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Streaming Content - Why and How?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Streaming Content - Why and How?
Author: Bob Hetherington, HomeToys


Supposedly now --- life is better than ever. I should be able to stream content including TV, movies, news, music and everything else --- from the internet directly to my entertainment system. I should also be able to do all the old stuff including listen and watch the movies and music which I purchased and stored on my hard drive. Let's have a look at the possibilities and try to sort it out.

Here's my advice if you want to dip your feet into this world. First go to Boxee and get the free download of their software and set it up on your computer. Spend some time playing with it and set it up as though you were streaming everything through your home entertainment system. Imagine that you are sitting in the TV room controlling with a new remote control. How much fun is that. Bottom line --- these things only cost a few hundred rather than a few thousand dollars so what the heck --- lets have some fun out there!

Read the complete article in the latest issue of our eMagazine at HomeToys.com
post #2 of 11
While convenient, I have a worried hunch that A/V quality for movies and TV shows and live sports streamed via the internet will go the way of music with MP3 and iTunes and video/audio quality with Hulu, Amazon & Netflix Streaming... Great for small screen, informal viewing or listening, but nothing to write home about beyond that.

Basically, Pay Per View and mediocre, barely watchable/listenable quality because Joe 6 Pack doesn't give a damn. Want proof? Just look at the state of satellite/cable! Compression artifacts to the extreme.

It seems like instant-access and a bigger revenue stream for Hollywood (becoming more and more an ever-present hand in your wallet) trumps quality every time.

I hope pre-recorded media doesn't go away any time soon.
post #3 of 11
Streaming content is definitely the way of the future (for 98% of the population). It's just a question of being able to tie all the different sources together with one box. I tried to check out Boxee but it doesn't play nice with my old G5...

I personally hopping Google comes out with something easy to use and all encompassing. Then we can finally get rid of the 100+ dollar a month bill for satellite.

As for quality, well, I'm sure it'll improve with time as the internet speeds up (hopefully) and for those who insist on quality bluray isn't going anywhere fast.
post #4 of 11
The article says: "Oh, you still need all the other stuff above to watch network TV, play DVDs and CDs and listen to the radio." This is not true with a WMC PC. It does all that while presenting Internet streaming content and performing cable TV DVR functionality.
post #5 of 11
Another way to go is with a PlayStation 3 and PlayOn software. I've been using it for a few months now and it works great even over wireless.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

While convenient, I have a worried hunch that A/V quality for movies and TV shows and live sports streamed via the internet will go the way of music with MP3 and iTunes and video/audio quality with Hulu, Amazon & Netflix Streaming... Great for small screen, informal viewing or listening, but nothing to write home about beyond that.

Basically, Pay Per View and mediocre, barely watchable/listenable quality because Joe 6 Pack doesn't give a damn. Want proof? Just look at the state of satellite/cable! Compression artifacts to the extreme.

It seems like instant-access and a bigger revenue stream for Hollywood (becoming more and more an ever-present hand in your wallet) trumps quality every time.

I hope pre-recorded media doesn't go away any time soon.

Thankfully there are music artists who care about providing high quality uncompressed 24-bit DRM free WAV files. With 24-bit releases, there's really no need for physical audio media... other than vinyl (nostaligia and DJs). SqueezeBox Touch FTW!
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

While convenient, I have a worried hunch that A/V quality for movies and TV shows and live sports streamed via the internet will go the way of music with MP3 and iTunes and video/audio quality with Hulu, Amazon & Netflix Streaming... Great for small screen, informal viewing or listening, but nothing to write home about beyond that.

I agree completely. The bandwidth is just not there nor do I think it ever will be to get good quality. The cost would be too much for the providers and the ISP's.

I knew the quality of these services was going to be poor. But I decided to try it for a chuckle. Guess what? No way I am watching that crap quality. I will stick to cable TV for HD sports and Netflix for my DVD and Blue-ray movies and TV shows. Discs arrive from Netflix so fast and frequently, I am always back logged. That is as good as instant on-demand for me.
post #8 of 11
Just came across this website, they have actually partnered with Vizio, they have a wireless chip that will transmit 4Gigs a second at 60GHz

http://www.sibeam.com/index.html

Cant wait to see it working
post #9 of 11
"4Gigs a second at 60GHz" makes no sense. One is a data rate. The other a refresh rate. What do they mean?
post #10 of 11
We just bought a VIZIO HD TV and can easily stream our Netflix instants. Of course I prefer the blu rays that arrive in the mail or those in my collection, but in a pinch, when we want to see something in the Instant Queue right away, we're satisfied with the service.

Before the VIZIO implementation, we did this Netflix streaming with the Wii disk that we got from Netflix and before that I streamed from my Apple Powerbook.
post #11 of 11
there needs to be a streaming box that has hulu.
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