So much content is available to us elsewhere these days. No longer are we chained to our family rooms if we want to watch movies or catch an episode of our favorite show. DVRs allow us to record several episodes, even entire seasons of shows. And video streaming services allow us to watch any kind of movie we want, whenever we want.
But even with all of these conveniences, millions still cut their traditional television cords in favor of IPTV or watching content online. If you’re thinking of doing the same, you may be wondering if doing so is actually going to benefit you, and how.
IPTV vs. Watching Online
There is a difference between the latest incarnation of television – IPTV – and viewing content from the internet directly. And it`s important to make the distinction between the two, because they are not at all the same.
IPTV is the receipt of programming on your television set via a set-top box, just like you may already have with your cable television connection. But with IPTV, the internet is integrated into your TV experience. So if you`re watching a show that has its own website, you may be prompted during the program to check out merchandise associated with the show, and even purchase that merchandise online via your television.
Watching online simply involves accessing streaming content on your computer, tablet or other device. You can also access online content by connecting your computer to your television via an HDMI cable, which will allow for viewing on a larger screen.
Now that you understand the difference between the two, are there any benefits to using one or both of these methods in the place of your regular television subscription?
As stated before, you can access exclusive content via IPTV. Not only can you browse and order merchandise, but you may also receive special programming that allows you to interact with the shows you are watching as you are watching them. What this does is provides a television-viewing experience which speaks more personally to your interests.
But IPTV also may not provide you with access to your favourite local stations. The same is true for shows that are network-specific, as not all television networks may be registered for IPTV access. And some viewers may find the ads and other information that can pop up during IPTV programming to be annoying.
It’s definitely true that watching TV online opens up a world of possibilities. After all, you can access channels from anywhere in the world. Also, time zones don’t essentially exist online. So you can catch shows that are airing during the time you’re looking for them, or find out where episodes can be viewed at a later date.
But if your monitor doesn’t have HDTV capability, then you could be missing out on the special effects that make shows and movies memorable. And while you may not think of it now, you may miss having access to those local community channels. Not to mention the many copyright issues you could run into as a result of viewing possibly-illegal content. In addition, if your source computer is slow, then you may have to deal with significant lags in your online viewing which can cause a short television show to take more than an hour to download.
The Choice Is Yours
With monthly cable bills being on the rise, and companies charging more for premium channels all the time, making the switch to IPTV may seem like the sensible way to go. And although no one would openly recommend watching blatantly illegal content, it’s quite true that there are many options, many of them free, available for anyone wanting to watch the latest movies and show episodes without having to pay extra for a subscription.
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Guest author Jodi Grant writes on a variety of topics, particularly related to technology. She helps consumers locate internet service in their neighborhoods and provides tips for comparing subscriptions in order to find the best fit.