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Internet TV What Is Internet TV?

In the past, television was only distributed via cable, satellite or terrestrial systems. Today - with the increase in internet connection speeds, advances in technology, the increase of total number of people online, and the decrease in connection costs - it has become increasingly common to find traditional television content accessible freely and legally over the Internet. In addition to this, new Internet-only television content has appeared which is not distributed via cable, satellite, or terrestrial systems.

Internet TV can come in many forms. For instance, it can

  • be watched on a regular TV (via a set top box), or on a computer, or on a portable device (such as a mobile phone)
  • show a channel 'live' (like regular TV), or allow the viewer to select a show to watch on demand ("Video-on-Demand")
  • involve any budget - from home camcorder productions to expensive professional productions
  • be protected from copying, or easily duplicated as a perfect copy
  • be free or paid for - and may be supported by advertisements
  • be an interactive or passive medium

One of the barriers to wider adoption of Internet television is streaming technology, which can be of poor quality and high cost to the providers. The BBC's and  Dirac project seeks to address this by creating a scalable, high-quality, free codec for streaming video content over the net.

As Internet television becomes more pervasive, efforts are being made by companies to develop the transmission of existing pay-TV channels to regular TV sets over the net, while retaining control over how the media is used. Such control is required in order to protect existing subscription and pay-per-view business models.

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