Internet TV

While many of us have watched online video on our computer screens, the new trend is to move online video viewing to the HDTV in the living room or family room.

This is done using an Internet connected “set top box” like the Roku or Boxee or gaming console such as the Microsoft XBox 360 or Sony Playstation 3. Most manufacturers of televisions are building or will soon be building online viewing capabilities directly in to their TVs using technology such as Google TV or Yahoo TV.

Some vendors, such as Yahoo TV, had big displays of their Internet TV solutions. For most, this was just one more product within their typically large booths. But Internet TV is for real and is going to be pretty big, real soon.

Regardless, Internet TV is very likely the wave of the future. The now old cable TV model has been about selling a large package of channels to the consumer, most of which are not even watched. Calls for a la carte or per channel pricing have been dismissed as impossible or unaffordable.

The Internet TV phenomena changes all that – consumers are now choosing to watch what they want, when they want. And they are watching free content, pay per episode or movie (iTunes, Amazon) or with monthly subscription fees (Netflix, Hulu Plus).  By purchasing only the programming they wish to view, they are likely paying a lot less than a typical $75 to $100 cable bill.

For those of us who do not watch much TV, “cutting the cable TV cord” is easy to do. Within the next few days, we will be ending our long time subscription to the DISH Network satellite multi-channel service. We’ve got a Roku box and a Netflix account. Together with other available online programming, we have no need for 31 channels of shopping networks and dozens of other channels that we’ve never watched.

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