The Future of Streaming TV

by Peter D. Marshall

Television streaming
by Lillian Morgan.

Consumers have continued to shift away from broadcast television, putting their attention on streaming media services and players. The battleground for streaming television dominance is particularly heated in the U.K., with Apple TV, Sky Box, Chromecast, and BT Sport. It’s a crowded market, but it’s also one that is very engaged with their content.

Music Industry Blog found the U.K. had 23 percent purchase conversion ratings for free to paid streaming content, putting it among the highest numbers globally. As consumers make their preferences known, the streaming television industry continues to grow and evolve.

Apple TV

Apple TV brings cloud-based and streaming media services to your living room. It is easy to use, has the Apple brand behind it, and has quite a few ways to get around region locks on content. For example, you can use HideIPVPN in order to access content that’s restricted in the U.K. Streaming media license issues come in many forms, since the company technically either needs worldwide rights, or rights in each streaming market for it to be properly licensed.

Apple’s brand recognition, integration with the iCloud via Airplay, and thorough app support, make Apple TV a powerhouse in the streaming media world. The Roku fulfills a similar function and has a good market share, as well, although it doesn’t have the same level of personal media integration the Apple TV does with Airplay.

Google Chromecast

Google snuck out the Chromecast the same day they announced it, to the general surprise of the tech world. Plenty of eyes have been focused on Google TV, but the Chromecast came out of left field. It’s a small dongle that connects to the HDMI input on your television. It has a handful of built-in applications that run on Chrome OS, such as Netflix, but it doesn’t have the full range of apps that Apple TV boasts.

What it does offer is the ability to screencast your computer to your television, and it also turns the devices in your room into remotes instead of giving you an actual remote. Your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer controls the Google Chromecast. When you use it with the Chrome web browser, you also get an extension that pushes your computer screen or a specific tab to the television. This gives you the option to display a variety of content, both personal and from unsupported apps.

Broadcast Network Apps

Broadcast networks across the world are struggling to stay relevant in an age where cord cutting is becoming the norm instead of the exception to the rule. The BBC iPlayer is one of the more well-known networks doing this in the U.K. TechRadar reports that 174 million requests were received through the iPlayer website, and demand continues to grow. BBC also has an iOS and Android app that allows for episode downloads. In addition to displaying shows after they have aired on BBC, they also stream live television, making this a viable alternative to a high-quality cable television provider.

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