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Into the stream

We give you six reasons to throw away your TV

Whether we like it or not, the days of good old terrestrial TV are numbered. The traditional telly is facing a fight on two fronts: on one side there is social media which is offering a new choice for news and videos to younger viewiers, on the other is “streaming services”, like Netflix or Stan that are bringing TV shows and movies direct to people’s devices like iPads or computers, and that can be hooked up to screen on your flatscreen without going through the usual terrestrial channels.

In the US, there are dozens of streaming options with Disney about to launch its own service that is threatening to shift the whole system once again, but in Australia it is a bit more limited.

The big two are Netflix and Stan, both of which offer a range of TV and movies, and both have a similar cost of just over $10 a month, trending higher if you buy more premium product or want to use it on multiple devices. Then there is Foxtel Now that is a cheaper, stripped back version of what you get from Foxtel cable TV. The free-to-air channels also have streaming options online, but they are mostly free for viewers to catch up on shows they missed.

But why should you think about streaming?


Content when you want it

The obvious advantage of having a streaming service is there is always something on TV, though the content changes, the breadth of offering means there is usually something that will take your fancy. No TV guide, what you want, when you want it.


It’s portable

Depending on your level of tech savvy, you can watch a streaming service on your laptop, iPad or even mobile phone. Services like Netflix even offer downloads so you can keep a movie or series on your device without internet connection and watch it next time you are on the train or plane.


Switching on is easy

Though the idea of a streaming service may seem daunting signing up to them is very easy. You simply fill in a form, select the package that you want, pick a password and you are ready to go. You will need to put in your credit card details but they are secure, these are big companies with big reputations.


Switching off is also easy

Have you watched everything you want for now? Suspending or quitting your account takes just a few clicks and you will stop getting, and paying for, the service. But these companies are not silly, they also make it very easy to start your account again, just a few easy clicks and you will be back in business, and getting charged.


Chop and change

This ease of movement between services means you can sign up to all three – Foxtel, Netflix and Stan – and only use one at a time, depending on what it is you want to watch.


It’s good value

If you currently hire movies from iTunes you will know that just a couple of movies can equal a month of streaming services. The movies are not quite as up to date but instead you can get new movies that are just available on streaming services as these business start producing their own content.


Streaming is the future, and for retirees who like a bit of couch time they can be a great way to make sure you always have something to watch.