The internet and television are converging and in the process our viewing experience is changing radically. Along with this convergence are many terms that refer to similar technologies and opportunities but there are major differences between them. Combining TV with the internet has many faces and here is our attempt at explaining the difference.
There are three elements that come into play when looking at TV on the internet: technology – TV’s and computers; content – the stuff we watch; distribution – how we watch it. These three things were once distinctly different and separate but are now blending and blurring into one stew of viewing options.
Essentially this is watching traditional TV shows on a traditional TV set but with the signal delivered to your home via the internet. Over the air – rabbit ears, cable and satellite are examples of delivery technologies which are now joined by a broadband internet connection hooked up to your TV. The content hasn’t changed but it adds one more player into the competitive market which as once dominated by cable companies.
Internet Enabled TV
All of the major brands are introducing TV sets which allow you to connect them to your internet service via Ethernet/Cat5 cable in the same way your computer connects to the internet. These TV sets come equipped with widgets – or small applications – such as YouTube which allow you to display various media websites or services on your TV. Typically these TV’s don’t include web browsers so they have limited access when compared to computers but they are just the beginning of the convergence of the old media with the new.
Web TV Boxes
These are gadgets that you hookup between your internet connection and your TV which