Online TV – Internet TV
The internet has changed the way we work, shop, book travel, and spend our free time. Now, it is changing the way we watch TV too. Internet TV, otherwise known as online TV, is the latest Internet technology. And it is changing rapidly as television viewers rapidly switch from cable TV and satellite TV to online TV.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the options.
Netflix is a monthly service similar to cable TV or satellite TV but comes through the Internet and is commercial free. It’s downside is that you have to pay the monthly subscription fee and it doesn’t get the latest movies. You have to go to Apple TV or Blockbuster for the latest video releases. Also, Netflix does not have all of the TV episodes of any given TV show. For the price, Netflix is an outstanding value, although many of their movies are second rate.
Apple TV offers a variety of programming including Netflix (if you subscribe to Netflix). They have an excellent selection of TV shows and movies, better than Netflix, but charge a premium pay-per-view price for the commercial-free, watch-anytime convenience. $2.99 per TV episode and $4.99 per movie are their general prices so it adds up quickly. Apple TV also has the additional cost of its hardware device, the actual Apple TV box.
Hulu offers limited programming that is obtainable elsewhere on the Internet so you are in essence paying for the convenience of them having compiled what is available for free on the Internet in one convenient location. If you go to Hulu, type in any TV show title you might find a few episodes, but you will not find all of the episodes like with Apple TV. For example, if you type in Fringe, you will find only season 1 episodes and five of the most recent episodes, the same episodes that Fox makes available on their website for free (with commercials) for a limited time.
Microsoft’s “Internet TV in Windows Media Center”
I’m sure Microsoft’s “Internet TV in Windows Media Center” will improve as time goes on but at this point in time it is a let down. I was unable to locate any quality programming using their software. The one advantage is that it is free.
Broadcast TV Online Channels (for example, to watch Fringe TV episode you would go here)
Because TV viewers are rapidly shifting from cable TV and Satellite TV to online TV, broadcast stations are forced into offering some of their programming online. But it is frustrating at best. Poor audio quality, commercial interruptions, and the inability to pause and fast-forward without a major hassle makes it an unpleasant experience. But if you are bored at work, it is fun!
Satellite Direct is a software program that puts all of the Internet’s TV channels in one convenienct-to-find and easy-to-use software program. Unlike any of the other options listed above, it offers over 3,500 channels from the U.S. and 98 other countries. And, unlike Netflix, Apple TV, and Hulu, there is no monthly subscription fee… just a one-time fee for the software. And there is no hardware to install, as is the case with Apple TV. It sounded too good to be true so I bought the software and tested it out. It’s important to test it out when the stations are “on-air” (not late at night). With that in mind, it’s impressive. There were a few stations that seemed to be always off-line but if you bookmark those stations you like, you never have to search around for stations once you find desirable television channels. Click here for more information. They offer a satisfaction guarantee so I knew I could get my money back if I didn’t like it. But I like it and there are no additional monthly fees… just the one time download fee.