Cutting the Cord: The Beginner’s Streaming Guide

When considering the high price of cable TV packages, added service fees, and the fact that you’ll still need to sit through ‎so many advertisements, you sometimes forget what show you’re actually watching. It's no surprise there’s a continuing ‎shift towards ‘cutting the cord’ on cable TV. ‎

Come to think of it, it wasn’t that long ago when there weren’t any other options other than cable TV and, well, service ‎providers exploited that fact. In the early 2000s, if you spoke to someone about the possibility of not needing cable TV or ‎even radio in their home, they’d likely have laughed.‎

Thankfully, we’re no longer at the mercy of cable companies who charge whatever they want and provide zero customer ‎service when it’s required. A dream that became a reality in the mid-2000s thanks to two then-unknown companies: ‎Netflix and YouTube. ‎

But first, what exactly is streaming?‎

What is Streaming?‎

Streaming is the transmission of data, most commonly in video or audio, delivered at a constant rate from some source. ‎This means that instead of the user having to wait for a download to finish before listening or watching, they can do so ‎while the ‘download’ happens in the background. ‎

‎‘Download’ in this sense doesn’t mean what we’re commonly used to. While in the past we’d download and store video ‎and audio files locally on our computers until we decide to delete them, when we stream, data is automatically deleted ‎from our devices once we’re done. Streaming also comes in several different forms:‎

‎1. Video game streaming

There are two forms of video game streaming; live and recorded. ‎

Recorded streaming was (arguably) made popular thanks to PewDiePie, who currently sits on a gargantuan YouTube ‎following with 110 million subscribers. Unlike live-streaming, the recorded form involves recording yourself playing a ‎game and commentating over it, finally uploading the video onto online streaming platforms like YouTube.‎

Live-streaming, on the other hand, involves having a live recording of yourself playing a game, either as a voiceover or a ‎combination of video and audio, most often done on Twitch. ‎

If you’re thinking of becoming a video game streamer yourself, get yourself a good gaming router to minimise lag and ‎maximise streaming speeds. Also, if you’re looking for a game to get started on, Mobile Legends is a great place to start!‎

‎2. Movie & TV streaming

Instead of having cable TV dictate what you watch and when you watch it, why not choose the show or movie you want at ‎your convenience, without any advertisements to boot? Welcome to the wonderful world of movie and TV streaming!‎

Allowing you to stream shows on any number of devices, including TV, desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and even ‎smartphones, streaming has made TV-on-the-go a reality. All you need is a subscription to one or more streaming ‎services, and you can access their huge catalogues, take your pick, and binge.‎

Ever been stuck in a situation where you’re watching a TV show and had to end your session abruptly? Pausing or ‎unplugging your TV and carrying it around isn’t feasible, is it? If you’re halfway through a show but need to head out, ‎many services allow you to download videos onto your device so you can watch them on the go without using any mobile ‎data. Talk about the ultimate deal!‎

‎3. Live TV streaming

If there’s a big event being broadcasted (for example, a UFC event or the Oscars), you’ll find it being live-streamed ‎somewhere — sometimes for a nominal fee. This means that you’ll no longer have to subscribe to year-long‎ cable TV ‎bundles that feature a list of channels you might not even watch. Neither will you have to sign a lengthy contract just to ‎watch a few hours’ worth of content since these have been made available as value-added services that you can just ‎add-on and cancel as you please. Tied to existing subscriptions like your Fibre Broadband plan, you can opt for monthly ‎subscriptions to your favourite channels or streaming media players like Apple TV 4K and minimise the overall cost of ‎your bill.‎

‎4. Video streaming

If you’ve ever spent a bit of time on YouTube, you’ll know much of what you watch there can’t be called a ‘movie’ or ‘TV’. ‎There’s about 300 hours’ worth of video content uploaded to YouTube every single hour, which makes for hours of ‎entertainment watching interesting, funny, or educational videos.‎

But don’t think you’re limited to YouTube when it comes to video streaming; DailyMotion, Vimeo IGTV and many others ‎are out there waiting to be explored.‎

‎5. Music streaming

Forget ever having to download nefarious-looking files hoping that they contain the music you’ve been scouring the web ‎for. Those dark days are over thanks to music streaming services, including Deezer,, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon ‎Music, SiriusXM and many others.‎

‎3 Must-Haves for a Seamless Streaming Experience

Love the idea of subscribing to a streaming service? Not so fast. There may be a couple of major frustrations when it ‎comes to streaming your favourite content. Some of these include:‎

– Buffering due to slow internet speeds and low bandwidth
‎– Lags caused by slow internet, low latency and/or bandwidth issues
‎– Quality drops due to slow internet speeds and/or low bandwidth
– ‎No new content to watch

As much as these issues can put a damper on your viewing experience, they can easily be avoided with these easy steps:‎

‎1. Fast internet connection‎

You might’ve noticed a common thread in most of the above frustrations.‎

A poor internet connection will cause huge headaches, whether you’re streaming TV, games, or listening to your ‎favourite tunes. That’s exactly why it’s super important to ensure you have a super-fast and super stable internet ‎connection when you’re planning on getting your stream on. M1 has a range of home Wi-Fi solutions to ensure lightning-‎fast data speeds so that you can enjoy smooth viewing and listening all day and night. Pair an M1 broadband connection ‎with a mesh Wi-Fi router that ‎eliminates dead Wi-Fi spots, and you’ll be good to go!‎

‎2. The right device(s)‎

Alright, it’s time to finally upgrade your admittedly very cool Matrix-model Nokia 8110 to something that actually has ‎the features you need. But seriously, jokes aside, get yourself a new smartphone from just $0 upfront on a Bespoke Flexi ‎Plan from M1 and you’ll have zero issues whatsoever streaming.‎

For static and live TV streaming, you’ll either need a Smart TV, an Apple TV, or Chromecast device. Plug it in, and you ‎should have access to all your favourite streaming services‎.

‎3. Subscription to streaming services‎

This may be a bit obvious, but it’s important to sign up to whichever streaming services you’re keen on. If you’re unsure, ‎Google the latest catalogue from each service to determine which you’d rather sign up for.‎

An important thing to add here is that because they’re all monthly subscriptions, you’re free to switch to another service ‎every month if you so wish! Just make sure you read the terms and conditions to avoid being charged any hidden costs.‎

Top Video Streaming Services in Singapore

Singapore has a wide selection of streaming services. These are the key players available in the market:‎

‎1. Netflix

Netflix is a powerhouse when talking about movie and TV streaming. With a library that’s constantly updated with some ‎of the best original TV series and movies out there, plus a wealth of other content, Netflix is the de facto go-to option. ‎Better yet, use a VPN to access a whole new slew of shows to binge on – Netflix’s library differs according to region.‎

‎2. Viu Premium

If Korean dramas and variety shows are what you’re searching for, Viu Premium is the ultimate choice. With unlimited ‎downloads that allow you to watch series on the go and episode releases just 8 hours after their original telecast, you ‎won’t miss a thing no matter where you are.‎

And if you’re wondering how to connect Viu on TV, it couldn’t be simpler — log into your Viu Premium account on your ‎smart TV or via your Apple TV or other connected device. And voila! From smartphones to the big screens, the switch is ‎seamless. ‎

‎3. TVBAnywhere+‎

A huge fan of Hong Kong dramas? Access all your favourite TVB variety shows and dramas with TVBAnywhere+, which ‎gives you access to the hottest TVB content. From the latest and greatest to fantastic classics and everything in between!‎

With technology advancing at an impressive rate, it’s a certainty that our options for streaming will only expand with ‎time. Jump on the bandwagon by signing up with M1’s broadband and streaming options. ‎