02.Watching TV on computer
Watching TV on your computer
All the free-to-air broadcasters in Australia offer content that can be watched via a web browser. The ABC set the trend with its iView service, which lets you view programs you might have missed for a week or two after the broadcast. The commercial channels all have similar services (see the table below). Most of them also have extras like sneak peeks at programs that haven’t aired yet, and retain material available on demand for varying lengths of time. Channel 9, for instance, has quite a large pool of old TV shows, all free. As you might expect, the sites and the TV programs themselves contain advertisements.
Foxtel too offers its content over the internet in a similar way, but, of course, only to its subscribers.
There is sometimes a small downside to these services however. Depending on the service, TV shows can be at a lower resolution than if you watch them on the TV. In a window on a browser you might not notice this so much, but if you zoom the window to full screen, the lack of quality becomes noticeable. You also need to remember to jump on and watch your show as they are usually only available for a short time, and you can’t save the streams for later viewing.
Some ISPs also offer TV channels over IP, often without it being metered against your download limits. They can do this by using multicasting (see Streaming across the world), a way for ISPs and consumers to save on bandwidth.
An example is TPG, offering some 20 extra channels as part of their standard package.
You can link to all these sites from the following table...