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When it comes to watching TV, rabbit ears are officially a thing of the past.
And with streaming services becoming a huge part of most Americans' consumption habits, the familiar remotes with numbers that point to your favorite cable channels are quickly being replaced by ones with buttons for apps like Netflix and Hulu.
As the options continue to expand, it can be difficult to figure out what streaming platforms are worth the monthly subscription fee. To help wade through the offerings, we've enlisted the help of Francisco Caceres from Telemundo's Un Nuevo Dia.
Read on for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the new frontier in entertainment.
What is a streaming service?
Caceres explained that a streaming service is an entertainment provider that delivers content (movies, TV shows, music etc.) to your device of choice using the internet. You can stream to Smart TVs, computers and mobile devices using these services.
What are the best devices for streaming?
If your TV doesn't already have internet compatibility, there are a few devices you can purchase to transform it into a Smart TV. It's important to keep in mind that these devices allow you to access popular streaming services, but you'll still need to set up a separate subscription to start watching. Caceres listed the following picks as some of the most popular options in the space.
1. Roku Express
The Roku Express system is currently on sale through Nov. 2, so if you've landed on this device now might be the time to buy.
The Google Chromecast is a great option for anyone who has other Google Smarthome devices (like the Google Home Mini).
Amazon's popular streaming device allows users to tune the television to their favorite show using their voice, thanks to its Alexa compatibility.
4. Apple TV
Caceres noted that this might be the best option if you already own an iPhone, an iPad and a Mac computer, because it's able to easily integrate with the rest of your devices. The HD version is available for $149, but you can also get the 4K version for $179 and it includes one free year of Apple+ (more on that later).
Which streaming services offer a live TV option?
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If the thought of missing out on big live TV moments — like the Super Bowl, the Oscars or even this week's episode of "This Is Us" — is keeping you from cutting the cord, there are a few streaming services that might be right for you. These are a few that offer live TV access as part of the subscription:
For $45 per month, Hulu + Live TV offers access to Hulu's library of streaming content, plus 60 predetermined channels of live TV.
2. YouTube TV
For $50 per month, YouTube TV offers access to 70 channels of live TV and you can record your favorite shows the way you might with a cable package.
3. Sling TV
Sling TV is usually $25 per month for around 30 channels, but right now they're offering a promotion for 40% off your first month.
What are the best streaming services for watching kids' shows and movies?
Launching Nov. 12, Disney+ will offer access to all of the Marvel and "Star Wars" movies your heart desires, plus classics from Disney and Pixar. It'll also be a destination for new content like the "Lizzie McGuire" reboot.
You're probably familiar with the streaming giant by now, but the brand's offerings for children are worth paying attention to! The service offers access to shows like "Care Bears" and "My Little Pony," plus a new Carmen Sandiego animated series that'll star Gina Rodriguez.
What are the best steaming services for watching original content?
1. Apple TV+
Launching Nov. 1, Apple's new service will include original programming from powerhouses like Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg.
Amazon's streaming service is home to award-winning shows like "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Fleabag," "Transparent" and "Catastrophe."
What are the best streaming services for watching classic sitcoms?
1. HBO Max
Set to launch in the spring of 2020, HBO Max will be the home of shows like "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and "The Big Bang Theory." The new service will also play host to "Friends."
Launching in 2020, NBC's new streaming service will give you access to shows like "Cheers," "Frasier," "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "The Office."
What are the best streaming services for watching sports?
ESPN+ offers access to games from MLB, NHL, MLS and the PGA Tour. If you're a basketball fan or football fan it may not be for you — the service doesn't include live NBA coverage or Monday Night Football.
FuboTV offers access to NFL, NBA and MLB games, plus live TV options from NBC, CBS and Fox.
For more stories like this, check out:
- The best TVs for your March Madness viewing party
- What to watch on Netflix right now: Best movies and TV shows of October
- The best Christmas movies on Netflix
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