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Tips and Advice for Streaming Movies and Web TV Shows

Updated on March 17, 2012

Its coming....back before there cable TV, pre-1970, everyone had roof antennas to get the TV signals, cable arrived making them obsolete, now streaming movies and Web-TV may make cable obsolete-though I doubt it.

Streaming movies and TV shows from Netflix, Hulu or others usually goes well, but more often than not, something goes awry, something fails, something disconnects, something makes you have to start again. It is not perfect. Much of the problem is not with the streaming technology but with your system you are using to stream with or the infrastructure around your location that could impact streaming.

Most streaming, according to research, is to the computer, in fact, 26 million do it this way instead of to the TV. The reason is the complexity of understanding how to stream to the TV and knowing what shows are available. The content from Web TV and available to stream is not always the A class material you see on cable or networks, in fact, many shows or movies that failed or are B or C Class quality end up on the Hulu or Web TV channels and that is because of money. The advertisers prefer cable to Web TV, which is not sure which way to proceed. Sporting events that stream are delayed or will cost the viewer to see.

Bringing TV content via the Internet is still suffering from birth pains in a variety of ways, the major ones are not technology but the content providers, such as, sporting franchises, movie studios, advertisers, and in what form will it take that will compete cable TV. To stream, you need to have an Internet connection of at least 1.5 megabits per second ($30 per month+). And if you don't have a computer that hooks up easily to your TV, you will have to buy additional hardware costing more than $100. Make sure you own a digital TV with HDMI connectors so you can hook up the computer to it for online Web TV etc. The Microsoft Xbox 360 can show streaming Netflix movies for a $50 subscription per year, or the Roku XDS video-streaming box ($100). It has built-in Wi-Fi and easy to set up and use. Roku streams Netflix movies and video-on-demand from Amazon plus many others. Samsung and LG have integrated Netflix streaming built in to their Blu-ray players. To get Apple TV, just go to iTunes and buy only their content. One can also download Boxee software free to access Apple TV for free. You can buy the Apple TV palm sized box for $100, again, you can only see items on iTunes. The Logitech Revue ($299) will allow you to watch Google TV, Netflix and others and integrates with your TV cable, so everything is there.

But Streaming content also deals with the critical issue of bandwidth, or, how many giga-bytes does your ISP or cable allow customers to stream monthly. When you go over that amount, either you will be surcharged for it or the connection stutters, reboot or choppy\slow. Comcast allows for 250 GB a month, while it sounds like a lot, consider that a movie is 1 GB or more in size.

Give Web TV a few more years to develop, just be happy with Netflix and Hulu.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      I stream from Netflix, abcfamily, hulu and the sites all handle it differently. They all download into the buffer part of the video. It works but it is not web TV.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      This is something to keep in mind for future reference. We have been considering netflix and this will help with the decision making. Thanks for sharing.