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General streaming information and guidance

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Some free streaming sites do not require you to sign in. The sites that do request the viewer to sign in usually offer additional features for viewers that log in to the site. These enhancements might include an online DVR (Digital Video Recorder) for their live programming. Other features could include a method for the visitor to save a list of movies they wish to watch later or perhaps the site might offer viewing suggestions based on previous movie selections, etc.

Many sites will request an email address from you. I would suggest you open a separate email address and use that email address at all the streaming sites you elect to use. Numerous companies offer free email addresses, such as Google (Gmail), AOL, Yahoo, and more. Even your current email provider should allow you to open multiple email address names so you may keep your personal email address separate from your online persona. This would likely help to reduce email spamming to your personal email address.

Free is Free, and free is great; however, streaming services that a user pays monthly may offer a more refined experience and better streaming quality, along with more current programming. If you are familiar with searching the internet for various topics of interest, you might not find it difficult to view programming from internet streaming sites.

Website note: In this section, when we use the word program it includes TV shows, movies, documentaries, educational, etc. Since we are dealing with TV programs and movies in the USA, the sites listed are available in English language.

Beginning your hunt for programs will require some early decision choices on your part.

First - To Pay or Not to Pay, that is the question. Apologies to William Shakespeare's Hamlet.

We have three choices in this arena:
1. Free. No monthly subscription fees. Programs will contain advertisements just as you see on American TV.
2. Free with Paid selections available. No monthly fee, but some of the site's viewing options will require a fee to view a specific program or series.
3. Paid. You pay a monthly or yearly fee to view the sites program offerings just as you would with cable TV.

Our second decision is whether we want a TV Grid style streaming site to mimic our cable TV viewing, or a site that offers hundreds to thousands of movies and TV programs that we can search through to view on our timetable.

That sentence is a little simplified, but generally video streaming sites can be placed into one of three categories:

A. Cable TV Grid Style.
B. On Demand programs often listed by genre, such as Drama, Sci-Fi, Comedy, etc.
C .Combination of both above.

The On-Demand style can become a bit of a pain if we do not have a specific movie / program in mind. To just randomly scroll through a thousand movie titles to find something to watch becomes tedious at best. One can lose a half hour just reviewing the titles and the synopsis of each program.

The combo style site (# 3 above) is what we shall first review. Several sites in our below list are free, others require a monthly payment. I would start with a free site to use as you learn more of what your viewing needs are.

Some free streaming sites do not require you to sign in. The sites that do request the viewer to sign in usually offer additional features for viewers that log in to the site. These enhancements might include an online DVR for their live programming. Other features could include a method for the visitor to save a list of movies they wish to watch later or perhaps the site might offer viewing suggestions based on previous movie selections, etc.

Many sites will request an email address from you. I would suggest you open a separate email address and use that email address at all the streaming sites you elect to use. Numerous companies offer free email addresses, such as Google (Gmail). Even your current email provider should allow you to open multiple email address names so you may keep your personal email address separate from your online persona. This would likely help to reduce email spamming to your personal email address.

Streaming sites prefer you sign in, because they can include you in the number of viewers to their web channel when talking with advertisers. They can charge more for an advertisement if they have five thousand viewers rather than five hundred viewers. And if they make more money, they can buy newer and better programs for viewers.

Worth noting as you view streaming choices is to remember streaming sites are a business. And just as at any business, the streaming company must make money to pay for employees, website and internet fees, royalties paid to people that produced the program, and other associated business costs.

Any site (streaming or otherwise) that does not ask for money and does not have advertisements on the site is, most likely, either new and trying to build an audience, or using you as their product.

Side note: Downloading (streaming) more than one program at a time requires a good internet connection. If more than one person will be viewing or recording different programs at the same time, review how many streams a site allows at one time. Often it is around three programs at a time, but some sites allow only one program at a time.

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