Optimize Your Streaming Experience with Optimum
Make no mistake about it. The popularity of streaming programs and shows continues to skyrocket. The stream age is upon on us and Optimum is stoking the stream with award-winning Internet service that delivers a speedy, reliable, secure experience with unlimited data. It’s perfect for every budget and digital lifestyle.
Optimum’s many services are what you’ll need as more and more people turn to streaming for entertainment, sports, music and news. Everyone, it seems, is jumping into the stream to watch their favorite shows and other high quality, original content.
How popular is streaming? The following are some streaming statistics compiled from a variety of sources:
- Today’s digital revenue is around 11.34 billion
- Over 70 percent of viewers feel streaming services offer more affordable, enjoyable and quality content than conventional television.
- 45.2 percent is the penetration rate for digital video streaming in the United Statees.
- More than 60 percent of Millennial and Gen Z consumers stream videos daily.
- Less than 30 percent of Baby Boomers use streaming services on a daily basis.
- $124.57 billion will be the projected worth of the global video streaming market by 2025.
(Market Watch, 2018)
- Americans spend approximately as much time watching videos as they do working, spending 15 hours watching streaming services.
- 55 percent of United States households have a paid streaming service.
- More than a quarter of consumers say they do not use traditional cable television.
- Americans spent $200 billion a month in 2017 on video streaming.
- 56 percent reveal they only use cable services because it is included with internet plans.
- Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z binge the most episodes, with all groups watching between 6-7 episodes in a single sitting. In contrast, Boomers only watch 4-5.
- 59% of adults use cable television for their consumption, with only 28 percent using streaming services.
Clearly, streaming is fundamentally and profoundly changing the way Americans consume media including Optimum customers. Optimum customers are heading for streaming services that provide deep and refreshing original content, new shows, old classics, news, and sports delivered with reliable broadband service, and top broadband speed with plenty of affordable broadband prices.
Navigating the stream, however, can be overwhelming at times because of the slew of selections at your fingertips.
An Optimum Look at General Live TV Streaming Services
To help our Optimum customers smoothly steer in the stream, the following is a look at some of the live streaming services in the United States.
With low-cost Sling Orange and Sling Blue, you can stream effectively through Sling TV without breaking your budget. Orange and Blue cost $25 per month which you can pair for $40 a month. For sports fans, Orange is the color of choice for ESPN. You will have to pay $5 a month for Cloud TVR. You can only do one stream at a time with Orange but Blue provides for three streams. If you like local channels, you will probably need a digital antenna because local channels are limited with Sling TV.
Streaming supporting devices for television: Roku LT, Apple TV (4th generation or later) Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Xbox One and AirTV Player.
For Optimum streamers, PlayStation Vue provides a nice combination of entertainment and sports. Vue offers four subscription levels – Access ($49.99 a month), Core (54.59 per month); Elite ($64.99 per month) and Ultra ($84.99 per month). Optimum customers can also get a Sports Pact, offering NFL RedZone from the NFL Network as well as NBC Sports and Longhorn Network.
Channels offered for Optimum customers through PlayStation Vue include HGTV, ESPN, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Disney, Fox Sports, Food Network, and OWN.
Streaming supporting devices for television: PlayStation 3 consoles, Amazon Fire TV (all gens), Roku players (firmware 7.7 and up), Apple TV (fourth generation running tvOS, 11.0 and up) and Google Chromecast (first generation and up).
With an expanded on-demand library of television shows and original programming such as the critically acclaimed “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu now has 28 million U.S. subscribers. It has also expanded with Hulu Live TV, a channel which offers a variety of entertainment, news, sports and local channels. For a base price of 44.99 a month, the live TV service gives you access to Hulu’s full on-demand streaming roster.
Channels offered for Optimum customers through Hulu + Live TV include HGTV, History, Bravo, A&E, Discovery, Disney, E!, ESPN, FS1, FS2, and Food Network.
Streaming supporting devices for television: Xbox one, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick, Nintendo Switch, Roku and Roku Stick, Apple TV (fourth generation or later, and Google Chromecast.
This streaming service has a robust lineup of sports channels and eight entertainment networks. Its mix is similar to Hulu with TV Live and Sling, appealing to a wide audience. The cost for YouTubeTV is $50 a month.
Channels offered for Optimum customers through YouTubeTV include HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ESPN, Fox Sports 1 & 2, BTN and SEC Network.
Streaming supporting devices for television: Xbox One, Xbox One S & Xbox One, Apple TV (fourth generation and 4K) Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra and Roku Players and TVs.
This streaming service sets itself apart by not offering sports channels and minimal new channels. Also, there are no local broad cast networks such as CBS, ABC, Fox and NBC. As a result, Philo costs a mere $16 a month, yet you get 45 channels.
Channels offered for Optimum customers through Philo include AMC, Food Network, HGTV, Hallmark Channel, Investigation Discovery, OWN, Nickelodeon.
Streaming supporting devices for television: Roku (all current models), Amazon Fire TV (all models), Apple TV (fourth generation or later), and Android TV (5.0 or higher).
Considered a direct competitor to Philo, WatchTV costs slightly less than Philo and is free for customers who bundle WatchTV with select AT&T Wireless data plans. WatchTV heavily skews to news. Sports fans will have to look elsewhere for sports programming. WatchTV does not provide sports channels. Cost: $15 per month.
Channels offered for Optimum customers through AT&T WatchTV include TLC, CNN, HGTV, History, Food Network, and Lifetime.
Streaming supporting devices for television: Amazon Fire TV (second generation or higher), Apple TV (fourth generation or higher), Apple TV 4K and Google Chromecast (second generation or higher).
Netflix and Amazon – Two Giants in the Stream
Ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in terms of subscribers, Netflix has 150 million subscribers while Amazon, through its Amazon Prime streaming service, has 40 million.
The oldest streaming service in the industry, Netflix has been at it since 2007 and has a huge library of shows and original shows and programs. It is the heavyweight champ of streaming services and the service many people use. As a result, it has the must-have app for every emerging platform to offer. In fact, there is not one major streaming platform that lacks support for Netflix.
Integration has been the key to the popularity of Amazon Prime Video. It is coupled with Amazon Prime, known for its two-day shipping of goods and other products all over the world. In addition, Amazon’s streaming service is marketed through Amazon.com. Size matters and Amazon has used it to advance the big growth of Amazon Prime Video.
No stopping the Stream
Technology is transforming the way people, including Optimum customers, consume their entertainment and information. This transformation is taking place because streaming is convenient, scalable, personalized, and affordable.
Convenient. You are not tied to a regular TV schedule. With streams, you can check out your shows and programs when you want to watch them. It gives you mobility, allowing you to watch nearly everywhere.
Scalable. Several streaming services give you the choice of the content you want without being locked into a bigger package. It’s simple. You can pay for the features you want and skip the shows, programs and other services you do no need or want.
Personalized. Streamers and video streaming apps offer up suggestions tied to your viewing profile. As a result, Optimum customers get a savory smorgasbord of customized content that melds with your interests.
Affordable. Streaming is a bottom line business and you are a bottom line customer. While all those factors have led to the soaring popularity of streaming, you want to save money. Streaming is a cost-saving alternative.
Demographics also cannot be discounted in the popularity of streaming services. According to eMarketer, 63 percent of Millennials watching streaming services and live videos. This large demographic is embracing the stream swimmingly because all the streaming capabilities are literally in their hands.
Delivering the Stream Through Optimum
Even if you have a smart TV with smart apps, a streaming device is key to watch shows on streaming services like Hulu and Netflix.
Without the optimal streaming device, your experience will not rank high on the entertainment barometer.
But don’t fret, Optimum customers. There are plenty of quality services and ways to watch online content on your television. If you do not have a TV with Aps or a Blue-ray player or a game system that does not have the technology you want, you can find an affordable streaming device.
For under $100, most streaming devices will permit you to set up your television with the streaming service you desire.
There are several streaming devices on the market for Optimum customers including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV and Google Cast. Aside from Google Cast, all these streaming devices have dedicated remotes and on-screen menu options, allowing you to watch your desired shows and programming through Optimum right on your couch. You do not need a mobile device, either. With Google Cast, you will need Google Cast apps that work with Google Cast to stream programming. All platforms should give you entry into most of the streaming services.
Resolution, of course, matters when streaming content. Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV and Google Cast all have streaming devices that deliver ultra-high definition (4K) and HDR content for sharp and crystal-clear viewing. Clarity with Optimum speed.
With a quality streaming device coupled with Optimum’s speedy Internet, Optimum customers are ready for some serious fun and entertainment.
Now in its seventh generation of products, the Roku box features a custom Linux distribution named Roku OS, which includes a variety of new revisions and additions including security updates. Roku also offers Roku TV, which was launched in 2013. The Roku streaming devices provides 4K video and HDR10 through its Ultra and Streaming Stick+.
Of the major streaming device players, Roku has the most models with six available at different cost levels. Big streamers offered through the Roku Channel Store are Twitch, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and Sling TV.
Amazon Fire TV
Not surprisingly, Amazon Fire TV devices are centered primarily on the Amazon Prime media menu, which includes Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Prime Music. However, the Amazon Fire TV streaming device also has Netflix, Hulu and YouTube apps. The streaming device’s big attraction is the expansive Prime content.
Budget conscious, Amazon Fire TV has made Fire TV the standard Fire TV streaming device. The only Fire TV without 4K is the basic Fire Stick streaming device.
More expensive than some of the other streaming devices on the market, Apple TV allows viewers to utilize HDTV to stream podcasts, music, and video along with downloading games and apps from the Apple App Store.
Using the fourth generation Apple TV streaming device, consumers can get a wide variety of apps and games, do casting and mirroring and utilize Siri.
Google’s dedicated Android-based streaming device, the Android’s Nvidia Shield TV was the initial platform to provide Netflix 4K content outside of a TV with the NetFlix 4K app built in.
In addition, Android TV has the Google Assistant, competing with Alexa on Fire TV and Siri with Apple TV. This streaming device is also compatible with the Google Cast streaming device, which allows you to stream content, much like if you had Chromecast.
Considered a simple streaming device platform Google Cast enables you to control all streaming content through your mobile device. You simply connect your home network to Chromecast and let the streaming begin. It is also considered economical and known for its easy use. The Google Assistant has smart speakers so streamers can easily provide voice commands to order up what you want to view.
Streaming into the Future with Optimum
While no one can see into the future, most observers envision the streaming space to continue to expand with new services and devices and changes in consumer behavior on how they watch content. What can Optimum users expect from the stream in the future?
Multiple Devices. According to a Verto Watch survey, 44 percent of adult online users in the United States own and use at least one PC device, smartphone and tablet. This information coincides with how consumers view streaming online, through multiple devices. At least 30 million adult users, according to Verto Watch, have six different devices.
Devices will dictate different watching habits. In other words, you may choose to watch a short video on a smartphone and a long-form video on you Smart TV. Verto reports smartphones that the majority of shorter videos are viewed on smartphones with the longer content being watched on Smart TVs. However, the lines are starting to blend. Verto data reveals that PCs account for a large share of short-form videos. In fact, 92 percent of users spend time streaming short videos on their PCs.
Digital and TV working together. That’s right. Many experts feel the competition between digital and TV will ease because 15 percent of TV usage still includes simultaneous online usage during prime-time hours.
Diverse channels. In the first few decades of television, limited technology meant there were not many channels that could air. And these channels usually offered a variety of programming for everyone. No more. With streaming, unlimited channels can be streamed in a cost-effective way and most observers see the reduced costs leading to very distinct channels targeted to niche markets. Lower costs mean streamers will not need a bigger audience to turn a profit.
Better Quality. Streaming quality has definitely improved since its inception but broadcast still has the advantage with better quality video and surround sound. Improvements to wireless and networking technology broaden the bandwidth available to streaming services. That means picture and sound quality will finally catch up and perhaps surpass broadcast.
Being Original. By developing more original shows, streaming services can generate more shows specifically tailored for its purposes. Think “House of Cards” on Netflix, which was the first streaming service to develop its own blockbuster show. Because streaming services can show ads before the clip begins, TV shows do not have to stay in a certain time frame, do not need commercial breaks and do not have to be released one at a time.
Stream to Optimum
There’s no stopping the growth of the stream, and Optimum stands tall with speedy packages as rapid as the stream. With Internet speeds up to 400 Mbps – there’s a speed that fits streamers of every stripe.
Just some of the streaming hot shows and movies you’ll see with Optimum On Demand as 2020 unfolds:
- “When Hope Calls Preview Special,” a behind-the-scenes look at the new streaming series “When Hope Calls,” available On Demand starting December 31 on the Hallmark Channel.
- “The Incredible Dr. Pol,” season four. As the busy summer kicks into high gear at the clinic with life-and-death situations. On Demand and available on National Geo Wild starting January 1.
Optimize your streaming experience with Optimum. The stream is overflowing with excellent, interesting, fun and engaging entertainment for all ages. Hop in and take full advantage of Optimum packages. A warm and wonderful stream awaits.