The State of Internet TV (Part 2 of 2: Content)

June 12th, 2009

You can view part one here. The way we watch TV shows and movies has changed dramatically over the last few years. Gone are the days when TV Guide dictated what time you must be home to catch your favorite show, or make a trip to the store to buy or rent a movie. Broadband Internet access has been made available nearly everywhere in the USA and media sites are putting it to full use, allowing you to stream content right to your computer and TV, enabling you to watch your favorite shows such as: Lost, CSI, American Idol and House whenever you want. youtube YouTube was one of the first aggregate sites that allowed streaming video (via the Flash plug-in) that didn't take forever to load. While their primary focus has been to showcase user-generated content, and they now actively remove illegally-shared TV shows and movies, major studio executives often use it to show trailers of upcoming movie. Many try to create viral videos in the marketing world, and some are done so well that they gain cult-like status. Dozens of similar sites started to show up that offered the same concept, just in a different package. Vimeo, Viddler and MetaCafe are three of the competitors that compete directly with YouTube. While all have pretty strict anti-copyright rules, they also have the ability of being able to enjoy an entire show, since most limit content to 10 minutes. The concept of legally watching video from over the Internet is now starting to see backing by the major studios. Ironically, watching shows on most computers isn't ideal, not when a 42” or larger HD TV is hung on the wall. Just as the movie and TV industry has realized viewers want to watch programs when they want, the tech industry has realized these same viewers want to watch programs where they want. Connecting a computer to a television is a task that not everyone is comfortable with. Factor in unsightly cables and the need to locate a computer fairly close to a television, and it's not hard to see that this is not the best setup. IOGEAR's award-winning Wireless Audio / Video Kit eliminates the cables dangling from your television and takes the guesswork out of connecting your computer to the TV with the Only a few minutes to hook up and configure, this kit will allow you to wirelessly stream 720p HD video from up to 30' away. hulu To take full advantage of streaming content to your television, there is a near endless list of sites to legally watch video from. Joost was one of the first Internet TV aggregate sites on the Internet, but required specific hardware to operate properly, limited selection of shows and an endless amount of bugs. While they tried to figure out how to best deliver their content, Hulu quietly snuck onto the scene. With a proper blessing by some major studios to broadcast media, it quickly became the go-to site to get caught up on TV shows and select movies. Most television episodes will show up on Hulu within 36 hours of their original airdate along with out-takes and cast member interviews that normally wouldn't be seen on cable television. First on Mars, Fancast and Fora are similar aggregate sites that focus on content from a multitude of different sources. tv-networks Traditional broadcast television quickly caught on that this was no longer a trend and wanted to attract more viewers by putting some content right on their own sites. The big four, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, all stream some of their primetime shows shortly after being aired. Most premium cable channels also stream their more popular shows, like USA, A&E, History Channel and Food TV, allowing viewers to watch their favorite shows on their own time, no longer being restricted to the air time or waiting for a rerun. Best of all, it's legal! Not only do the television networks gain more viewers, it's almost an excuse to not illegally acquire content anymore. Furthermore, it's somewhat of an incentive to stop paying for cable since you can stream the vast majority of shows, and now enjoying them from computer to TV is a reality too. revision3 Streaming content has become so popular that dedicated sites now offer full shows, avoiding the high cost of being on television or worse, not at all, it exposes viewers to a whole new genre of video. Standouts include Revision3 and CNET-TV, both offer content that is enjoyable to watch but would more than likely be passed over by the more traditional networks. There are actually more than 80 Web sites to legally stream movies and television shows from, along with sites that generate content solely for broadcasting via the Internet. Now is the time to enjoy the shows you already watch, when you want to, and on the TV of your choice, free and legally. Make sure to check out part 1 of this series which highlights the advances within the hardware side of the Internet TV revolution.

About the Author



IOGEAR enjoys long walks on the beach and romantic getaways. While not traveling, IOGEAR enjoys a great game of shuffle board whilst playing the banjo.