smart streaming - kids using tablet with parents in background
Adobe Stock

Smart Streaming: Build up your own digital library with this lesser-known service

In the age of digital media, smart streaming is a must.

The streaming world is in constant flux, influencing not only what we watch, but also how we watch it. Keeping up can feel like a relentless game.

Tech expert Sarah Kimmel shared a lesser-known streaming service that may be worth your attention, along with other streaming headlines.


Plex: Your Personal Streaming Jukebox

Sarah introduced us to Plex, a platform she calls a “personal Netflix.” With Plex, users can rip their DVDs and Blu-rays to a hard drive, creating a digital library that can be shared with friends and family. This free service gives you a customizable viewing experience, offering access to a large collection of movies, TV shows, and even personal media like family videos and music.

Sarah reassured that it’s entirely legal. “This is totally legal because I have purchased that content and I am making a backup of that content and storing it. Then, I’m just sharing that library with you.”

The Rise of Bundles

In response to subscription fatigue, we’re seeing more bundles coming out. A recent example is Comcast’s upcoming bundle that includes Netflix, Peacock, and Apple TV. This can simplify your subscriptions and potentially offer cost savings, especially for those already subscribed to services like Xfinity. “If you have an Xfinity subscription already, you will get a even discounted price of the regular price,” Sarah explained.

Live TV in the Streaming Era

If you’re looking for live TV, options like YouTube TV, Hulu, and Sling TV offer a variety of channels, including local broadcasts. Sarah recommended considering the channels each service has and choosing the one that matches your preferences. “You just want to check out which channels they offer, because all the cable channels aren’t on every single platform,” she said.

The Crackdown on Password Sharing

Streaming services are tightening their policies on password sharing. They monitor logins to detect unusual activity, and some, like Netflix, may charge extra for shared accounts. “Your home has a digital address as well as a physical address, so they monitor where you’re logging in to these services,” Sarah explained.

When it comes to mobile devices, there are ways these services check on them as well. “If I have that mobile device and I don’t ‘check in’ with that physical location in, say, 30 days… then it’s going to start cutting me out and either not letting me log in, or saying ‘Hey, it looks like you’re sharing your password with someone else. We’re going to charge you extra,” Sarah explained. This measure is part of a broader strategy to increase revenue and discourage account sharing.

Find more advice from Sarah on Instagram, @familytech, or at

Add comment