Streaming Services: The Future Of Television
There was a time not long ago, before digital TV and Sky+ subscriptions, when being able to watch a missed episode of a television show required a lengthy search process on the internet, often with an illegal download involved. Waiting for repeats was not an option for many, and some shows never repeated at all; it was often left down to a VHS recording device if there was an unmissable show on television that would be missed for any reason. There were many disadvantages with these processes, and once the appropriate licenses were acquired, many companies started setting up their own streaming TV services so that people could catch up with the programmes that they may have missed.
The technology works by feeding a continuous stream across an internet connection. Many of the biggest TV companies, including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, all have their own streaming services which have allowed people to watch what they want, when they want to watch it. Users need not wait until a full file is downloaded before they start watching; one of the advantages of streaming content is its immediacy. Many videos are ready to play within seconds of the user selecting them, as they feed the continuous stream through the connection and play the video at the same time.
The biggest digital TV providers in the country, including Sky Digital, BT Vision and Virgin Media, have all cemented their place as streaming content suppliers, with extensive On Demand services which encompass films, sports, television and often behind-the-scenes footage. There are almost innumerable options to choose from, with more television added in a month than could possibly be watched in that amount of time.
Subscription-free TV providers such as Freesat are also getting in on the streaming craze. A new movie streaming service from the company which offers a whole raft of television channels for a one-off set top box fee has given movie lovers a new way of watching the films they want to see from the comfort of their own home. Customers can watch up to twenty-eight films each calendar month as part of the deal; just less than one film per day. Again using an internet connection, the service includes classics such as Back to the Future and Mission Impossible, as well as newer box office hits like King Kong and Bruno.
The streaming revolution has only just begun, and with more companies adding streaming content to their repertoire of services, there will be much stiffer competition in the future, which is only good news for the consumers, who will receive much better offers and services as a result.
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