Author: Peter Dobson
Internet Streaming – The way forward?
Internet Streaming by definition –The process of watching and/or listening to A/V content on your computer or other internet enabled device, from a remote location, without the need to fully download that content.
The nuts and bolts in simple terms: Content is collected, be it from a camera, a live satellite feed/channel, a pre-recorded show. Content is encoded, fed from the hosts server and delivered by internet to those who want to, and have the ability to, view the content.
Restrictions: Content maybe restricted at the discretion of the provider by the following methods:
Geo-blocking – Blocking content to certain geographical locations on the planet. An example of this is US TV networks may make their content available to those physically in the US only, and block IP addresses trying to access the content outside the US. However the likes of Hola gets us round those issues these days.
PPV Pay per View – either wholly or in part by requesting a payment for service provided. Think Netflix etc.
As at time of writing, Internet TV as a viable entertainment option really is in its infancy in New Zealand, with Ultra Fast Broadband roll out being moderately limited and only in the major centres. However in saying that, I personally have experienced superior internet streaming services on ADSL2 connections. Reasons are better compression and overseas servers pumping it out hard and fast, and general improvement of internet carrying worldwide.
The question is this a viable option for me?
Well as it so happens, probably yes. The amount of free content that can be legally accessed via internet streaming is both staggering and quite frankly, entertaining. A couple of examples are all the free to air British channels – that’s everything from 4 BBC channels to 4 ITV channels, to Dave, Channel 4 and 5, The Yesterday Channel, are available to view via streaming. The quality? – Above average. With the addition of a free app for your PC, you can also have an EPG and the ability to set and record.
Off the top of my head right now I can think of three streaming sites that carry almost every imaginable US and some British TV shows popular in the last 8 – 10 years. Game of Thrones? You bet ya! Breaking Bad? Absolutely! The Good Wife? Hell yeah. Dexter? Well why not!
But what about watching it? I can hear you saying, I don’t want to watch this on my computer or laptop stuck in the corner of the room, I want to watch it on my main 42″ TV in the lounge. Right?
Then do it! Smart TV’s on the market have opened up a whole new world to internet TV viewing, be it on demand, the introduction of Netflix, Video Ezy streaming, Lightbox, Sky’s Neon is on its way, plus there are a couple more. So there’s that option.
Best bang for your buck? KODI streaming media software that runs on pretty much all domestic OS’s. Check out the KODI Story here. We offer KODI on an android box.
Our hybrid Satellite/IP Streaming box
Here’s another option for you, the Ultraplus 990HD is not just a satellite receiver,fully compliant with all modern satellite delivery parameters, but also a streaming box with over 500 channels from around the world. You will actually be amazed what’s on offer. Check it out here Internet TV
More and more legitimate providers are entering the pay as you go service, delivering good quality content at smaller prices than many pay TV satellite services. Think Netflix, Telecoms (Spark) Lightbox, and Sky’s Neon.
Remember a lot of content is already tied up by NZ’s major networks, for example Sky has HBO signed and sealed, so the chances of seeing HBO programing on Telecoms Lightbox, is small. My predictions there will be a storm before a calm between providers all vying for your entertainment dollar. In addtion, why would sky make available on its Neon Network some of their hot programs, taking customers away from their lucrative satellite service? Think before you leap, and for some good sound advise, talk to us.
So to answer the first question I posed at the start of this article, is this the way forward? My answer would be, not sure, but it certainly looks like it could be at the moment.
Footnote: If you are an Ultraplus owner you can load onto your receiver the following file which allow you to watch a wide variety of TV Shows over the internet. Just load USB stick into your computer, right click on the following link and:
Internet Explorer <save target as> Chrome & Firefox <Save link as>
Save to the USB stick. Go to your Internet enabled Ultrplus. Using your remote goto internet TV menu, insert USB to ultraplus, menu will ask if you wish to load, simply click yes, and you’re away.