Streaming video on demand (SVOD) is watching a show or movie through a website or an app at the time of your choosing. In some cases, that app appears as a “channel” on your smart TV or streaming device. Content can be pay-per-view, like renting a new release film that you have 48 hours to stream. Or it can be based on a monthly subscription fee that gets you unlimited access to all the shows and movies available from that particular provider. With streaming, you don’t download the files onto your computer, so you don’t have to worry about storage space or legal issues, and you don’t need an antenna or pricy cable TV package to watch.
What you do need, though, is a high-speed internet connection that can handle the demands of streaming video. To get a good viewing experience without annoying lags, especially if you have multiple people in your home streaming at the same time, we recommend a broadband internet connection with bandwidth of at least 20 Mbps.
Most people will also want to get a streaming device. While it’s true that you can stream straight to your laptop or tablet, if you’re looking to replace cable with streaming services then you’ll most likely want a more convenient, high-definition way to enjoy your media on a larger TV screen.
Finally, to access streaming content, you’ll need at least one membership to a streaming service provider such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go, or others. In fact, there are over 200 streaming service providers today (and counting). Some have free options (usually with ads), so you can find ways to stream media without paying for it. But if you’ve been paying for a cable TV package, you can sign up for a few paid subscriptions to streaming services and still save a bundle. Paid services grant you full access to a whole catalogue of great content and are often ad-free.