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How to stream TV, movies, sport and music

Do you want to stream TV, movies and sport but don’t know where to begin? We’re here to help.

Television has come a long way since its invention almost 100 years ago, and the last decade has been no exception – in fact, thanks to the popularity of streaming services, things are evolving quicker than ever.

If you’ve heard of names like Netflix, Stan and Foxtel Now, but don’t know how to get started, in this article we’ll teach you the basics of setting up streaming apps and accounts on your smart TV.

First things first: what is streaming?

Streaming is watching a video (such as a movie or a TV show) or listening to audio (such as music or a podcast) in “real time”, as opposed to downloading a file to your computer. If you’ve ever watched a video on YouTube, for example, then you’ve experienced streaming already.

In the early days of YouTube, you may remember suffering through videos that stopped suddenly because they were “buffering” – ie. loading data. This is because your internet connection wasn’t fast enough to keep up with the video in real-time, so it needed to take some time to load more data.

Nowadays, thanks to broadband internet connections – which are fast enough to make streaming more reliable – streaming services are more popular than ever. That’s why services like Netflix, Stan and Foxtel Now are all the rage.

Why would I use streaming?

In a word, convenience. Unlike traditional TV, which is set to a specific schedule, with a streaming service like Netflix you can access thousands of TV shows and movies whenever you want.

You can even “binge” on multiple episodes of a TV show in one sitting, so instead of waiting until next week for the outcome of that cliffhanger, all you have to do is wait a few seconds for the next episode to load.

Which streaming service should I choose?

That’s a tougher question to answer, as there are more streaming services to choose from than ever before.

For TV and movies, Netflix and Stan are the two most popular paid services in Australia, along with Foxtel Now, a streaming service offered to Foxtel subscribers.

If you’re more interested in sport, you may wish to try Kayo, which currently has 36 different sports streaming including rugby league, Aussie rules, cricket and more.

Want to listen to music? The most popular, by far, is Spotify, which has pretty much any song you could think of just a click away.

How do I get started?

It depends on which service you want to try. For Netflix or Stan, you’ll need a smart TV – that is, a TV connected to the internet – to get started. These days, many smart TVs come with Netflix and Stan built in, so it may just be a simple case of clicking a button on your remote control.

You will, however, need to sign up to use these services, which means going to that particular service’s website and entering your details. So with Netflix, for example, you would:

  1. Head to the Netflix website
  2. Enter your email address
  3. Choose a password
  4. Pick your plan (Basic, Standard or Premium)
  5. Set up a payment method.

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get an email welcoming you as a member, and then you’ll just have to enter the username and password on your smart TV to start watching.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a smart TV, you can watch Netflix on your computer, tablet, or even your smartphone. In the case of the computer, simply head to the Netflix website, log in and start watching; in the case of the tablet or smartphone, just download the Netflix app to do the same.

The same basic steps apply to Stan, Kayo, Spotify and any number of other streaming services.

Of course, if you do have any trouble, each of these services also offer online and phone support to help you get started. Just find the “Contact” details on their website. You’ll be streaming in no time at all!