There are an astonishing number of quality TV shows and movies available on Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video today. Equally, there is a large number of YouTube channels that cover sports, entertainment, news and celebrity gossip. There are several other video streaming services available as well, both free and paid. There’s so much television content these days on the internet that many people have decided to cut the wires. Is this the end of cable as we know it?
It sure looks like it. YouTube is free, of course, and Netflix costs just $9/month. Amazon Prime doesn’t cost much either. There’s enough content on these services to last hundreds of years. Do you really need cable, considering its relatively high cost? Today, people are watching more online video not just on their computers, but also on smart TVs, tablets and other multimedia devices.
Americans have always crazy been about TV, it is still the #1 source of entertainment in the country, but it is clear that people are spending less and less time watching TV and are surfing the web and viewing video streaming services instead. A number of households – as many as 2.6 million – have done away with TV entirely and have switched to broadband for their entertainment.
The last couple of years or so have witnessed a potentially calamitous decline in TV viewership. Each year, Americans watch 12 minutes less TV a day than they did the previous year. Meanwhile streaming viewing is benefiting from this decline. The viewing of online videos on computers has increased by about 4 hours/month to 10 hours and 42 minutes/month.
But the reason why so many people have still held off switching to broadband entirely and is that nothing beats the sheer ease and convenience of turning the TV on when you feel like it, sitting on the couch and watching something. While Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube have a plenty of content, the general view is that you need to be sitting in front of a computer to watch them.
That’s not the case anymore. There are several products out there such as Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast that make it possible to watch Netflix, YouTube or any video streaming service on your TV. They are basically boxes that you hook up to your television, and work in the same manner as a cable box, feeding channels to the TV.
How has this changed things? Well, 40 percent of the households in America today subscribe to a video on demand service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, up from 35% a year ago. Today, 13 percent of households across the country own a multimedia device such as Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV or Google Chromecast to stream such content. Many have smart TVs at home, which stream Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. on their own, without assistance from a multimedia device.
So which of the multimedia devices should you hook up your TV with? Apple TV is a really good choice if you’ve got lots of movies and TV shows purchased from Apple Store. Roku has many more channels available as of now, but Amazon Fire is fast catching up. Amazon has a great customer support as well. Google Chromecast still has a lot of catching up to do, but with Google supporting it, it cannot be written off.
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