark, CNN, TCM, RSN (Regional Sports Networks) and more.  Includes two streams.
Streams: Is the number of devices you can watch TV on at the same time, for example TV’s, tablets, phones, laptops, etc.
DVR: The base package includes 30 hours of storage with the option to upgrade to 500 hours for an additional $9.99 per month
One Source Review: fuboTV is a good all-around service, it has a lot of the entertainment channels that most people seem to enjoy.  It doesn’t offer ESPN but it has so many other sports channels and add-on packages that you can find just about any game you’re looking for. 


HULU without LIVE TV $7.99 per month.  Access to all of Hulu’s on demand content.

Hulu with LIVE TV $44.99/month (starting February 26 ,2019) with the option to add Premium Channel Packages for additional fee.   Access to all of Hulu’s on demand content plus BTN Network, ESPN, Disney, HGTV, History, TCM, FS1, FS2, Discovery, your local CBS, NBC, and Fox, plus more.  Includes two streams with option to add unlimited.
Streams: Is the number of devices you can watch TV on at the same time, for example TV’s, tablets, phones, laptops, etc.
DVR: Includes 50 hours of cloud storage with the option to upgrade to 200 hours for an additional $14.99 per month
One Source Review: HULU with LIVE TV is a unique service, because you get access to their entire streaming library along with your live TV. Their user interface isn’t the most user friendly and does take some time to get used to.  With fifty hours of cloud DVR included, access to your local channels, sports, several of the most popular channels and the ability to binge watch makes HULU tough to beat.

Streaming TV can help save you hundreds of dollars each year without giving up the channels that are most important to you. These are just some of our favorites here at One Source, and we encourage you to try each of them for yourself.  They all offer a free trial, no contract and you can cancel at any time. 

Keep up with what’s going on in the world of streaming by following us on Facebook, where we post streaming news daily. Feel free to contact us by phone at 309.778.8611 or send an email to onesource@midcentury.com.  We are here to help you get started.   

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

What Is Streaming TV







We hear all about cutting the cord and saving money by streaming your tv, but what is streaming? Well that is what we are here to answer.

Definition:
Streaming is a method of transmitting or receiving data (especially video and audio material) over a computer network as steady, continuous flow, allowing playback to start while the rest of the data is still being received.  All that really means is that streaming is watching or listening to content over your internet connection instantly without having to completely download anything.

What can I stream?
Audio and video.  Whether you want to watch live sports, your favorite tv show, or even just relax and watch a movie, it can all be done by streaming.  Have a favorite podcast or love to listen to music? By streaming you have access to tens of millions of songs and podcasts at your fingertips.

Streaming Requirements

The most important thing when it comes to streaming is having a fast and reliable internet connection.  How fast depends on a few different factors. 

  1.  Do you plan on streaming music, video’s and/or television programming?  Video’s and television programming require much more bandwidth/speed than music.   
  2. Internet speed can affect the quality of audio and video.  Faster internet speeds produce better quality.  An example would be watching a video in 720p vs 1080p HD. The 1080p HD video will look better and be clearer, but it will also need a faster internet speed to keep the video from buffering or looking choppy.
  3. How many streams could your family be watching at the same time?   The more devices you stream to, the faster your speeds should be.


Devices
Streaming can be done from several devices, a smart tv, computer, or even your smart phone!  Some companies even make products specifically for streaming, such as Roku, Amazon, Google, and Apple. These devices allow you to take your stupid tv and make them smart, so you can stream without having to spend a bunch of money on upgrading your TV.

Services
Now that you have a fast and reliable internet connection and you know some of the devices you can stream from, where do I get content to stream?  There are thousands of applications out there that allow you to stream both audio and video.  Some of these applications are free and some will cost you a monthly fee.  Some examples of free services would be Crackle, The Roku Channel, Pluto Tv, Tubi, YouTube, and Pandora just to name a few.  Paid service examples include fuboTV, Sling, Philo, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, Apple Music, and many more. 

Streaming is the way of the future.  If you are interested in learning how, or just need to know where to get started, contact us 309.778.8611 for a free phone consultation or follow us on Facebook@onesource  where we post streaming and smart home news daily.