High bandwidth connections have changed the way we get television.
Services such as FiOS and
uVerse provide television services over a dedicated network, with
real-time, high definition picture quality, and with video on demand
options available. These services provide video on part with
satellite and cable television. While implemented over a network,
they use a segregated network rather than the open internet (even
though they also provide open internet access over the same fiber),
and these are not the services we discuss on this page. Here
we discuss the transmission of televsion over the open internet.
Getting television service over the open internet will usually not provide the same quality of video as will cable, satellite, or the services just mentioned. HD video requires significant bandwidth, not just between your home and the head end of your network connection, but all the way to the source of the video. It is also extremely susceptible to degradation due to network anomalies, such as intermitted routing problems, or network congestion. But, for someone that doesn't watch much live television, it may enable you to watch that occasional show streamed live from the television network or affiliate sites, or through services such as Hula, which host episodes of many shows. Such services also allow you to download the episodes you might have missed live. This could save you the cost of cable service.
If you will be watching a lot of video through such services, you need to keep aware of your internet service provides bandwidth policy. Some are starting to ipose caps on the amount of data you transfer per month, or impose surcharges for using too much bandwidth.
SlingboxSo fare we have discussed receiving television programs on your computer at home. The Slingbox provides a way to do just the opposite, if you have television service at home, as well as other sources of video, such as a DVR, you can access your video equipment remotely. This means that when traveling you can connect to your home satelite system to set up programming, or to watch your local television stations. You can even view programs recorded on your DVR, or any other video source. You hook the Slingbox into your video equipment, and run an I/R emitter to the remote revciver sensor for your equipment, and this enables you to control the devices remotely as well.