More and more Americans are starting to connect their TV to the internet through game councils and other devices such as Bluray players, apple TV, Google TV and Roku players. These devices allow their customers to stream Internet content, games as well as TV shows, movies and specific network channels.
When you connect your TV to an Internet streaming device you can get instant access to thousands of free movies and shows from companies such as Hulu, Crackle and Amazon. You can also get access to even more programming if you have a Netflix or HuluPlus subscription – both currently $7.99/mo a piece for their streaming services.
With these Internet streaming players you can add channels just like adding apps on a smartphone. For instance sports fans can add a variety a channels to watch live games instantly. NBA Game Time, MLB.tv, MLS, UFC, RacefansTV, NHL and College Sports channels are just a few of the options available for a sports fan with a Roku box.
And with a web linked TV you also have the added benefit of connecting to site like Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, Angry Birds and Pandora.
At this time, these players aren’t quite able to compete straight up with cable companies but they do provide an added bonus to any home entertainment system. The major reason streaming Internet devices can’t yet compete with paid TV is the lack of live network programming and the delayed or nonexistence of certain channels and shows.
Although it is amazing to be able to instantly watch 4 entire commercial-free seasons of Mad Men through Netflix streaming, hardcore fans wouldn’t be able to wait the year or so it takes for the show to become available. Hulu however does have many of the main network shows available within days of their initial air-dates. But until all shows and all network are on board the cable companies still have the upper hand.
Streaming Internet to your TV is an interesting and quickly increasing phenomenon. It’s estimated that 1 out of 5 homes already have Internet access through their TVs. With the technology, features and programming getting better everyday, streaming TV will not only be the norm soon but it likely could be the preferred choice of home entertainment.