Internet Television allows the consumer to pick a specific program from various providers and watch either by streaming or downloading the entire program and then watching it later on the desktop. These services have become to be known as On Demand TV. Most service providers offer a slough of SD (Standard definition) settings, while the major providers also offer HD (High definition) options to stream and play the selected program.
- Hulu: Hulu is a joint venture company near equally owned by ABC, Fox Entertainment, and NBC Universal. It is a billion dollar company, thus being one of the largest providers in the world.
- Revision3: Revision3 is a smaller USA based company that has partnered with broadcasting companies including G4 and Tech TV.
- BBC iPlayer: BBC iPlayer, commonly known as iPlayer, is a RealPlayer based video and radio streaming site where all of BBC's news can be viewed on demand.
Website Streaming vs. Desktop ApplicationsEdit
The problem with On Demand desktop applications is the almost synonymous requirement to sign up and download a large file . The only requirement for website streaming of programs is logging in. Although an upside of downloading the program, then downloading episodes, is offline viewing.
Video (Streaming) QualityEdit
Streaming quality is quality of the image and audio transferred from the servers of the provider to the view of a user. High quality video (720p+) requires higher bandwidth and connection speeds. The average high quality video encoded in H.264 requires at least 3500kbps while standard definition only requires 1500 to 1800kbps.
The current trends with Internet TV have taken two separate roads. Google has created Google TV which has the primary option of being installed straight into a television while running the Internet TV program internally on an Android based program. Apple on the other hand, has created Apple TV which is a set top box with tight integration in the Apple product line. It will be interesting to see which technology giant comes out on top.