There’s no doubt that we’re getting a better deal on TV and film than we’ve ever had before. Whether it’s saving money on a date night, finding the newest obsession to share with your friends, or even helping many a family get through the recent pandemic, streaming TV has been a godsend compared to the comparatively prehistoric concept of scheduled TV networks. That said, it is not without its problems. Here, we’re going to look at some of the issues with modern streaming TV, as well as some of the ways you can navigate around them.
Everything’s split across different platforms
Netflix, Amazon Prime, MAX, Disney+, Hulu, the list goes on and on, with new networks seemingly coming out every season. At one point, Netflix was the singular place to be but now, you need to do your homework, compare the different networks, and see which is regularly putting out productions that line up with your interests. Of course, you don’t have to subscribe to just one. Especially if you can get on a family plan, you can share a few connections between multiple households to get access to as many platforms as you need. But you should be picky with where you spend your money and use some guides to help you pick which services you actually want.
Those subscription costs add up
Of course, if you do end up subscribing to multiple streaming platforms, then you should try to stay extra aware of the monthly charges that come from each of them. The average household has a few subscription services to balance. Not just streaming TV, but online gaming subscriptions, audiobooks, and other apps and services you use. There are tools to help you track your subscription services so that you never let one slip through the cracks. Just remember, if you’re not likely to use a streaming service in the near future, there’s no downside to canceling and picking it back up when you want to watch something that comes out on it. None of these platforms offer any real loyalty incentives, so don’t pay for what you’re not using.
New faves are always getting canceled
You should always be wary of any series that are created by and exclusively for streaming services. We’ve seen no shortage of cancellations, especially from Netflix, as of late. Of course, there’s always a chance that TV shows can get saved or brought back from the dead by fan outcry, but sometimes these returns don’t quite hit the same mark as they once did, simply because the passing of time makes it impossible to make the same show again.
You’re never getting the full catalog
Have a friend across the pond or on the other side of the world that can’t stop singing the praises of a show that’s on one of the subscription services you paid for? Chances are, it’s a coin flip on whether you get to watch it or not. Every subscription service you’re able to name likely region-locks their content, meaning they don’t allow viewers in Europe to access the same stuff as in America, and vice versa. Of course, this isn’t really much of a problem today as, with a VPN, you can learn how to change region on Netflix. A little tech wizardry and you can ensure you’re getting all of the catalog you pay for.
They can run pretty badly at times
While there are definitely issues that can happen with satellite or cable TV, some people can have problems a lot more consistent with streaming services due to the amount of data that they require. There are ways to fix most of the playback issues, such as making sure that your internet connection is strong, that others aren’t using up all the Wi-Fi, and that you’re not accidentally blocking up the connection with the position of your router
Picking something to watch isn’t always that easy
Lastly, everyone who subscribes to a streaming service is bound to have had the experience of sitting down and scrolling for minutes on end without being able to find something to watch. It’s not that all of the content there is bad, but choice paralysis can set in when you’re able to access all of it at once. There are plenty of tips to help you decide on something to watch, such as running through online guides, keeping up with new releases, or even letting the algorithm decide for you.
Streaming TV has its issues, but hopefully the pointers above help you get around some of them to better enjoy the modern media landscape.