A Grandparent’s Guide to Video Streaming
The following is a short summary of the viewing options for your grandchildren. I offer it to summarize the current options in the video streaming arena as many grandparents don’t feel particularly tech-savvy.
Television is surely one of the most common household items. Most families own several. Yet, now the TV’s are smart and digital and downright confusing. Basic cable is no longer the only choice for viewing choices.
You might own a streaming capable device and not even realize it. If your television is LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Vizio or a fairly recent model, you may already own an Internet-enabled Smart TV. Still, children can watch an assortment of content from several devices. Besides television children can use a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV are add-ons to your television which are worth exploring. Some Blue-ray players offer streaming services. Even game Consoles, like PlayStations and Xbox, can stream video.
Streaming video comes from several sources. Three of the most common include Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. These are paid accounts that provide a mix of TV shows, movies, and original content at a reasonable price. With these options, you have a greater range of content and can be more selective in your viewing options.
The good news is that of the three most popular subscription options, all have comparable video quality. Here are some
Netflix may be the most popular. It offers internet video streaming services from an extensive library of content. Both movies and Tv shows Currently the subscription rate ranges from $7.99 to $11.99 a month. The trial period includes the first month for free. Netflix seems to have the most TV shows and movies and caters to a broad range of tastes. One good feature involves the way it operates. As you start to search for a title an automatic suggestion appears. You can rate the title. The service then recommends titles based on your previous preferences.
Amazon Prime, like Netflix, offers internet video streaming as well. They do offer individual options for their content. Amazon Prime also hosts a number of original series like Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, and Alpha House. Also, older HBO shows, such as The Sopranos, Eastbound & Down are available. They tend to get shows with the most crucial acclaim. Amazon Prime sets a yearly fee. At the time of this blog, the charge is $99. It also offers a 30 day trial period. You can cancel at any time. Amazon Prime includes options like free shipping on most Amazon items. Free music streaming and a free kindle book to borrow each month are attractive additions to their package. As a sample of their selection of movies for children, I have added the link to their best from hundreds of immediately available movies. To see the format and current selections click here. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/best-kids-movies-on-amazon-prime-instant-video
Hulu offers two choices for their service. The standard package costs $7.99 a month. For $11.99 a month you can watch commercial-free. Their selection of TV episodes is more recent. Hulu subscribers can access episodes in HD (when available) from ABC, the CW, Fox, and NBC the day after they air, via Internet-connected devices.
More options exist. These include Google’s YouTube, Apple’s iTunes, and Walmart’s Vudu. The last tidbit of information which may be of interest involves using the site called, “Can I Steam-It?” You state what you want to watch It tells you where you can find it. You can create an account and set up notifications when something you are interested in becomes available to you.
Content can be monitored personally or with pre-set parental controls. Kid-friendly options can be set as default in the ‘manage profile’ section of your account. You can choose the best option for your circumstances. Here is a sample from Netflix. https://help.netflix.com/en/node/264.
To stay current with the times may be a challenge for many parents. For grandparents, even more so. It is hard enough to skip one generation, much less two. I hope this helps you navigate these video streaming waters with grace and ease.