If it’s on TV, is it really worth streaming? | Opinion
There have been discussions in recent months about the merits of streaming versus cable versus satellite versus old-fashioned bunny ears.
In simpler terms, how do you watch television?
Do you stream for free only? Do you pay to stream? Do you pay a monthly cable or satellite bill? Do you use antenna for free live channels? Or do you just watch all your “television” programming on the small screen of your cell phone?
Some of the younger ones seem surprised when they hear that not everyone is broadcasting.
Streaming is fun. There’s a lot — and I mean a lot — of programming that’s available. Much of it is free, but not everything is free. Some shows that claim to be free require an online account. In other words, no more usernames and passwords to remember.
Can you remember all of your usernames and passwords? I certainly can’t.
Additionally, some of the more prominent streaming services and shows require monthly fees. Since everything is online with streaming and requires a constant high-speed connection, you normally have to use a credit or debit card, or any other micro-transaction means to pay for a streaming service that requires a monthly payment. In other words, cash is not accepted. Let’s just take Disney plus as an example. If you want to stream all those new “Star Wars” and “Marvel” shows, you have to pay a monthly fee.
Plus, oddly, Disney is leaving a lot of money on the table by refusing to release these shows on high definition DVD or Blu-Ray.
I don’t know about you, but as an old school guy, I would definitely like to own a physical DVD or Blu-Ray collection of the new “Star Wars” TV shows. In other words, a real DVD I can hold in my hand and a collector’s box to cling to. Streaming is digital only. So collectors and fans of the old school no longer have anything physical.
Like I said, Disney leaves a lot of money on the table. It’s a strategy that doesn’t seem to make much sense from a trading standpoint.
There’s also the simple fact that a lot of people aren’t streaming.
Some of us live in communities that still lack 5-G or broadband.
While I can stream programming to my cell phone from home, if I drive half a mile down the road, that streaming suddenly becomes spotty – cell phone video stopping and loading sometimes. Obviously, that’s not how you want to watch a TV show.
Of course, I mostly stream news shows on my phone and don’t deal with TV programs.
If I’m going to watch a movie or TV show, it has to be on the large flat screen TV in the living room. Not on my little laptop. And Blu-Ray is the preferred viewing method.
Sure, you can easily stream to your flatscreen – and most new flatscreen TVs are smart with streaming services already built in (some free, some paid) – but you still need constant access. High Speed. . You also have to remember a bunch of new usernames and passwords.
So, in the end, it’s even easier for some people to just stick with cable or satellite TV. Watching ads isn’t so bad, despite what some may say. A decent antenna will also pick up a number of free over-the-air channels, particularly if you want an extra flat screen upstairs or in the bedroom without having to worry about extra wires or cables or buying a another broadcast key.
Unfortunately, it’s a lot of effort whichever route you take. And given the lack of quality programming on TV these days, one has to wonder if it’s really worth it.
I can’t remember the last time I made it a point to watch a specific TV show every week – so much so that it was a date every night.
This was somewhat the case for the first and second seasons of “The Walking Dead” ten years ago, and “Lost” at the time. Sorry, but “La Brea” on NBC is a poorly executed attempt at “Lost.”
Unfortunately, it’s hard to find anything really worth watching in 2022, so I’m doing the right thing. I watch old stuff on TV.
Most of the older TV shows were really good. They simply entertained, as they should, without preaching politics or social issues.
Some even improve with age. I’m talking about 70s, 80s and even 90s stuff repeating itself.
Back then, you could watch a good show without worrying about whether or not to air it or watch it on basic cable or satellite.
In fact, at the time, a stream was a pool of running water.
Charles Owens is deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph. Contact him at [email protected]