How to set up P2P streaming
If you sit down on a Friday evening with a date or the kids and watch a movie, you no longer have to go to the local video rental or even a redbox to pick up a DVD. Instead, all you have to do is tap a few buttons on a remote control to watch the latest Hollywood hit.
Between Roku, Apple TV, Google's Chromecast, Amazon's Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation - and half a dozen other device names that sit on the tongue of my tongue - streaming videos have become commonplace.
Where do you even start after turning on a streaming device for the first time? I recommend setting up the most popular streaming services, starting with Netflix, followed by four other popular streaming services.
Netflix is a popular service, so it makes sense to start here. If you don't already have a Netflix account, most devices will allow you to create one when you set up the service. Since you are new to the service, it usually includes a free trial version (duration depends on the current promotion and device). After the trial period, becoming a Netflix membership will set you back $ 8 per month. Make a note of your username and password so you can log into Netflix on your smartphone, tablet, or other streaming device. If you've signed in to Netflix on an Apple TV with an Apple ID, you'll need to visit this page to create a dedicated Netflix login.
Hulu Plus is not confronted with the extensive catalog of films, but has the market for current TV programs. For those who are behind a monthly cable bill, Hulu Plus is an inexpensive alternative for keeping an eye on your favorite shows. Sometimes you have to wait a day or a couple of weeks for the latest episodes to become available. However, at just $ 8 per month, this is a steal.
As with Netflix, Hulu usually offers a free trial followed by a monthly subscription. To set up an account, you will need to sign in and enter payment information. Apple TV users will need to click the registration link in the email they received shortly after signing up. Once you've deleted it, go to Hulu.com and reset your password using the same email address associated with your Apple ID.
Amazon Instant Video
Amazon Instant Video is one of the many services included with an Amazon Prime membership. At a price of $ 99 per year, Prime members get free two-day shipping, the Kindle Lending Library, and around 200,000 titles to stream. Before you can sign in to Instant Video on a streaming device, you must become a Prime member. The price isn't too high, all in all.
A list of devices that support Instant Video can be found here. Setting up Instant Video on a supported device is as easy as signing in to your Amazon account. However, to stream Amazon content on an Apple TV, you'll need to download the iOS app and use AirPlay. Unfortunately, Android users are not lucky because Amazon has not yet released the instant video app on Google's operating system.
YouTube is full of how-to videos, clips from TV shows, original content, and various other forms of content. It's free, of course, and available for pretty much any streaming device you can get your hands on.
Few settings are required here - you can log into your account to see your ad history and other account statistics. Or stay signed out and use YouTube as an anonymous user.
Vudu is another streaming service commonly found on streaming devices. Walmart-owned Vudu offers access to movies and TV shows. Instead of offering a monthly subscription, Vudu lets you buy or rent content from its catalog. It's no different than what you could access through Apple's iTunes catalog, although Vudu's prices are much lower. Unfortunately, Vudu's content catalog doesn't come close to Apple's offering.
As with the Amazon solution, Vudu is not available on Apple TV, but unlike the Amazon solution, Vudu does not allow AirPlay playback either.
One downside to using the above services with a Chromecast is the lack of apps that actually run on Google's streaming device. You need to install the appropriate iOS or Android app on your smartphone and cast the content to your TV using the Chromecast icon (small TV with three WiFi lines) embedded in the app.
Admittedly, these five services don't even scratch the surface when we talk about the number of services available. Services like Disney's Lineup, HBOGo, WatchESPN, A&E, Lifetime, PBS, etc. are available on most set-top streaming boxes. In setting up such services, you often have to verify your subscription to cable / TV services by logging into your account on a special website and entering a specific code. The prompts on the screen include a URL and a short code.
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