More Streaming Options

Apple TV+

Apple TV+

Apple have announced they are entering the streaming market with their new Apple TV+ streaming service; taking on the well-established Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming services. Like Netflix and Amazon they will be offering a range of new content that will, at least initially, be exclusively available on their TV+ service.

In order to entice potential subscribers, they have signed up some big names in both on-screen and off-screen talent; such as directors Stephen Spielberg and M. Night Shyamalan and actors Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carrell. Oprah Winfrey is also working some documentary style content. With a rumoured $1 billion investment, Apple is certainly looking to generate significant amounts of its future revenue from its subscription services rather than just hardware sales. Pricing for the new service are yet to be announced.

Recent Apple TV set-top boxes will receive an update to gain access to the TV+ service and it is also expected that apps will be available for many Smart TVs from the likes of LG, Samsung and Sony.

BBC and ITV Join Forces

It’s not just Apple that are launching a new service. The BBC and ITV have jointly announced that they will also be launching a new video service called “Britbox”. Scheduled for launch later this year, BritBox will focus on British content—not just new British TV shows but also an archive of “the biggest collection of British content available on any streaming service“. Again, pricing is yet to be announced but they claim it will be ‘competitive’.

Disney too!

And if that wasn’t enough, Disney are also going to be launching their own streaming service. Called Disney+ (hmmm, wonder where Apple got their name from) and launching towards the end of 2019 it is focussing on quality new original content as well as its huge archive of over 7,000 episodes of television and 500 movies it will make available to stream.

Remember that Disney owns the likes of Marvel, Pixar and the Star Wars franchise; which means much of the content that was previously available exclusively on Netflix (eg Daredevil, Jessica Jones and other Marvel favourites) will likely now only be available through the Disney offering.

We’ll probably have a longer wait for the Disney service though, with it not being expected to launch in the UK until at least 2020.

Can’t I Just Watch Broadcast TV

With the amount of investment that is going into these streaming services, broadcast TV (terrestrial and satellite) is struggling to keep up. Not only do they not have access to much of the original content (at least not at time of release), but also the technology is lagging behind. 4K Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) isn’t available on terrestrial TV and may not happen for many years (if at all). Sky have been offering Ultra HD for a while with their Sky Q boxes, but the amount of content in 4K resolution is small in comparison to the streaming options.

Then there’s 8K. As broadband speeds continue to increase with the rollout of newer technologies like G.fast and FTTH (fibre to the home) there is the potential for the streaming services to offer 8K resolution in the future; something which the broadcast services are likely to struggle.

All this means you need a good fast reliable network. Netflix requires 25 Mbps for its 4K content (Amazon manages to get away with just 15 Mbps)—but that’s just for a single stream. If more than one person in the home is watching on different TVs at the same time then the bandwidth requirement multiplies accordingly. Ideally therefore all your TVs need to have a hard-wired Ethernet connection to your home network and you need a quality managed Wi-Fi network throughout the home for watching content on your tablets and other portable devices.

Contact Cyberhomes if you think your home network and Wi-Fi needs an upgrade so you are ready to embrace the Ultra High Definition, multi-provider streaming future.

Posted by
on 28 Mar 2019
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