How to Start Streaming Movies & TV

There are a few steps to it, but they really aren’t difficult

Even with a cable TV subscription, sometimes there’s just nothing good on. Fortunately, there’s a huge variety of shows and movies available to stream at any time. In fact, that's why more and more people are cutting the cord from cable TV subscriptions. There are a few steps to take if you want to start streaming, but they’re pretty easy.

What Is Needed to Start Streaming?

For this guide, you’ll need either a smart TV and an internet connection or a TV, a dedicated streaming devices, and an internet connection.

You can also stream on phones, computers, gaming consoles, and more.

How Do I Start Streaming TV and Movies?

If you’re ready to start watching TV shows and movies whenever you like, here’s how to get started.

  1. Get a TV. If you already have one, you’ll be streaming in no time!

  2. Connect the smart TV to Wi-Fi.  If you get a smart TV, the setup process will provide prompts to help you. Non-smart TVs can’t connect to Wi-Fi, but streaming devices (which you will attach to your TV) have Wi-Fi built in.

  3. Get a streaming device. Smart TVs have apps for many core services, but if you can’t find the apps you want or you notice your TV’s apps crashing, consider getting a streaming device. Dedicated streaming devices offer greater stability and performance than some smart TV operating systems.

  4. Set up the device. Plug the streaming device into the correct port on your TV (most likely an HDMI port) and then wirelessly connect the streaming device to your Wi-Fi connection. Read more about Roku, Fire TV or Apple TV for device-specific setup instructions.

  5. Subscribe to streaming services. Streaming devices and smart TVs will give you access to a lot of free content, but you can add subscription services for popular television networks and niche interests like anime.

    If you have a smart TV, your remote may have buttons for streaming services like Netflix or Vudu. You will still need a subscription to use those services.

  6. Download apps to your smart TV or streaming device. Find apps in the app store of your smart TV or streaming device. There are a variety of apps to stream TV shows, movies, and music.

    Your preferred streaming service may have apps for smartphones and gaming consoles as well.

  7. Start watching. Once you’ve added your streaming services, it’s time to find something to watch.

How Do I Find Something to Stream?

Between a smart TV and streaming devices, there are just too many apps to look through them all. Use a website like JustWatch to see what’s streaming on lots of apps at once. You can even search for specific movies and TV shows to see where they’re available and compare rental prices.

  • How do I start streaming on Twitch?

    To stream on Twitch, sign up for a free account > select your profile icon > Channel > Customize Channel to edit your profile photo and bio. Next, download and log in to Twitch Studio with your Twitch account info to set up your microphone, camera, check your internet speed, and set details about your stream. When you're ready to start broadcasting, select Start Stream.

  • How do I start streaming on PS4?

    You can link your YouTube or Twitch account for PS4 streaming. From the Playstation menu, select Settings > Account Management > Link with Other Services > choose YouTube or Twitch > and log in to the service you choose. To start streaming, select Share on your controller > Broadcast Gameplay > select the channel to broadcast > Start Broadcasting.

  • How do I start live streaming on YouTube?

    First, verify your YouTube account; log in to YouTube > select Go Live > and request and enter the verification code sent to your phone. After confirming your account for live streaming on YouTube, log in > select Create > Go Live > verify your webcam setup > and click Go Live to begin streaming.

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