TV on your terms

Streaming TV opens up a whole new world of exciting possibilities. It allows you to watch a wide range of films and TV shows on demand and on a number of different devices. So how does it work? And which service could be right for you?

Streaming is when TV shows, films or music is delivered via the web to any internet connected device. This could be your TV, if it’s web enabled, or other devices like a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Even if your television isn’t connected to the web, you can still enjoy streaming TV on it. All you need is a specialist set-top box or an adapter/stick which plugs into one of your TV’s ports.

With streaming TV, you decide the viewing schedule. You can start watching films and shows when you want, you can pause them and continue viewing them later or you can start watching them on one device and finish viewing them on other. Streaming TV really is TV on your terms.

The main providers
The number of streaming TV providers is large and growing all the time. Three of the most popular include:

Perhaps the best known of all streaming TV providers, Netflix gives you access to thousands of films and TV series. As well as streaming programmes, Netflix also creates them and is behind a number of exclusive shows which have gained cult followings such as House of Cards and Grace and Frankie.

There is a charge, starting at £5.99 a month, but there is no contract. You can also enjoy a free month’s trial.

Amazon Prime
Amazon allows you to stream TV shows or films on demand and on a pay-as-you-go basis through its Amazon Video service. You can also sign up to Amazon Prime which enables you to watch thousands of shows and videos for a monthly subscription of £7.99. Again there is no contract and you can enjoy a 30-day free trial.

With Amazon Prime, you can watch programmes such as Fawlty Towers, Doc Martin and Frasier. In autumn, Amazon Prime will also become home to The Grand Tour – the new motoring show from former Top Gear presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

NOW TV is another well-known TV streaming service thanks in part to its high profile advertising and the fact that it’s owned by Sky. To view content, you can buy passes such as an entertainment pass for £6.99 per month which gives you access to 11 channels not found on Freeview such as Sky Atlantic – home to the critically acclaimed, Game of Thrones.

Other passes include the Sky Sports pass (again £6.99 per month) which gives you access to seven Sky Sports channels. You can also buy a NOW TV box for £14.99. This allows you to stream content on your TV once you’ve bought your preferred pass. NOW TV offers a 14 day free trial and there is no contract.