Cutting the cord. Binge watching. Streaming. Netflix and chill.
These are some common television-related phrases you might have heard, especially from your adult children or grandchildren. Around 62 percent of adults in the U.S. subscribed to a streaming service as of 2019, and it's a growing trend that many predict might overtake traditional options such as cable in coming years.
If you're not caught up on the latest television-watching trends, talk about Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime might sound like gibberish. But for seniors in assisted living communities, streaming services have a lot to offer. Learn more about these options in this guide to streaming television that we've put together.
Television streaming just means watching TV over the internet instead of via a TV antenna signal or cable. If you've ever watched YouTube, you've streamed video content. Streaming services simply make it possible to stream movies and a lot of the same programming that you would watch on cable networks.
You need a few basics to stream television:
Not all televisions are equipped to stream video content. You need either a smart television that has streaming capability built in or a television that accepts a connection from a streaming device.
Streaming devices come in a variety of forms. You can get DVD and BluRay players that play discs and include the technology to stream. But you can also buy small devices that plug easily into your TV ports and let you browse streaming services in an intuitive environment.
Roku makes streaming devices that are popular for this purpose. The cost of these players starts at around $30, and they typically let you access a wide variety of free and paid streaming channels. Most Roku devices let you access Disney+, Hulu, Amazon and Netflix content, though you have to pay separately for each subscription.
Roku also offers free streaming options including Pluto TV, which lets you watch news, sports and some entertainment. Roku has its own free channel with older television and movies, including sweet Hallmark romance, numerous classics and family-friendly programming seniors can enjoy with visiting grandchildren.
Is streaming right for you? That's a choice you have to make for yourself. Bethesda Gardens in Terre Haute, IN, offers cable TV for residents, so you don't have to be a cord cutter to save money on entertainment. But streaming might let you access the kind of content you're most interested in anytime you're ready to watch.