Can I Get Television Service Over the Internet?

Can your computer be a television?

With the recent rise in Internet television options, many find themselves wondering if they can get television service over the Internet. However, there are still several problems that prevent full service TV online.

Television Service on the Internet

As of early 2011, full TV from the Internet is still not a reality. However, there are numerous ways to access television programming from the Internet, as well as Internet content on your television. There are also several options that allow you to catch up on your favorite shows from your Iphone or other portable device. A few of the more popular methods include the following.

Google TV

One of the more upcoming types of "Internet TV," Google TV isn't exactly TV from Google. Google TV marries the Internet with your television. You can either access the service through an Internet-ready TV from Samsung or by purchasing a separate box to turn your existing TV into an Internet TV. Whichever option you choose, Google TV allows you to search the web, utilize certain apps, connect third-party services like Netflix to your TV and much more. However, the system still requires some form of cable or satellite service, and the dangers of the Internet are still an issue - especially if you have young children - so be careful.

Purchasing Televisions Shows

One of the more common routes to access TV over the Internet is to purchase episodes of your favorite shows. You can also purchase a season pass at a discounted price to acquire the whole season as it is released. Two of the more popular sites to purchase television episodes include Amazon and Itunes. Both sites allow you to pick and choose which episodes you'd like to purchase and do not limit how many different shows you can buy. Once purchased, you can view episodes on your computer, your synced personal media device (such as an Ipod) or on your TV.

Online Streaming Services

Another popular way to watch TV over the Internet is by using a television streaming service. One of the more popular sites out there for that is Hulu, which provides numerous shows for free and offers paid account options for additional choices. Other paid suscription services such as Blockbuster Video will allow you to view numerous movies and shows across the Internet in the same fashion. Revision 3 is another site that instead of offering shows that appear on cable television, offers only original broadcast shows that are broadcast on the site only. Some of these online streaming services - also largely called Internet Television Rebroadcasts - offer paid options for broadcast on other devices like the Iphone.

Television Channels

Every major television network has a website of their own. Many of these websites also provide full-episode videos of their shows. Others provide short snippets of popular episodes or segments or even exclusive features. By going to the network sites, you can view some of your favorite shows with the convenience of watching anytime you like. This can be a great way to catch one of your favorite television shows on the web without having to wait for it to come on again like you would have to do with cable.

Video Podcasts

While podcasting is still a relatively new form of video, there are many independent filmmakers and television supporters who deliver their broadcasts through this medium. While this isn't the way to see your favorite prime time cop drama, this can be a great way to find a new favorite on the web.

A Final Thought

If you've been asking your friends and family "can I get television service over the Internet," now you know that there are in fact options for you. However, don't get discouraged if the right fit isn't out there just yet. With so many different options occuring each week, the right fit for you might be right around the technological corner. Many analysts speculate that much like phone service is now available over the Internet, that interent television service is right around the corner.

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Can I Get Television Service Over the Internet?