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Internet TV

By Michael P. Coglan
On April 28, 2011

  • Clay Farebrother. William Mornini
  • Clay Farebrother. William Mornini

Many people complain that they pay too much for television they don't watch. And the shows they do want to watch are always on when they're busy, so they have to pay extra to get a DVR and record shows. This isn't the way it should be.Now the Internet can easily replace a regular cable or satellite TV connection.


Netflix is a major source of online entertainment. For just $8 a month a person can instantly stream thousands of movies and TV shows to a computer or other Internet-ready devices. These devices include most smartphones, iPod Touches, Internet-ready TVs and Blu-ray players and all three major gaming consoles.


For just a few dollars more per month a user can also have DVDs delivered to their door with no delivery fee or late fee.


Some people don't want to wait for Netflix to start carrying their TV shows; they need them as soon they come out. Enter Hulu. Hulu is a website that hosts full- length episodes and clips of many shows the night after they play on regular TV. The main advantage of Hulu is that it's free.


Hulu does have a few downsides, the biggest being that it keeps only a few of the most recent episodes at a time. Also, Hulu can be used only on a computer and viewed in standard definition.


This is why they created Hulu Plus. Hulu Plus fixes those issues. Hulu Plus keeps every episode from a show's current season. Plus, shows can be viewed on many mobile devices and Internet-ready TVs and Blu-ray players and can be viewed in HD. Hulu Plus, like Netflix, costs just $8 a month.


So for just $16 a month a person can access the entire streaming library of two major entertainment websites from virtually any device that can receive an Internet signal. This includes both movies and TV shows, new and old. That is a lot lower than most people's cable bills with a whole lot more options.


One thing that neither service can provide is sports, so ESPN stepped up to the plate. In 2005 ESPN created ESPN360, now just ESPN3, a website dedicated to broadcasting live sporting events on the Internet, including football, baseball, soccer, basketball and many other sports. This also is a free service.


One thing to consider, however, is your Internet speed. Luckily almost any modern form of Internet connection, meaning not dial-up, should be able to do it. The higher the speed, the better. Aiming for around 5Mbps should get a person non-stop streaming.


So call up that cable company and cancel your service. The Internet will be taking over from here.

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