Photo: Gustavo DeVito/flickr

How to watch TV at university

So, you’ve just moved into halls or your first house and this is likely the first time you’ll be without TV, or considering paying to watch it. Is it worth it is a good question to ask yourself, and undoubtedly one you’ll be considering. There are a number of different options to consider, including not paying for a thing. It all depends on whether you’re a prolific TV watcher or a once-in-a-while kind of viewer. Regardless, your choices aren’t limited: in fact, there’s a whole host of them.

Your first and most obvious option is to pay the license. You’ll be glad to hear that you only pay for the months that you use. So if your tenancy is 10 months long, you pay the full 12 months, then get the last two months refunded to you when you cancel it at the end. What are you paying for? Essentially, to watch live TV. There is no other (legal) way to watch your favourite shows as they are aired, so if this sounds like something you’d really like to have, then go for the license.

Watching on a big screen from the comfort of your own bed couldn’t be easier

Alternatively, are you really going to be watching that much live TV while at university? In fact, the biggest live events are often streamed on the Piazza’s Big Screen. If you just want to save money and watch shows in your own time, like on a catch-up service such as All4, Sky Go or My5 (but be warned, iPlayer is the only service that needs the license), then you’re better off not getting the license. How does this work? You’re essentially covered by your license back at home (sorry international students!) as long as your device is one powered by its own batteries (i.e. a laptop or tablet not connected to a TV).

Your third option is probably the most popular, and that’s paying monthly for Netflix or Amazon Prime. The benefits include gaining access to dozens of exclusive shows such as GLOW or Jessica Jones on Netflix, and American Gods or The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime, as well as a selection of choice films. Both companies offer free trials so you can determine whether their selections are to your taste. Even better, in the case of Amazon Prime, you also get access to their free, one-day delivery service, as well as the best deals not available to the standard customer. If that wasn’t good enough, students are treated to 6 months free membership, and if you have a handful of really close friends, why don’t you all share an account so you extend your membership to a year or more? Finally, the choice of Netflix or Amazon need not be confined to a small device. If you’re taking a SmartTV with you, or you have a stick such as the Fire TV stick or a ChromeCast, watching on a big screen from the comfort of your own bed couldn’t be easier.

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