Internet television offers a new way of receiving videos that uses very different technology to older forms of transmission such as broadcast, cable and satellite TV. It is a versatile form that can be used on a wide range of devices in addition to conventional televisions. It offers a lot of control over what, how and when you watch, but it can also be used to create a very similar experience to conventional TV viewing.
Internet TV works in the same way, however, it is being viewed. It begins with the conversion of videos into a suitable format for online transmission. This is done through a process known as encoding, which is achieved using special software components called codecs. The resulting digital files can easily be broken into packets of data that can be sent over the internet.
Once encoded, the video is placed on a server, from where internet users will be able to access and view it. They may do this through an internet browser, a special piece of software designed for watching Internet television, or a digital Internet TV box connected to a television. Servers can be configured to control the ways in which the video can be accessed.
When someone watches a video, it will be sent to them over the internet from the server in small chunks or packets of data that have been labeled with the recipient’s IP address and encoded with the necessary identifying information. The computer, mobile device or television on which the content is to be viewed receives the data packets and decodes them using the encoded identifying information to understand the file. The digital file is then converted into a watchable video using the appropriate codecs, and the video appears on the screen. In some cases, functions such as pause, rewind and fast forwards can be used to control the viewing experience, although the exact tools that are available depend upon the type of internet TV that is being watched.
A huge variety of videos are available online. It is possible to access conventional television stations, independent productions. There are live broadcasts as well as on demand, pre-recorded videos online, and you can even purchase online movies or TV program rentals or access television programs that you have missed on your normal TV. Some videos can be viewed free, while others are available on a subscription or pay per view basis. Some videos can only be viewed within certain countries.
Internet television is made possible by high-speed internet connections, so if you have a slow or dial-up connection watching videos online can be near impossible. As high-speed internet coverage spreads and online video content becomes more easily available, it has been suggested that the future of television may lie online. The versatility, superior control and variety of material available online are all important advantages that are likely to make internet TV increasingly popular in the future.