Internet TV has a whole range of advantages ordinary TV can not provide. To begin with, no cable or satellite connection is required, saving the extra cost for subscription to providers of such services.

All that is required is an Internet connection, something most families have in any case. In addition, most stations will require users to sign on, or set up an account, which is usually free. This may result in receiving the odd e-mail, which shouldn’t really present a problem considering the advantages.

Some online TV stations may also require the download of a specific player, as a rule also free and requiring very little time, both for the download and set-up of the required players.

Once this has been completed the world is a viewer’s oyster. Depending on which service, or station, has been selected, TV shows and movies, sports, news and whatever else the viewer is interested in can be watched either live, as they are being broadcast, or selected from well organised lists of available shows, movies, etc.

Most of the sites offering free Internet TV actually list and link to hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of different TV stations around the world. With a single click, a viewer is then able to select from the shows available at each of these stations.

As well as being able to watch these shows streaming there and then, viewers are also able to download complete shows, enabling them to view these shows when it is most convenient for them.

This means that no more episodes of one’s favourite TV show will ever have to be missed again. More often than not, it is not even necessary to download them at the time they are being shown, as they are added to the lists of shows and kept available for some time.

Being based on IP-platforms, Internet TV viewing is also far more interactive. Viewers can personalise their viewing experience, pause shows, repeat scenes, etc. Often, it is possible to merge services through a so-called converged service, making it possible to create new, added value services to suit one’s taste. This may involve adding voice mail and/ or chat facilities and a range of other interesting options.

For viewers in politically controlled areas, it is possible to obtain real news from around the world, keeping them better informed of what is going on both abroad and within their own countries.

For language students, Internet TV offers the opportunity to improve their skills by watching TV in the language of their choice. Being able to hear a language spoken by natives is known to improve the ability to learn a language quickly.

Whether or not subtitles are available, pausing every now and then to look up specific words or phrases, as well as repeating scenes to really get hold of pronunciations works wonders in improving language skills.

Where multiple computers are present in a household, they can be set up to enable family members to watch different shows at the same time, ending those remote control battles once and for all.

The article is contributed by Calvin Scott. Calvin is passionate about new technology and expensive gadgets. Visit his site for interactieve televisie and tv en internet.

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