It seems strange to think there was a time when you had to rely on a television guide in the newspaper to find out what was on TV. These days we have a whole host of ways to watch television programmes and live sport but it has not always been so easy to watch your favourite shows.
Taking the United Kingdom as an example, there were four main stations from which to choose and if you wanted to know what was coming up for a particular day, you needed access to a television guide, either via a magazine or newspaper. Fast forward to today and thanks to online streaming, we now have more ways to watch television shows, movies, and live sport than ever before. Online streaming is possible thanks to the internet and anyone who has a good broadband connection can get access to live streaming services.
One of the biggest ways in which watching television has changed is via content streaming services, such as Netflix. By using Netflix, you do not have to wait for a new episode of a show to appear each week, the majority of the shows available when using the service are complete. This means it is possible to watch a whole series of episodes, back-to-back. Many people choose to do this and it has become known as ‘binge watching’.
Some shows on Netflix do run as a normal television show would by uploading new episodes each week but the majority of shows on the streaming service are available in their entirety.
The BBC have introduced their own form of online streaming. The iPlayer is home to all of the best television shows available on the BBC but it is also possible to watch live television using the streaming service. The BBC news channel is a good example and this is live 24/7 on the iPlayer. Some new television shows are uploaded to the iPlayer in their entirety and there are plenty of classic BBC shows available to watch, in addition to movies. Channel 4, ITV, and Channel 5 have introduced a similar service but in terms of content, the BBC iPlayer leads the way for online streaming.
One of the many benefits of the live streaming services highlighted above is the possibility of watching them when you are not at home. Thanks to the quality of mobile devices, you can enjoy watching the latest shows from Netflix and other content streaming services using a mobile device. The displays on the latest phones and tablets can match that of the best televisions and many people choose to use their mobile device to watch shows and live sport via online streaming.
Another way live streaming is used effectively is live casinos. Online casino developers have worked hard to try and bring a genuine casino experience into the homes of online gamblers and online streaming means it is possible to play games with a real dealer. Without online streaming, this would not be possible and it has led to the introduction of live online poker tournaments. These events are watched by thousands of people around the world.
For those who are interested in watching skilled performers play games live, Twitch is a great website. This is where you will find many of the world’s leading online gamers. They will show themselves playing a video game live on their channel and Twitch has become a top place to enjoy watching online streaming of eSports competitions. Fortnite, Call of Duty, FIFA, Rocket League, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are just some of the eSports available live on Twitch and for many people, Twitch has become their viewing platform of choice.
Another fantastic resource for online streaming content is YouTube. The online video platform was founded in 2005 and acquired by Google the following year for US$1.65 billion. YouTube has become massive and content creators on the platform can earn huge sums of money through advertising and product promotion. In addition to allowing individual content creators to upload their own videos and create channels, YouTube also shows live coverage of sporting events and news channels. There are now several different services available on YouTube, including YouTube Premium, YouTube TV, YouTube Go, YouTube Music, and YouTube Shorts. They each offer something different to the viewer.
As a result of the rise in popularity of online streaming, the majority of platforms highlighted above charge a price to access their services. However, such is the quality and quantity of the content, users are happy to pay the asking price. It will be interesting to see what the future holds in terms of conventional television. There will always be those who will prefer to turn on their favourite television channel on the TV but online streaming is the future. It may not be long until we see the end of conventional television.