Thinking Outside the Cable Box

Streaming media devices offer a return to free television

By FRED J. ROSENTHAL

Over 60 years ago when my parents purchased a black & white screen television, with an antenna perched on our roof and three free network channels to watch, my life changed. Instead of going to Saturday matinee movies, weekend entertainment came to a box in our living room every day.

Fast-forward to 2017 and television programming is available 24/7 with full-length movies, live sports, kid programs, adult entertainment, instant news, drama, weather, food, home and garden, music and even constant broadcast from space.

Unlimited options, but it all comes with a high price from satellite TV and cable conglamorates.

As a seasoned citizen on a restricted budget, I felt a need to seek an alternative to my massive monthly billing statement. After extensive research I discovered
the ideal solution: a streaming media device. Excellent products can be found at $100 or under.

Because there is a veritable smorgasbord of available choices, selecting the ideal device for you and your system can be a daunting task.

You’ll want to make sure that your device is compatible with your TV, which may feature HDR (high dynamic range) or 4K resolution capabilities.

Check to see if the services offer the content you want to watch and
that the content can be found through an easy-to-use interface
to avoid long periods of searching. Look for good connection speeds. Other options in the digital ecosystem may include such things as card slots, USB ports and headphone jacks.

Do your homework. Research the Internet. Talk to sales reps in stores selling the devices.

Patience is mandatory while sorting through the apps (such as YouTube) in search of finding the right link, but for those who persist, the rewards are exceptional: no monthly cable or satellite service fees.

You will have access to unlimited entertainment including live sports, current and classic movies, hundreds of network channels, and thousands of international broadcasting stations.

Please note, some streaming devices may contain apps that offer programs
(such as premium movies) for small or annual fee.

So what is not to like about streaming television? Have not found anything
yet, but it feels great to return to the era of FREE television.

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