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Jess’s Guide to Streaming on the Go


With holiday travel season upon us, it’s time to think about how to take our favorite entertainment on the go. Luckily, many digital streaming services are offering the option to download content and watch later, with or without an internet connection. Below, we’re sharing a few of those services, along with their video availability and limitations.

Amazon Prime

If you have a long plane ride in your future, Amazon Prime can help entertain you. With a Prime subscription, you can download content on the Kindle Fire, Fire phone, and compatible Andriod and iOS devices with the Amazon Video app.

Select Prime videos are available for downloading. After choosing the video you want to download, you’ll also notice that the period of time you’ll have access to that content will vary from one video to the next. So, if you’re looking for a movie to watch while traveling, check the time limit first to be sure your content won’t expire while you’re on the go.

Netflix

Netflix has made a lot of content available for downloading and watching offline. However, not all of the content on the app can be downloaded due to licensing rights, including some Netflix originals. Check out the Available for Download section to see what content you have to choose from. You’ll also see a download symbol next to downloadable titles throughout the site.

Choose between “Standard” and “Higher” quality, depending on how much device storage you’re willing to use, under App Settings in the menu.  After downloading, you’ll find your titles in the My Downloads section. You’ll need to be signed into your account to watch the videos, so be sure to remain signed in on your app after downloading the content. You’ll be able to access the content on computers and tablets with Windows 10 and higher, and compatible iOS and Andriod devices with the Netflix app.

YouTube Red

When signed in to your YouTube Red account, you’ll have the option to download videos and watch offline with the YouTube, YouTube Music, YouTube Kids, and YouTube Gaming apps. Limitations on the videos you can download depend on the users who upload the content.

There are some limitations when it comes to watching YouTube videos offline. The device you’re downloading with will need to have over 5% of storage space available. You won’t be able to like videos or leave comments without an internet connection. The content you download will be available for 30 days. After that, the content can be downloaded again and the 30 day period will start over.

iTunes

If you use iTunes on an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, Mac, or PC, you probably already know that you can use the service to buy or rent videos. When you click to buy or rent, you’ll also have the option to stream the content or download it. You can download the content on compatible devices by tapping the download icon. After downloading, you’ll be able to access the video on any of your connected devices. However, the content can only be downloaded on one device at a time. Before switching devices, you’ll need to delete the download from the first device then tap the download button on the second device.

Content rented from iTunes is available for 30 days after payment. Once you start watching the content, you’ll have 48 hours to finish watching. The content will stop showing up on your devices after the rental period ends.

Google Play Movies

Like iTunes, Google Play has a good selection of movies available to rent. After renting a TV series or movie, that content is available on all of your linked devices, so you can watch on your phone, tablet, laptop, or Chromebook while traveling.

To download the content, look for the gray icon next to the video you want. Tap it to begin the download. After downloading, Google Play makes it easy to find your content on your compatible devices. Open the Google Play Movies & TV app, tap on the menu, and choose Downloaded Only. Only the content you’ve downloaded will be displayed. Look at the video’s details and tap on Read More to see the rental period for each video. Purchased content will not have an expiration.

Fandango

If you use Fandango to rent movies, you can download your rentals on a connected iPad, iPhone, or Andriod device. An important note about downloading with Fandango is that once you download the content on one device, it cannot be downloaded or streamed on other devices. So, if you have both an iPad and an iPhone, be sure to download your video on the device you plan to watch with.

After renting a video with Fandango, you’ll have 30 days to access the content and 48 hours to finish the video once you start watching. After that, the video will be removed from your FandangoNow app.

Hoopla

The streaming service that works through your library system also allows you to download content and watch offline. To use the service, your local library needs to be in the Hoopla system. Then, create an account and link your library card to have access to digital content, including e-books, music, and videos.

After you’ve borrowed content from Hoopla on your computer, tablet, or mobile device, you’ll have the option to download the content to access later. Downloaded content cannot be accessed on a Mac or PC. You’ll be able to watch your downloaded videos on compatible iOS and Andriod devices with the Hoopla app. Movies and TV shows can be borrowed for 72 hours. After that, the content is returned automatically.

Hulu

The major content streaming service is noticeably missing from the list. Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins has commented that a download and offline viewing feature would be added soon. There haven’t been many updates since that announcement at the beginning of 2017, but sources are saying that the feature will be a part of the $39.99/month Hulu with Live TV plan.

What will you be watching while traveling and relaxing at home this holiday season? Share your favorite holiday movies and TV series to binge watch in the comments.

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