Students explore TV options

Fumi Nakamura/The News Jason Robertson, junior from St. Louis, Mo., browses Netflix for something to watch.
Fumi Nakamura/The News Jason Robertson, junior from St. Louis, Mo., browses Netflix for something to watch.

Fumi Nakamura/The News
Jason Robertson, junior from St. Louis, Mo., browses Netflix for something to watch.

Being at home with a blank schedule can give students plenty of time to catch up on social activities, to read a book or spend countless hours binge watching television shows or having movie nights.

Having multiple options when it comes to watching shows and movies, it can get confusing when it comes time to choose a service to use.

These days, there is Netflix, Amazon Prime and basic cable provided on campus in the residential halls. Although those are only a few options, they seem to be among the most popular.

Netflix is a website that offers the opportunity to watch top-rated television shows and movies.

For $8 a month, videos, movies and TV shows can be accessed from a computer, mobile device and gaming system at any time.

“Netflix offers a lot of different shows,” said Cassidy Gatlin, sophomore from Oswego, Ill. “I like how they find similar shows and movies to recommend based on the shows and movies that you’ve recently watched.”

To make things easier, devices have been created with the Netflix application already installed that hook into televisions to give access to those without the previously mentioned devices.

For an extra dollar, users can have some movies that are not available on the streaming site delivered to their houses without a due date.

The selections are updated periodically in order to best serve customers.

Television shows are normally updated once the show’s previous season has ended and the new season has begun on regular cable or satellite. The movies range from popular titles such as “Olympus Has Fallen” to lesser-known titles such as the documentary “Bully.”

Similar to Netflix, Amazon has added a video streaming feature to its Prime accounts. If students don’t have an Amazon Prime account to view movies and television shows, they must purchase or rent them individually. The prices vary depending on the release dates.

Typically, if a person decides to rent the video, they will have the ability to watch it for up to two or more days before it removes itself from their account.

“I love how Amazon Prime differs from Netflix,” said Reagan Meredith, sophomore from Murray. “They get the newer television episodes much quicker so I can watch them and not have to wait. The titles are more recent compared to the older variety Netflix offers.”

Instead of waiting for an entire season to be added to the video stream, customers can purchase individual episodes from Amazon Prime almost as soon as they air on television.

This option can cost more than buying the entire season in a DVD box set, but it comes in handy for those who just can’t wait.

Internet streaming is popular for students on a budget and with free time for movie nights, but the University also provides students with access to free local cable.

Although students are limited to what the channel programs are, it can prove to be much more simple to just turn on the TV and flip to a liked channel rather than scroll through a list of hundreds of movies.

“It’s really convenient,” said Spencer Moran, sophomore from Louisville, Ky. “It’s provided to the residential halls with no extra cost like Netflix and Amazon Prime. I do wish there were more channels to choose from. Especially sports channels. But it’s a cheap alternative when trying to stay on a budget but still get good TV.”

Whether it’s the price of watching a movie or television show or just the simplicity of choosing, each student has contrasting TV needs.

Available options are increasing with the developing trend of video streaming on the Internet. However, going with the basic cable can be just as reliable.

A little research and a friend’s opinion could make or break a wallet and a lonely Friday night.


Story by Katrina Yarbrough, Staff writer