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Upsides and Downsides to Internet TV Software

Both free and paid Internet TV Software services help you turn your computer into a satellite television receiver without doing the hard work. But a paid-to-download service has a jump over the free ones when it comes to getting more perks.

For a small one-time fee, individuals can enjoy many of their favorite channels and shows, 24/7, including free channels that many thought only paid TV networks provide. Here is a look at the upsides and downsides of this technology and how it works.

Upside

The first benefit computer users receive is the cost. For less than one month of cable television service, they can start watching many of their favorite television shows through a desktop or laptop computer. An Internet connection is required – preferably broadband (DSL or Cable). A wireless (Wifi) can work too, but expect some limitations when playing channels that require broadband.

As cable and satellite monthly fees continue to rise, viewing television channels online still remain free. But there’s always the option to subscribe to Cable and Satellite who now stream some of their content online for their subscribers.

Advertisements

Most of these services feature TV player software and don’t own the content delivered to viewers. The content is owned by providers who have full control over what they deliver and how it’s delivered. How they are paid for streaming channels/videos for free is through adverts that last 30+/- seconds. Normally, one short advertisement plays before the viewer can watch a selected show.

Virus/Spyware/Adware Free

When dealing with the Internet whether that’s visiting a website or downloading a media or audio file, no computer is immune to harmful viruses, spyware, adware, and malware. It makes good common sense to install security protection applications to safeguard against the unexpected, even when online TV services claim their software is safe.

Completely Legal

There are illegal streaming and downloading TV/video services out there but most Internet TV services aren’t part of that group. If that were the case, many of them (if not all) including the services that have been in service for many years would have received a DMCA take down notice by now. The other group already received their notices and have faced lawsuits, penalties and/or jail terms. Millions of viewers haven’t been targeted, penalized or sentenced because the focus is on the larger fish who brake the law.

Of course, copyright infringements is a different matter. That’s why it’s very important to read the TOS (Terms of Services) and the part that addresses copyrighted materials.

Live Television Programming

Unlike many kinds of streaming Internet video, you are receiving live television also. This is nearly the same as having cable TV or other services. However, this comes to you on your computer free of charge.

Easy Installation

Top brands are generally professional grade and easy to install. Some television software, not all, will work on Windows PC, Mac OS X, and Linux computers. All you need is a broadband Internet connection. No hardware, antenna, video card or wiring is required. Some satellite programs require the use of special hardware to turn your computer into a television receiver, but this is not needed.

Additional Features

Perhaps adding favorite channels to a TV player (actual software) is the goal. It is very simple to do. The instructions are very easy to understand and follow. People from all walks of life can watch sports, shows, sitcoms/episodes, movies, news, videos and even listen to music and radio stations on their computers. This setup comes without having to launch your browser and search for free channels and content online.

Customizing Player Functions

The player that comes with these services has some interesting features. For example, the size of the screen can be made larger (Hence: Full Screen) and this is very good for multitasking when doing other things with the computer.

Making the screen smaller allows the user to surf the Web and watch television at the same time. The player can also stay atop of all the other windows, so that your show doesn’t get interrupted. If you wish to watch from a distance, simply put the player on full screen.

Channel Selections

There will be thousands of worldwide channels provided. All of the major networks will be available, even some of the children programming networks.

There are many cartoon and nature channels available, as well as comedy and television movie channels. If you enjoy home shopping channels and/or religious channels, you can select from a variety of different ones. Tune in to many different foreign countries as well — There are more than 80 countries available.

For sports enthusiasts, some brands offer a dedicated sports section to watch football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, and other sporting events from around the world.

Your Own Private Viewing

Perhaps there was a time when wanting to watch a big game on the big screen was intercepted by something unexpected and had you to be some place else. So what do you do? When downloading the television application to a laptop computer which of course requires an Internet connection, you create a TV traveling companion. Not only does this give users the ability to watch what they want, but when and where they want.

Downsides

Nothing is perfect, and the same is true for these products/services. If you want to watch something in high definition on the big screen, this may not be possible. Also, you will not be able to access content like pay-per-view movies and premium paid movie channels found on Cable and Satellite.

There will be times when the picture/video quality is sub-par but viewable. This usually isn’t the fault of the service. Instead, it may be related to the source where the content comes from.

Your viewing quality will be affected by your Internet speed. So if you have a broadband connection that is less than 1 MB, there may be some occasional freezing or problems with reception (faster the Internet connection better the picture quality).

In most cases, closed-caption television isn’t possible as well. However, this isn’t solely related to TV players — even most streaming videos do not offer closed-caption services.

Conclusion

Top Internet TV software is a very fast, easy way to watch television online at very minimal cost. A small one-time fee will bring thousands of additional channels that add more variety. Though there are some downsides, there are more upsides when using this technology — it adds another dimension to your TV at home

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