The Webformix Guide to Online Video On Demand
Now more than ever, the Internet is a portal to a world of great movies, television and video. As data speeds and streaming devices have improved, more viewers are relying on their internet service providers to connect them with streaming video and entertainment, offering the unparalleled convenience and value of video on demand. This guide surveys the landscape of services and devices that deliver thousands of hours of entertainment to your screen of choice.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (It’ll Be Streamed!)
Not long ago, watching video on the Internet meant squinting at short, grainy clips in a tiny window that often failed to load smoothly. Now viewers have access to a world of full-screen, high definition video, including entire movies and complete seasons of their favorite television shows. Instead of combing the Internet for slow downloads from questionable sources, viewers have completely legal access to a variety of streaming service providers that make choosing your next video as easy as the old days of browsing the video store.
For some customers, paying separately for Internet and cable is a thing of the past. These cord cutters are embracing the affordability and convenience of online content, accessing a wealth of entertainment – at a fraction of the cost.
Exciting New Devices Integrate with Your TV
The days of watching Internet video solely on your computer are a thing of the past. A new generation of Internet equipped TV’s allow viewers to watch content from services like Netflix and Hulu directly on their television, controlled using the same remote they would use to browse traditional channels. Yet even if your TV is not Internet enabled, a host of affordable and convenient devices are capable of delivering the Internet directly to your TV.
One of the most popular and easy-to-use video streaming devices is Roku, which offers both a Roku Box and a Roku Stick to connect your television to the Internet, featuring access to Netflix and Hulu, as well as hundreds of free channels. Cable subscribers can even watch their favorite originals and on-demand movies from services like HBOGo, WatchESPN, WatchDisney, FOXNow, A&E and the HISTORY Channel.
Many homes are already equipped with a powerful device for streaming video – their game console! In addition to connecting users to great games, the Xbox, PlayStation and Wii are portals to a variety of video entertainment, providing streaming access to Netflix and Hulu. Reference your console instructions to learn how you can turn your game machine into an entertainment hub for the entire family.
With Apple TV, your television can be a portal to all of the video content you’ve come to expect from iTunes, plus access to other great services like Netflix. The latest version of the Apple TV features 1080p HD capability to give you access to the best content —movies, shows, sports, and even your photo collection— right on your widescreen TV. You can even play content from your other iOS devices on your TV using the AirPlay feature. Like all Apple devices, there is an intense focus on the user experience — and with a low price, it allows you to bring a world of Apple video to your television at an affordable price.
Amazon’s FireTV is the latest entrant in the streaming video device race. Promising access to the world of Amazon Instant Video programming, the new device also features free access to a selection of video games in development by Amazon’s in-house studio. This device is brand new, so you can expect the content to expand over time, but if Amazon’s track record is any indication, the company will make sure that viewers have access to a great selection of entertainment at competitive prices
Google’s Chromecast is as small as it is powerful. A tiny device that fits into your HDTV’s USB port, Chromecast turns your TV into a video streaming machine, connecting your television to the wide array of entertainment available on Google’s Play network. With Chromecast, you can easily enjoy your favorite online entertainment on your HDTV—movies, TV shows, music, and more from Netflix, YouTube and Hulu Plus.