Video and Audio Center Blog



Friday, September 25, 2015

NEW WAYS TO WATCH TELEVISION



Watching television is more than just fun it can be a real experience in which the whole family can take part in. Of course there are favorites for the parents that the kids dont care about (and vice versa), but the fact that the TV can be the focal point of the living room or wherever it is placed cant be denied. Maybe thats why so much attention is directed towards the TV whether its placed on a cabinet by the owner or mounted on the wall by a professional installer like Just One Touch. Getting so much attention is especially true now with big screen, high resolution TVs so readily accessible and affordable for everyone. Not to mention that they can be curved and specially designed (i.e., organic LED) too.

But what makes the TV work is the content that appears on the display. And until recently the only way to get that content has been to be locked into a subscription deal where you had to accept lots of other shows you didnt care about or were forced to moderate what you could see by how much you were willing to spend every month. Thats where a home network comes in because it lets the TV stream content to it and then display it. This is why TVs are so smart today, because they let you watch television shows without all the hassles that used to be the default.  Heres some examples of what we mean. 


Smart Apps

Almost every major TV manufacturer has apps that can be accessed from a menu: the so-called smart app features that are actually stand-alone programs hiding inside the TV. Up to now all of the apps that dealt with TV channels were little more than just clip shows and bits and pieces of television shows think of them as recaps, previews and teasers of actual TV shows.  But now there are new apps that dont do that they provide the same experience as would be found in turning a knob (to speak retro) from one channel to the other. And they do it through the Internet, streaming the content through the home network and into the television. These apps are highly appealing to the viewer because they function exactly like that of a regular channel. Are you a sports fan? Then the MLB (Major League Baseball) app will let you watch baseball games live. How about being a movie fan? Then HBO NOW will let you watch (for a fee of course) everything that the premium channel offers on the TV both present and past. But here its coming through the Internet, free of any subscription commitment (other than its own). And there are plenty of other TV channels, for example ShowTime, on their way to the TV too.


Streaming Television Channels

For some, watching television means being able to flip through the channels in real-time and watch whatever is on, on whatever channel the TV is displaying. But its now possible to avoid having to use a TV antenna or a satellite receiver or a cable box to watch live television - by that we mean the programs that appear on the TV day after day, 24/7. A number of systems for doing this are becoming available  Apple is to make their own version available sometime at the end of this year or into early next but one that is now  out there comes from Sony and is called PlayStation Vue. It works through a PlayStation 3 or 4 game console. If youre in an area of the country that Sony makes available (such as Los Angeles or Philadelphia), then you can stream live television channels from both the broadcast side of things (i.e., ABC, NBC, CBS, etc.) or from the cable side of things (CNN, Cartoon Network, Fox News, etc.). Sony also provides DVR (digital video recording) capabilities as well as all of the features expected and provided through the TV: the console being a TV tuner for all practical purposes and allowing the programs to be watched on a high resolution, big screen TV. Among others, there is also the CBS All Access, which streams live programming from local channels as well as past seasons of current shows and thousands of classic series.

Watching television is about more than just the content, its about the pleasure of watching shows that grab and hold your attention. A big part of that is because the TV screen is so much bigger and higher in detail than any mobile device can ever be. Who says theres nothing good to watch everything is good to watch when you have a great TV to watch it on!


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