Wi-Fi has become an integral part of our daily lives. We use it to browse the internet, stream movies, listen to music, and even control smart home devices. So, it’s reasonable to wonder – can you use your Wi-Fi network to stream live TV as well? The short answer is yes, absolutely. Read on to understand how you can watch TV through a Wi-Fi connection.
How Does Streaming TV over Wi-Fi Work?
Watching live television through Wi-Fi is made possible by streaming devices and services. The basic concept is simple – the shows are broadcast over the internet to your router, then to the streaming device connected to your TV through Wi-Fi.
Instead of using cables from a satellite dish or cable box, the streaming device receives the video feed over your home internet connection. As long as you have a fast, reliable Wi-Fi signal and internet speeds suitable for streaming video, you can cut the cord from traditional TV providers.
Streaming Services for Live TV
Many online streaming services offer live TV channels, just like terrestrial TV, but over the internet instead. Some popular options include:
- YouTube TV
- BT TV
- BBC iPlayer
- TalkTalk TV
These services provide anywhere from 50 to over 100 live channels, including major networks like BBC, ITV, C4 and C5. The channel lineups will vary by provider.
In addition to live TV streaming, the services give you access to thousands of on-demand movies and shows. You can watch on smart TVs, media streaming devices like Roku and Fire TV, smartphones, tablets, and web browsers.
Most streaming TV services offer free trial periods so you can evaluate the channel selections and video quality before committing to a paid subscription.
Using Streaming Devices
To watch internet-based live TV in your home, you will need:
- High-speed broadband internet
- A streaming device like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, etc.
- Subscription to a streaming TV provider
The streaming device connects to your Wi-Fi network and internet router, allowing you to display the video streams from the streaming service to your television.
Ensure you have a strong Wi-Fi signal in the room where you’ll place the streaming device. The latest generation devices often have 4K video support for an enhanced watching experience.
You can control the streaming device with the included remote, mobile app, or voice assistant. Browse the various streaming channels and content catalogues directly on your TV screen.
Benefits of Watching Live TV via Wi-Fi
Ditching cable for streaming TV over Wi-Fi offers several great benefits:
Cost Savings – Streaming TV services are much cheaper than traditional cable packages. You can save £50 or more per month!
Flexibility – Streaming providers don’t lock you into lengthy contracts. You can cancel or change plans freely based on your needs.
Convenience – Once set up, watching live TV via Wi-Fi doesn’t require any extra steps compared to cable. Just turn on the TV and streaming device.
Mobility – Many streaming services allow you to enjoy live TV on laptops, tablets and smartphones. Great for watching on the go!
No Hardware Hassles – No need to drill holes for cable wires or install satellite dishes. Stream over the modern Wi-Fi equipment you may already have!
Disadvantages to Consider
While live TV streaming has a huge upside, there are a few downsides to consider as well:
Internet Issues – A slow and unstable internet connection will result in poor video quality and buffering issues.
Restrictions – Local channel availability varies by location. Blackout restrictions may apply for sports.
No DVR – Most streaming services offer limited or no DVR functionality to record shows.
App Support – Certain smart TVs and devices may not support particular streaming service apps.
As long as you have reliable high-speed internet and reasonable channel lineups in your area, streaming live TV over Wi-Fi provides an excellent cord-cutting option!
Is it Right for You?
Migrating to live TV streaming is ideal for many households, but more is needed to satisfy some cord-cutters total needs. If you regularly watch a lot of local sports and news channels, have favourite shows on obscure cable networks, or want full-featured DVR, streaming services might only partially replace over-the-air TV.
On the other hand, if you primarily want easy access to major national channels, popular sports and entertainment programming, and on-demand libraries, streaming TV should cover everything you need. Most services offer free trials to experience the video quality and channel selections firsthand.
Give live streaming services a test run on your home Wi-Fi network. Evaluate whether the video quality, channel availability, and price meet your household viewing preferences. With more cord-cutters than ever, watching live television over Wi-Fi is here to stay!