When it comes to entertainment technology, moving can be a challenge. You have to break down your entire media setup only to sign new internet contracts, install your TV service, and set everything back up in your new home.
Seeking something more convenient? Swap your bulky cable box for a streaming service or two.
Whether you’re downsizing or simply trying to join the growing number of cord-cutters out there, moving is the perfect time to reconsider your options and find the best streaming service for your (new) household needs.
Devices for Smooth Streaming
Lugging your couch to your new place is hard enough—your media setup shouldn’t cause a headache, too! To ease the burden of moving, consider streamlining your entertainment system with one of these devices.
- Smart TV. The simplest approach to optimizing your media setup is to get a Smart TV. For maximum compatibility, we recommend sticking to the main brands: LG, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio. These TVs let you customize your streaming apps so you can access Sling, Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime Video directly from your TV. A Smart TV will make moving your media setup easy—no need to cart boxes and remotes to your new place.
- Google Chromecast. Chromecast is a great option if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to stream your media. It broadcasts content from a smartphone or tablet to your TV—all for about $35. However, if you want to view your favorite shows in 4K, you’ll need to upgrade to Chromecast Ultra.
- Roku Streaming Stick+. This Roku device allows you to stream TV, sports, and movies via a wireless connection. You can even control your TV with voice commands. Best of all, the entire system is encapsulated in an easy-to-move USB drive and remote.
- Apple TV 4K. This small box uses Dolby Atmos sound to give you a top-notch viewing experience. If you own other Apple products, you’ll get a whole new level of integration: on-board channels and services, as well as easy content mirroring from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. All this power is packed into a small box that sits next to your TV—easy to set up, break down, and move.
To save money and simplify your move, do your research before you pack your moving truck.
Streamlining Your Streaming Service
Smart devices make moving a heck of a lot easier, as they downsize your media setup while still giving you access to all your favorite shows, movies, and music. But with all the available streaming services, how can you be sure you’re getting the services you need without overlapping or spending unnecessary money?
- Take stock of your favorite shows. Make a list of all of your favorite shows and movies, and then look through each streaming service’s offerings to find the service that best matches your entertainment needs. Be thorough to avoid overlapping, as you’ll likely find the same offering on multiple services.
- Check for bundles. Many services offer packages that give you solid streaming deals. By bundling Hulu Live with a Showtime add-on, for example, you can get local cable, premium channels, and Showtime favs for a lower price than if you bought these services individually.
- Reassess your needs. Moving is a great time to reconsider what media, services, and devices you actually need. But it shouldn’t be the only time you think about these things. As your shows come on- and off-air, start and stop your streaming services accordingly to avoid paying for a service you’re not using.
Finding the Right Service for Your (New) Home
Streaming services are everywhere, and they each offer a unique mix of shows, movies, and other entertainment. Here are a few to consider as you set up shop in your new home.
- Netflix. This is the most popular streaming service—and for good reason. Netflix gives you access to a huge range of movies and TV shows, including a growing number of popular Netflix Originals that you won’t find anywhere else.
- Hulu. If popular network TV shows are your thing, then Hulu is your best bet. It has a wide selection of TV shows from big networks. You can connect Hulu’s on-demand service to your cable service for only $5.99/month, and you can add extras like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, or Starz with ease. Hulu Live gives you access to all these streaming options, plus more than 60 live TV channels.
- Amazon Prime Video. Prime Video is included with any Amazon Prime subscription, so if you’re a regular online shopper, this deal might be best for you. It doesn’t include as many options as Hulu or Netflix, but it has a wide range of flicks for the whole family, and it allows you to subscribe to most premium channels, as well.
- Disney+ is the new player on the block, and you can’t find a bigger name! For $6.99 per month, this is a great way to give the kids (and nostalgic adults) access to all their favorite movies—and with a Hulu or ESPN+ bundle, you can access your favorite adult shows and sports, too.
- HBO Now. If you subscribe to HBO’s cable service, then HBO Go is included, giving you mobile access to the network. But if you want to skip cable, HBO Now is a standalone option that gives you access to big-name shows.
- Apple TV+. This is another newcomer, so you won’t find a ton of options just yet. If you’re a fan of their new originals, you can get a free one-year subscription when you buy a new iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, or Mac.
Creating Your Action Plan
To save money and simplify your move, do your research before you pack your moving truck. Determine which streaming services will let you ditch your cable subscription and downsize your media setup. Switching to streaming will allow you to stay up to date on all your favorite shows—even when you’re still living among boxes in your new home.