In modern timestelevision is increasingly being delivered in a new way – rather than through our aerials and satellite dishes, it enters our homes via the same connection through which, increasingly, we receive every other form of media we consume.
Whenever you feel like watching your favourite show, you can.This allows you to watch all-night marathons, or occasionally delve in to enjoy one of your favourite shows whenever you want to.This is the most fundamental difference between the new technology and the old.It looks set to alter the way we consume television and therefore the way that television is produced.While most programmes are still trickled out in weekly instalments, others – notably Netflix’s House of Cards and Orange is the New Black – are released in one go.
No television when you don’t want it
Online safety for children is important – and particularly so where video services are concerned.With this in mind, streaming technology allows you to more effectively monitor – and thereby police – the viewing habits of others in your household.Both Netflix and Amazon allow you to create special accounts for your children, ensuring that they only view content which is appropriate for them.
The quality of the image
Poor digital TV reception looks set to become a thing of the past for now thought here are many companies you can use to help.Unlike other forms of television, the broadcast quality of a programme streamed over the internet is tied directly to the strength of the connection.A stronger internet connection will allow a higher quality image to be broadcast.If you live in a rural area where the broadband infrastructure is not all it might be, then this may be a limiting factor.Netflix, for example, streams certain programmes in eye-popping 4k – including House of Cards, Breaking Bad and Marco Polo.These will be off-limits to those without a sufficiently meaty internet connection – to say nothing of the 4k television.
The result of this compression is that the image is not as high as it might be on an optical format like a Blu-ray disk, where the data is wholly uncompressed and the image therefore wholly intact. Compressed video often exhibits strange artefacts, where a decompressing algorithm is attempting to ‘fill in’ the gaps in an image.If you’ve ever watched a night-time scene on a streamed video, in which the darkness is rendered in blocky, monolithic clumps of grey, you will be familiar with this problem.
That said, these differences will only be appreciable on home cinema setups of sufficient quality (and cost) and by people whose eyes and ears are discerning enough to appreciate them.If you intend to simply stream your content to a regular television setup, then there is no reason to worry about it.
The quality of the programming
As well as hosting other people’s content, the streaming services have also begun to create their own.And as audiences have inflated, so too has the amount of money available for programming.Internet television has thus moved from a niche curiosity to multi-million-dollar extravaganzas.
One programme which typifies this trend is Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle.Based on Philip K Dick’s 1962 novel of the same name, this television pilot was well-received and the production of a full season was therefore commissioned in the middle of February.It imagines a future in which the Axis powers had won World War II and the united states has been divided between the Japanese and German regimes, with the former controlling the east coast and the latter controlling the west.
The programme depicts Dick’s vision with a startling degree of plausibility and realism and manages to do so without trivialising the subject or resorting to piety.It is difficult to imagine that The Man in the High Castle could have been commissioned by a traditional broadcaster – its challenging subject matter would have presented an unpalatable risk.Fortunately, technology has allowed such risks to be minimised.If previous production times are any accurate barometer, then the full season should arrive well before the end of the year.
The quantity of the programming
While the best reason to go for streaming is the exclusive programming it offers, the sheer quantity of accessible programming is a tantalising draw, also.Between them, Netflix and Amazon host an almighty repertoire of television from the past.Classic shows like Star Trek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are present in their entirety, as are lesser known cult offerings like Firefly.If you are just looking for an inexhaustible supply of things to watch, then it is now readily available for a relatively modest sum.