002: The Most Accessible Ways of Watching TV

[Podcast] The Most Accessible Ways of Watching TV - Episode 2

Everyone loves to watch TV. It has become our national pastime it seems. And, with the advent of things like Netflix and Hulu many new options for TV watching have really opened up. But, for those of us with vision impairment, what options do we have. Today, we discuss the most accessible ways of watching TV. From audio description to the actual interfaces, we'll cover the ways that will give you the best TV watching experience you can have!

Let's Talk Options

There are a few different options you have for TV watching these days. No longer is is three channels and some bunny ears. Let's look at the core options we are offered these days.

Cable/Satellite

There is the classic method of watching TV. With this option, you fork out what is usually a lot of money to have equipment installed in your home to give you TV access. Many times, internet is bundled in this package as well. Wires are run. Boxes are set up. Remotes are lost.

There are major companies in this option. Dish Network and Direct TV head up the satellite companies while Comcast and Time Warner are a couple of the cable companies. (I'm sure there are others, but we'll keep it simple.)

Streaming Services

For those people who are becoming “cord cutters” this is the category that has helped them do it. Companies such as Netflix and Hulu have changed the face of TV watching as we know it. You can get movies and tv shows when you want them and as much as you want them. No more waiting until the next week to see a new episode. You can binge an entire season in one weekend.

Streaming services have an advantage over cable and stelitte as there is not equpment to set up. You can watch TV from your phone, tablet or computer. Devices like the Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire Stick make it easy to get those services on your big screen as well.

Internet Based Live TV

This option has come around in the last few years. Sling TV was one of the first big services to offer this, with services like Playstation Due and even Direct TV offering Direct Now. Essentially, this is a combination of the first two options. You get a set amount of live channels as well as having the ability to have most of that offered in an on demand version.

The main difference between this and normal cable or satellite is that live channels are streamed over the web. So, if your internet goes down, so goes your TV watching.