Each year at this time, I usually find myself looking ahead at all of the promise of the new year. Many of us will consider resolutions we can make to improve ourselves as the calendar turns to 2021. After the year we’ve all just been through, I think we could likely use that fresh sense of optimism. But just as admirable as it is that we will resolve to lose a little weight or get organized this year, it’s also unfortunately predictable that many of us will drop those diets, exercise regimes or organizational systems by spring.
That’s why I have a suggested resolution for many of our members that can be accomplished from the couch.
If you’re one of the roughly 1 in 4 Americans who hasn’t tried streaming video service through platforms like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, I’d urge you to consider resolving to give it a try in 2021.
According to the researchers at Nielsen, many older TV watchers did just that in 2020. Spurred on in a hunt for programming while staying home during the pandemic, older viewers now account for 26% of all streaming minutes viewed, up from 19% a year ago, according to the Nielsen data.
While there is a little bit of a learning curve on the new platforms, the amount of shows and movies to watch at your command is astounding.
While Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu are the dominant providers, new streaming services like Disney+, Peacock and HBOMax have debuted in the last 18 months. Paramount+, due out this year, promises to offer an immense catalog of shows from CBS and other Viacom networks, as well as decades’ worth of hit movies produced in the Paramount Studios. The summer Olympics alone are expected to provide hundreds of hours of programming for NBC’s Peacock.
And thanks to our work building and maintaining the HCTC broadband network, this vast world of programming is available right in your living room.
Here are my suggestions for how to give it a try:
- Start small. Most streaming platforms offer a free trial of up to 30 days. Beyond that, basic plans for Disney+, Hulu and Netflix are priced at under $10 per month so you can try the service without a huge financial commitment.
- Pick the right box. Your TV may already have some streaming capabilities built in to get you started. If not, you’ll need a Roku device or Amazon’s Fire TV Stick connected to your Wi-Fi to get you started.
- Ask for help. Whether it’s a friend, family member or one of our friendly staff, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for advice on navigating this exciting new world of streaming video.