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Online Multimedia and Television - Internet-to-TV

video content set digital

Definition: In a drive to provide premium video services using a pay per view or a subscription service, there is a parallel attempt to deliver on demand multimedia content from the web directly to a regular television set, over broadband Internet connections.

Ubiquitous presence of broadband home connections and improvements in compression and transmission technology has led to the marriage of the Internet and traditional entertainment devices such as the Television set.

Internet-to-TV

A large number of traditional television channels as well as Internet-only channels offer diverse, free, and legal video content over the Web. In such a system the media server encodes (compresses) the stream using a codec and the end pc-user views the compressed video content using a media player. Common streaming media systems include QuickTime, Windows Media, Real System, and SHOUTcast.

In a drive to provide premium video services using a pay per view or a subscription service, there is a parallel attempt to deliver on demand multimedia content from the web directly to a regular television set, over broadband Internet connections.

In this architecture a set-top box connects to a home entertainment system (typically composite video / S-Video output coupled with optical digital plugs) and to a broadband Internet connection (via Ethernet or 802.11 wireless connection). The set-top box comes equipped with a remote control, search functionality, and Digital Rights Management (DRM) package. A high capacity storage (around 80GB) allows for storage in MPEG-2 format for high quality viewing. Content is not restricted to videos but also includes digital audio and online radio stations, typically stored in MP3 format. In a model popularized by TiVo, viewers use an on-screen program guide to download content to their set-top box, and have the capability to pause/fast-forward/rewind programs on TV. Add-ons to the box allow the user to customize and personalize their digital video and audio content.

Players in this field include giants such as SBC Communications, EchoStar, Communications, and Disney, along with revolutionary startups such as Akimbo, Dave TV, Ripe TV, and TiVo. Content providers include cable TV channel providers, aspiring filmmakers and video artists, online video archives, as well as online DVD rental companies such as NetFlix, which announced in 2004, a tie-up with TiVo to allow consumers to directly download their DVDs to their set-top boxes.

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