Streaming 101 – Getting started

TV remote

So much content, so little knowledge. 

Never should you worry though, let your heart not be troubled, because we at HTC have got you covered. As we stated in the previous blog, the delivery means of video content and what you want to watch is just coming through a different antenna.  That antenna is now the Internet. 

While ‘over the air’ antennas are still around (and possibly better than ever) and cable technology is alive and well, they are both older technologies.  If you’ve ever asked about how to stream, the answer is simple. 

It is no different in reality than asking your smart device to get the weather or the score of the Braves’ game.  A query is made, converted into the 1’s and 0’s of binary code, whisked around the web until the inquiry match is found, then returned in the same manner in the form of print, image, voice or video. 

Simple, right?

All kidding aside, we almost take for granted the simplicity of the technology that surrounds us.  So, let’s keep it simple.  A streaming device, or Smart TV, allows you select the programming you’d like to watch, and then delivers it to you via the Internet and not in the traditional means of an antenna or cable television.

Smart TVs are now in more than 83 percent of homes in America.  Of those homes, 62 percent use the Smart TVs.  In addition to the TVs, there are streaming devices that are plug and play, such as Roku or my personal favorite, the Amazon FireTV Stick. There are other streaming devices on the market that are less popular, but the Roku and Amazon platforms have a combined more than 80 percent of the U.S. streaming market.

What if I Don’t have a Smart TV?

If you are not using your Smart TV’s operating system, you will use the TV inputs on the rear of the set.  There, you will see inputs that are marked HDMI.  You’ll notice this is the receiving end to the streaming device you will use.  You’ll need to plug that in and connect to a power supply.  You can see how to do that here.  One advantage the FireTV platform has is that many people already have an Amazon account, so they just need to log into that once they connect the device to the home’s Wi-Fi.

Now you’re ready to stream.  But what now?  How do I work this little remote?  There are no numbers on it!  You will see options across your TV screen, and the wheel will allow you to navigate to the content you’d like, then just press the center of it to enter.  It really is that simple.  Mess up?  Don’t worry, just press the back button (the curved arrow) or press home, and get back to the main screen.  While there is a small learning curve here, most people tell me that within 24 hours the controls become second nature, almost intuitive.

Now what?

You are in charge, you tell me!  What do you want to watch?  Do you watch videos from YouTube on your phone or tablet?  Do you want to dive into subscription services?  Stick with what’s free?  Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, as there is plenty to talk about on all of these topics in upcoming conversations.

Stay tuned, we’ll be back after a word from our sponsor, HTC.

2 thoughts on “Streaming 101 – Getting started

  1. I’m new to streaming what is streaming. We’re looking for decent movies, Netflix has gotten discussing, little choices. I know we’re old, but still enjoy movies.
    Thank you.

    1. You aren’t alone Mr. Wozniak! HTC hears you and is here to help.

      To keep it simple, Streaming is delivery of your video signal, through the Internet as opposed to coaxial cable or over the air antenna.

      Remember Rabbit Ears? Your first Cable TV Box?? VHS Tapes and rewinding??? Believe it or not, streaming is easier than all of the above. There are many free options like Pluto, Tubi and Freevee as well as subscriptions services similar to Netflix as you mentioned.

      In our upcoming workshop (and thank you for registering), we’ll go over ways to stream and help you find a wide variety of the movies you enjoy!

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