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Internet Televison Content Coming of Age

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the moving-pictures dept.

Television 141

Thomas Hawk writes "The Washington Post has an article out this morning on the assortment of internet based TV choices that are popping up providing additional and competing content to the major studios. Most of these providers are operating more as content collectors or aggregators than actual content producers."

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Hooray!! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655304)

I'll be able to watch all my favorite shows in 320x240

Re:Hooray!! (3, Funny)

greechneb (574646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655400)

Yeah, and with my dialup connection at home, I'll be able to watch the entire season of a show about the same time the DVD release comes out!

Re:Hooray!! (0)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655426)

Regular broadcast TV really isnt much better than 320x240. Run a 320x240 video through your TV out and watch it on normal TV and it'll look almost as good as broadcast.

It just looks like major ass on a monitor.

Major Ass is a new HBO reality series about gays in the military, btw.

Re:Hooray!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655506)

You're lying. Either you have a very bad TV, or a really bad computer, all of the above, or are just brain dead. Seriously. Even in the days of the Amiga we used TVs at 768 x 480, that's the TV resolution.

Re:Hooray!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655533)

But the signals are interlaced, so the half value is still set. Plus the refresh rates are different, so the difference is negligible.

Re:Hooray!! (1)

Big Mark (575945) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656132)

Perhaps he's using an NTSC telly, they don't call it "Never Twice the Same Colour" because of it's awesome quality you know!

Re:Hooray!! (1)

spectre_240sx (720999) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655829)

Honestly, depending upon cost, I wouldn't have much problem with that. A lot of the things I watch on tv don't need to be highly detailed. Granted it would be nice to see it at 640x480, but either way I'd do it if it was a buck a month per channel or something

Re:Hooray!! (1)

Bill_Royle (639563) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655869)

There are times when that's all you can get, though, and I'm alright with that.

I'm a big fan of my old college football team, and this year they've begun offering video streaming of their saturday football games. It costs something like 9 bucks a month, but the quality isn't bad and it means I can watch games that normally I wouldn't be able to. So - they're tapping a market that thus far hasn't been available.

Now if I could just pay a little more so they'd win each week, that'd be even better!

Between DaveTV and Akimbo (1)

hether (101201) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655330)

I think DaveTV will have the advantage, mainly because of the lack of additional hardware needed.

Re:Between DaveTV and Akimbo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656008)

First I have to buy a PC, I own a Mac outside of my servers. But assume I build a PC, I have to buy Windows, and I can't just use my old copy of Win98 I have to have WinXP.

Forget that, why can't they just make it web based with open standards video files that I can either download or stream inside my browser? (4, Interesting)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655339)

I watched all 4 US presidential debates (1 vice presidential) live on It worked great. (2, Interesting)

elid (672471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655374)

But that's low res. Actually, I was having fun seeing how many different video feeds (cspan, yahoo, etc.) of one debate open on my desktop at the same time.

college sports... (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655411)

i have watched college sports through the internet media solution and to tell you the truth it isnt too bad. the resolution is only 640X480 but its still 'ok' considering. so far no glitches or hiccups, let's hope they can continue to offer such great service and eventually make it even better. if you get ESPN GAMEPLAN that have the most offerings for internet sports games if you are into that. (3, Informative)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655525)

They also show real debates when they happen... like the Green/Libertarian debate. This was also online, albeit in Real format. -Paul (1)

initsix (86050) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655994)

I caught a few baseball games on and the resolution looked pretty good, even in full screen mode.

Its been done. (4, Funny)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655340)

Red vs. blue and Homestar are all the TV the internet needs.

Re:Its been done. (1)

wankledot (712148) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655423)

Homestar jumped the shark so long ago it's not even remotely funny to me now.

Re:Its been done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655645)

"Jumped the shark" jumped the shark long ago.

Re:Its been done. (1)

zapp (201236) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655767)

I know the shark reference...
but what did homestar do to make you say this?

Re:Its been done. (1)

JAgostoni (685117) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655870)

I agree. If you are going to say something "jumped the shark" I believe the precedent is to specify the episode and action that you believe caused said jumping. In my opinion, I haven't found it funny recently but I do not think the "mass" agree with me so I do not feel it has jumped-the-shark officially.

Whats Red Vs. Blue?? (1)

mixtape5 (762922) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655793)

Please dont call me an idiot haha. I'm curious what Red vs. Blue is. I am aware of Homestarrunner, but I've never heard of Red v. Blue, If someone could let me know what it is, how I can check it out, I'd appreciate it.

Re:Whats Red Vs. Blue?? (1)

gphinch (722686) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655837)

Hi try Google [] please

Re:Its been done. (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656678)

"Red vs. blue and Homestar are all the TV the internet needs."

Why would you be a proponent of only 2 shows? If the president's on, you're screwed!!

Halo3 Tv (1)

HoshiToshi9000 (786883) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656778)

I'm convinced that the consoles are the future of TV, interactive TV that is. Passive TV will not be going away, but the next gen consoles with the help of the internet based gaming networks will I believe usher in the interactive era of TV. There are a number of things being done in the gaming community that hint at what is to come, Red vs. Blue and machinima for example, also shoutcasting and Epileptic Gaming by the ITG people.

Several years from now:

-You pop in your Halo3 disc into your XBOX2 and log in to XBOX live.

-You are presented with the main HALo3 welcome screen. There is info on servers which you can join for some deathmatch or CTF action. The normal stuff. There is also a news section describing the latest happenings in the Halo3 community, ie latest tournament news, latest patch info etc. .Then there is the Halo3TV section which provides info on the daily programming being broadcast on the various Halo3TV "channels". The content is being broadcast mainly as a spec stream with a little bit of video sprinkled in.

-You see that there is live coverage of the Halo3 World Championships being held in New York. You select that channel and watch a spec stream showing you the tournament action as it happens. You watch with people from all over the globe and you can chat with them a la IRC. At the end of a match, players are interviewed live and questions are fielded from the specs.

-You go back to the daily programming screen and select the machinima section. You see that the latest episode of Red vs. Blue is being shown (again as a spec stream). You watch that channel for a while.

-Next you check out the gameshow channels. Your favorite game show HaloJeopardy is on. You tune in. Tonight's lucky contestants are randomly selected from the viewing audience in real time. Players answer trivia questions to collect ammo/weapons for the final deathmatch round.

This is just an example. The console businesses of Sony and Microsoft will eventually morph to look more like media companies.

The gaming network is the media network. The game is the media platform.

Finally (4, Funny)

deathcloset (626704) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655341)

A good use for my WebTv ;)

Re:Finally (1)

clowe (170667) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655579)

Speaking of which, what ever happened to WebTV?

Re:Finally (1)

UserGoogol (623581) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656502)

Microsoft bought it and renamed it MSN TV. []

a B_i_G improvement, E:n:larged markets! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655345)

Based on what I see day to day on the internet it should Wor:k Gre:at.

About time (2, Insightful)

qurve (689356) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655346)

Sometimes you just want to see the show you want, when you want to. I'm actually surprised it took so long for it to come about. But now that on-demand television is getting popular, on-demand TV from your computer is the next logical step.

Too early. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655353)

I think it is way too early for something like this, most people don't have broadband, or dialup for that matter. A tv could be found for 20 bucks at a flea market that gets content for free.

I won't pay for anything, yes I am that cheap. We should let this kind of technology mature slowly rather than push it (or force it like HDTV).

Re:Too early. (2, Insightful)

OzzyRulez (825151) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655945)

From a marketing perspective, now is the perfect time to bring this out. It's something new to attract more people to high-speed internet. By now, most people who don't have high-speed in areas where high-speed is readily available will probably not ever have high-speed unless there is more available through it.

Re:Too early. (1)

elambi (251600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656430)

The latest figures I saw indicate that most households in Canada now have broadband connections.

FM from Internet Radio Recipe (0)

swordboy (472941) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655355)

1) Create radio station
2) Distribute content over internet or via CD-ROM
3) Take advantage of LPFM [] by running the station from hundreds/thousands of different nodes - all broadcasting under low power rules, yet dense enough to provide good coverage.

Could be something cool to do with all that old hardware, no? You'd have to come up with some pretty good synchronization software but this would be ClearChannel's worst nightmare...

Re:FM from Internet Radio Recipe (3, Informative)

telemonster (605238) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655389)

This has been disproven millions of times. The true legal broadcast power limits are measured in microvolts at a distance from the antenna. So Mr. Microphone is about the legal limit.

Also, if you start running over the legal limit, you get multipath reception issues as a receiver hears multiple transmitters on the same frequency (from adjacent cells).

Computer in car retrieves content from house via 802.11b, then content is played from cache during commute. Easy enough.

You forgot... (1, Funny)

Jogar the Barbarian (5830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655658)

4) ???
5) Profit!

Re:FM from Internet Radio Recipe (1)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656199)

Interesting idea...except you have to pay (as a broadcaster) for each and every "listener" you're reaching. It was some tax, or some such... it was a big hullabaloo months ago because it was shutting down Internet Radio "broadcasters." (I have no links, so... take it with a grain of salt).

Methinks *that* would be the barrier.

tv as we know it (4, Interesting)

to be a troll (807210) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655360)

I believe we are experiencing the last dying gasps of the final generation of TV as we know it... personally i have found myself watching all my TV on my computer, from downloaded Simpsons episodes to streaming CNN newscasts. I havent owned a TV in years. Most the younger people i know (18-25) are pretty much headed towards the same direction.

Re:tv as we know it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655443)

I tend to agree. While I still own TVs, about the only thing I do with them is play DVDs or Video from a computer on them. I also download the occasional TV show, usually a divx file in HDTV quality- which is better than the TV quality in my area by far, and has all the commercials edited right out. God bless these people who put their hard work into the Torrents I get every day!


HanShootsFirst (825810) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655364)

I haven't tried in a while, but NASA used to stream the live coverage of missions.

there's some good content out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655372)

I find myself watching more and more stuff obtained from the net. My latest find is this movie on ction=opensource_movies&collectionid=Ironstayn_vs_ Supergovernment/ []

Re:there's some good content out there (2, Informative)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655543)

Including new episodes [] of the historical archives!

(I haven't quite decided if this is a good thing yet...)

Don't forget Bittorrent! (4, Insightful)

exhilaration (587191) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655375)

You can get most popular shows via BitTorrent [] . Check out this great site [] for a listing. And check out Azureus [] if you're looking for a great client!

Re:Don't forget Bittorrent! (3, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655535)

Yeah and Suprnova [] has a ton too but that doesn't mean it's legal (at least here in the States).

Most of those TV episodes don't include commercials or originally aired on extended cable channels like HBO. Those original providers cannot be terribly thrilled about it.

Re:Don't forget Bittorrent! (3, Informative)

ticklemeozmo (595926) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656400)

Most of those TV episodes don't include commercials or originally aired on extended cable channels like HBO. Those original providers cannot be terribly thrilled about it.

Due to the Sony v Universal case in 1984 (also known as the Betamax decision), it is LEGAL for someone to own one copy of an episode that was on the public airwaves (CBS, ABC, NBC, etc) for the purposes of "timeshifting" (what its called now). You are also allowed to give out a copy of your copy to someone who missed the show. This makes COMPLETELY LEGAL, even without commercials. (as they only have local channel shows).

Now, of course, shows on HBO or Discovery Channel are not as legal.

Re:Don't forget Bittorrent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656946)

Most of those TV episodes don't include commercials

Okay, that's another point in it's favor!

Re:Don't forget Bittorrent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655546)

After reading too much /. i misread the name of the site as, was shocked for a moment ...

Re:Don't forget Bittorrent! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655603)

Yeah, if stealing from TV producers is something you want to do. Get a clue, scumbag. People who don't pay for their content are theives. (That also goes for all you pirates who think you can escape guilt by watching DVDs "lended" to you by a friend, or think it's OK to just "check out" a magazine from one of those illegal book swapping locations known as "libraries") Thieves everywhere.

Re:Don't forget Bittorrent! (3, Interesting)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655832)

Yea, I feel so guilty sending that check to the cable company every month while I'm downloading those episodes of the daily show I missed. I'm such a horrible person :-p

*Yes I know your comment was sarcastic*

Re:Don't forget Bittorrent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656206)

People who don't pay for their content are theives.

I didnt pay for any of the content I watched from or

does that make me a thief?

Re:Don't forget Bittorrent! (3, Interesting)

marcop (205587) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656325)

I know the parent is meant for sarcasm, however is it still stealing if I download shows from the Internet for archival purposes when I have:

- am a TW digital cable subscriber - only downloading shows I actaully receive.
- Tivo my shows
- Have a VCR to archive.
- Have a analog TV to firewire device bridge that I can use to cap my analog feeds.

Since the US Supreme court has upheld that time shifting is OK, I can legally archive programs that I pay for and receive in my home. However, I find it more convenient to simply download shows instead of doing the work myself. Am I still a pirate?

This questions seems more a rhetorical question whose answer varies depending on who you ask. Anyone have any legal backing?

Re:Don't forget Bittorrent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655615)

Wow, I just sent 6 invites and they got scarfed up right away. Nice site. :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656650) [] is another good site.

ya right (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655378)

Ill believe it when I start hearing more about it and not from some guys personal belief that its coming of age. Not newsworthy IMO

everyone will be talking soon... (1)

sevinkey (448480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656168)

Microsoft's MCE2005 launch this month is what's fueling all of the new press. I'm currently involved in bringing the adult market to this device, but I wasn't sure the bandwidth was there to be really effective until the other day when I saw the slashdot article about Verizon's FTTP at 15Mbps.

I can stream 3 movies at full HDTV quality at that bitrate! I wasn't quite sold on the idea for the immediate future (was designing the system for thinking couple years ahead) but now it looks like anyone that's willing to spend the $1000 it takes to get one of these Windows machines, you'll be able to do serious Internet TV by mid-next year.

I'm not looking forward to rebooting my TV everyday again, however.

Sounds more line on-demand TV... (3, Insightful)

sp00 (639381) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655385)

After skimming the article it seems like these are more like on demand content services rather than other "Internet TV" providers. []

War history channel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655397)

Why is there no war history channel? I know shows like World at War and Band of Brothers were a huge draw for me on the History Channel, and I'm sure the same is true for many other folks. It could easily survive in the specialty channel pool.

Vonage for TV (3, Interesting)

telemonster (605238) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655416)

It is just a matter of time before Vonage style services for television start appearing. TV over IP.

Now is the time for Multicast...

I think it would be cool to have an opensource set top box that pulls content from something like bittorrent. Each box could serve and play, as an appliance. Let people publish content on the network and wala, true television revolution.

Could make them out of Tivo units, after replacing Linux with NetBSD.

Re:Vonage for TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655656)

Could make them out of Tivo units, after replacing Linux with NetBSD.

That would only be useful if the only show you watched was "Six Feet Under".

Re:Vonage for TV (1)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655954)

Multicast is not a good option for the internet.

Yep you read that right. Despite all the research and money multicast fails to follow one of the tenents of the net, intelligence at the edge.

This is such a great oversight that is dooms multicast from ever taking off.

The future of TV is something akin to bittorrent. Intelligence at the edges that scales as audience size increases.

Re:Vonage for TV (1)

galaxy300 (111408) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656127)

And for crying out loud, it's VOILA, not wala!

RSS + Divx = No More TV (4, Interesting)

tobes (302057) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655419)

For me, the joy (if you can call it that) of tv has always been that it's a somewhat passive experience. Sometimes you just want to sit back and not "search" for content. Of course, lately tv has been failing to provide this experience. The lack of quality programming means that I spend more time channel surfing than I would like.

Anyway, I think there's a big potential for tcp/ip video to replace the current distribution methods. The only hurdle is replicating that passive viewing experience. I think things like RSS go a long way towards achieving this. Instead of surfing/searching for video, by tying it to RSS you could just subscribe to "channels" and have the content pulled down to your machine (or links to it) almost immediately after it's published. Tie this in with some sort of search engine or recommendation system and you have a pretty powerful product.

Re:RSS + Divx = No More TV (3, Informative)

einstein (10761) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655494)

And the best place to see this RSS + Divx in action? []

No place for new start ups? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655421)

I don't really know that many of these new start-ups have any chance for success. The major networks and cable systems have such a strangle hold on the content it doesn't leave much for smaller 3rd parties.

I think the only room left in "internet tv" is niche programming, a la, internet radio.

Not to change the subject (1)

igzat (817053) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655469)

But how long until I can watch TV on my cell phone? Ipods and PVPs are great, but I'd love to be able to catch up on sports news or watch a show or two during my morning commute. Can u feel me?

Talking of changing the subject, spell Televison?? (1)

TheScienceKid (611371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655557)

Not to be overly pedantic, but the subject of this discussion is Internet Televison Content Coming of Age... should it not be Televis_I_on?


L. Ed. C.
(Slashdot ID TheScienceKid)

Re:Talking of changing the subject, spell Televiso (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656442)

Why? vison [] is a French word for an aquatic mammal. Televison is a "vison at a distance".

Homechoice in the UK (3, Informative)

robbie_air (635515) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655471)

A similar service has been available in London (not sure about the rest of the uk) for several years [] homechoice offers TV, movies etc on demand as well as 512 or 1mb broadband for about £20-30/month - us$30-45 month. It also offers movies and sport from the UKs biggest satellite tv network Sky.

Re:Homechoice in the UK (2, Informative)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656063)

Similar here in Saskatchewan (Canada). I have SaskTel's MAX service which is basically TV over DSL. Along with that I have high speed internet and basic phone service which amounts to about $50CDN. However, since this is a telco, I bundle in my long distance and cell phone and wind up getting TV, Interenet, Cell, Phone and long distance for ~ $100/month.

Re:Homechoice in the UK (1)

Devalia (581422) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656877)

Very Poor availability though, isnt it jsut london who recieves this? I live just outside london and cant get myself

Use of new technology for old technology (4, Insightful)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655505)

I find it highly amusing that old technology is used to support new technology which is then used to supply the features of old technologies. Case 1, telephones. POTS lines are used to carry modem traffic which is now used to carry voip (i.e. telephone) traffic. Cable lines are used to carry ip traffic which is now being utilized to receive tv. Gotta luv it.

VoD is better (2, Interesting)

alatesystems (51331) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655556)

I don't see internet tv replacing regular tv, because you'd have to have all these micro-subscriptions to keep the sites afloat. Advertising just doesn't do that (Think late 90's).

I really like the Video On Demand that I get from Time Warner. I can pull up episodes from just about any popular tv show. I like the G4TechTV on demand channel a lot, as well as the comedy central one. Since I have HBO and Cinemax, I can pull up any recent movies on demand from it. The cable company already has a massive fiber and copper network, and they're finally leveraging it to provide entertainment to me!

I even have a channel (999) that let's me play GAMES on the DVR/cable box with my remote like solitaire and keeps real time stats with other people playing as well.

Digital cable and VoD is the future, not internet tv, as in streaming real media or wmv or something like that. I'd rather have my relatively uncompressed(mpeg2) content from my cable company.

Re:VoD is better (1)

kneel (17810) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655716)

If you're playing solitaire with other people, you should seriously consider getting some psychiatric help.

How can it be better? (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656425)

Comcast in my area provides a medicore on demand service... i'd like yours instead.

If this were done over the net then i could just cancel my comcast tv subscription and sign onto time warner. But today time warner would have to invest tens of thousands to bring that service to my tv and they probably wouldn't do it.

Once we have interoperable online television then we'll be able to subscribe to channels anywhere in the world and providers will have to compete to find the best balance between ads and subscription cost - instead of the current monopoly.

text/html vs video (2, Interesting)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655607)

We're still in the infancy of the Network Age. It's fairly easy right now for programs to operate on text (including html/xml/et al), but operating on audio or video streams isn't done much yet. Gooogle News, for instance, uses algorithmic control to 'watch' the web for interesting stories. I suppose there are certain segments of the web that do that for video, but most video editing and selection is done by people.

It won't be long (a few years, maybe) before good audio is generated in real time from scripts. You'll feed in the text of a script, select good voices and such, and stream realistic audio programs.

How to do video is something else. Animations currently take a lot of work to develop. Someday maybe they can be script-generated on the fly too.

In 15 years (following Moore's Law) everything will be 1024 times faster than it is now, 1024 times more powerful. What will that bring? It'll be fun to watch.

Re:text/html vs video (1)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655771)

Web pages, even big ones, load in under 2 seconds over my 3meg cable connection.

So you're saying that they'll load in 1/500th of a second in 15 years. Which, since we can't 'see' anything shorter than 1/30th of a second or so, will be instantaneous.

And I bet Realplayer will still buffer.

Re:text/html vs video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655866)

I hope nobody makes computer controled vibrators. thats a lot of power.

I know there are some more night owls in here (2, Funny)

xThinkx (680615) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655610)

I personally welcome the idea of "TV Over IP" type providers. I'd love it if I could watch the shows I want WHEN I want, streamed or downloadable.

I'd like to think the geek crowd is also tired of having nothing but info-mercials to watch while finding the latest logic error in $openSourceProject.

Free providers (4, Informative)

bigjnsa500 (575392) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655657)

There are many free providers of TV over Internet. Its getting to the point of asking yourself WHY you watch broadcast TV anymore.

For a list of worldwide stations - Smart Digital Network []
America Free TV []

Re:Free providers (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655718)

this sort of reminds me of the argument people make for replacing RIAA affiliated artists with indie bands. You can't simply replace something like an artist or TV show. People watch broadcast TV because they like the shows. The same goes for music. People listen to band X becasue band X is the type of music they like. You can't simply say here this indie band sounds like band X listen to it instead. While replacing windows software with linux software works sometimes, people aren't like that especially when telling them what they shoudl listen to or watch.

Re:Free providers (1)

bigjnsa500 (575392) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655774)

I am just saying that a person doesn't need a TV if they don't want one. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Internet TV stations from which to choose from.

Re:Free providers (1)

bleckywelcky (518520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10657150)

I don't really watch TV anymore. But even so, I still subscribe to basic cable. Here's why: Comcast charges $57/month for internet if you don't already have their cable TV. But, if you buy their basic cable TV package (60 channels or so) for $10/month, they'll reduce their charge for internet from $57/month to $42/month (total of $52/month for cable TV and internet). So even though I don't watch the cable TV, I still pay for it because it's $5 cheaper per month to get TV and internet than it is for internet only. If that's not a sure sign of a monopoly, I don't know what is.

I, for one, welcome (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655688)

my new Internet based TV choices. Right now, I'm able to download only one internet with my ub3r AOL connection.

With my new choices, I will be downl0ad lots of different internets and chann3ls.

Quality? (2, Interesting)

tji (74570) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655813)

These attempts are coming at a bit of a tough time.. HDTV services are growing pretty quickly, raising the bar for quality expectations from TV viewers.

Most of the downloadable / streamable TV content I have seen is pretty much garbage quality-wise.

I don't think they need to do full 720p or 1080i to be competitive, but they certainly need to do better than the smudgey thumbnail videos I have seen.

Maybe taking an HDTV source (where available) then scaling it down to DVD resolutions (720x480) and using MPEG-4 compression could offer a good compromise between quality and size.

Re:Quality? (4, Insightful)

hrbrmstr (324215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656021)

I am amazed to see the words "quality" and "TV" used in the same sentence.

HDTV presentation of crap is still crap.

Re:Quality? (1)

The Phantom Mensch (52436) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656250)

You and I must have different quality thresholds. There is lots of approx. 640x352 resolution downsampled HDTV out there in bittorrents. I find this stuff a perfectly acceptable alternative to my crappy analog cable TV feed.

Videos for music (2, Funny)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655926)

How about something that recognizes what you're listening to, finds the matching music video, and displays it?

It could be called "Music TV".

TV on Demand...Not for me! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10655983)

I personally dont want TV on Demand. Part of what made Sunday night alias was the anticipation of the next episode. With TV on demand, I could (probably would) rush through the whole season in a day or two. I dont think that would generate near as much excitement from a fan base, and the Producer proabably wouldnt get as much money either.

I would be interested in seeing sports whenever I wanted, but that can already be done with TiVo.

On demand TV would make good content seem less. Every program that I demand can be watched instantly. When I'm done watching those programs, what else is there to watch? all the shows that I didn't then I'm settling for a chunk of second rate entertainment. which probably wont be fulfilling after I just had the best.

Here is an example. I can sit down to watch show "A" which I enjoy, show "C" is also one of my favorite shows. I might sit through show "B" while I wait for show "C". If I could watch show "A" then "C" right after, I would not go back and watch show "B".

Mainstream programs? (3, Insightful)

tji (74570) | more than 9 years ago | (#10655998)

After looking through the WWW sites for Akimbo and DaveTV, I see a distinct lack of mainstream TV.

Since buying an HDTV tuner, and hooking a small antenna to it, I can get all my local stations for free - in a quality leaps and bounds better than what cable or satellite provides. So, there are only a few things keeping me paying those high monthly fees.

- The Daily Show with John Stewart. This could be easily done via Internet TV. I would gladly pay a few bucks a week/month to just get this and not all the other garbage on cable.

- Occasionally, I like to be able to get CNN. But, for the most part I use online news sources, so this is not crucial.

- Sports Programming. ESPN carries a lot of college basketball, sunday night NFL, etc. This would not necessarily transfer over to Internet TV well, because I don't want to request download & see it after the fact.. I want to see it live. Also, when you consider their push into HDTV services.. this is very hard to replicate via Internet. I don't know if this is enough to keep me paying $60++ per month. But, I would be very tempted when my college was being carried on an ESPN-HD game.

- HD movie channels. These are nice to have.. but, DVD's are an acceptable substitute. In a few years, we will have HD-DVD's, decreasing the appeal of HD movie channels.

At this point, I think that if I had the ability to access the few mainstream cable programs I want at a reasonable cost, I would dump cable TV.

Can someone explain? (1)

wjeff (161644) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656043)

I am probably being really dense, but can someone please explain to me why the major broadcast networks are not streaming their broadcasts on the Internet?

I can kind of understand why cable only networks might not (not really), but why in the world broadcast networks are not doing it is a mystery to me.

I would think it would only improve the competive position against the cable networks, and the increase their viewership, and thereby increasing their value to their advertisers.

Re:Can someone explain? (1)

bradvoy (686502) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656314)

Because they don't want to offend their local affiliate stations by bypassing them. The local affiliates argue they shouldn't be bypassed because they add valuable local content such as local news. Of course they also add local advertising which is where the local affiliates make their money.

Re:Can someone explain? (2, Interesting)

wjeff (161644) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656390)

Ok, so why aren't the local affiliates streaming their broadcasts, all we are talking about is taking the same content they broadcast freely over the airwaves, and making it available over the Internet.

This should be a no brainer.

Re:Can someone explain? (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656504)

Uh, because bandwidth is expensive? REALLY expensive when you start streaming video 24x7.

Re:Can someone explain? (1)

wjeff (161644) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656802)

Not really, I am not talking about streaming HDTV. Contrary to a lot of the posts I have seen, I don't high quality/resolution is necessary for internet broadcasting. Most people who are going to want to watch the internet streams, will be doing so as a matter of convience (e.g. keeping the news on in window while working on something else, or watching their local stations while traveling).

I think the standard quality we see in the aready available news clips will be fine. If want to watch a movie or favorite show in high quality then I will go into the living room and watch my tv set.

And for this level of quality, they probably wouldn't use that much additional bandwidth, and bandwidth is cheap these days, at least in the US, and major European countries, the situation would be more problematic is places where measured service is the rule.

Streaming content... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656062)

These sites also offer some television content but mostly old stuff (very old). They have streaming movies which does not require you to download onto a set top device and then view on your tv. The sites are [] [] and [] . They have free and subscription content.

Internet (2, Insightful)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656162)

is great for news. But what about action/adventure shows? When can I see Buffy kicking vampire butt on InternetTV? When can I see Jack Bower stopping yet another terrorist plot in 24 hours? Until InternetTV has stuff like that, it can't replace regular TV.

Streaming TV in Myth (1)

Baseclass (785652) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656224)

I customized my Myth box to play TV streams via mplayer (should be similar with xine).
I created several text files with .tv extensions containing the various URLs and associated them with: mplayer --playlist -fs (I think that's it, I'm at work right now).

wwiTV [] is a great site for live TV streams.

xbmc (1)

checkup21 (717875) | more than 9 years ago | (#10656447)

sitting on the couch i can watch all movie trailers on my fingertips. Furthermore i have imdb lookup and access to a really big movie archive over ethernet. oh, i have linksbox to surf the net and read my emails, all from the couch. i can listen to internet radio, record it, can make screenshots in movies, make bookmarks and watch (of course) DD5.1 movies with spdif output on the xbox.
this is the future boys. in fact its the past, but too few people know it ;)

Internet TV Comes of Age When (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656924)

I can watch NFL Sunday without
* silly beer commercials
* GM trying to tell me it's truck will get me laid more often than Ford's
* vodka being touted as one of the basic food groups
* all men being depicted as morons who do stupid things
* all women being portrayed as witty, sensual, and solely interested in the man who ( smokes this, drinks that, drives this, plays that, eats here, or takes this pill)
* The confusion that sets in when a feminine pad commercial is somehow mistakenly inserted

Content producers, oh please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10656972)

This is so old, any chick with a webcam can be a content "producer", and many have over the years! Here, once again, porn blazes the trail of internet technology.

You %FAIl it (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10657044)

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