Ever since the rise of internet capable consoles and the boom in popularity of subscription services such as Xbox Live, the way people consume entertainment in the living room is radically changing, sometimes even removing the TV entirely! Enter home streaming technology.
For many decades, the television has functioned essentially like a radio with video. You tuned them to the VHF and UHF signals, and accessed television programs as the stations broadcasted them. However the downside was that you were totally dependent on both what and when the broadcasters were airing programs (or the hit and miss option of recording of TV to cassettes/discs, even hard drive based Personal Video Recorders weren’t 100% reliable). Alternatively, hard copy mediums were another option with VHS, and later DVDs and BluRay discs (also the short-lived HD-DVD, but that’s another story). This presented another downside, as you only had the option of borrowing/hiring/buying more if you wanted to watch more.
Almost gone of the days of renting physical copies of movies and the dreaded late return fees.
However this has now completely changed as internet speeds have accelerated, and access has increased in its value for money with high capacity internet services. Almost gone of the days of renting physical copies of movies and the dreaded late return fees. Now with the swipe of a finger, you can browse hundreds of movies and programs using popular subscription based services such as Netflix and Stan, bringing high definition entertainment on demand to the living room via WiFi capable televisions, home entertainment computers, and game consoles. It doesn’t stop there either, now you can also stream content to or from the TV or DVR with ease to any other TVs, computers, or mobile devices with network capability.
Whilst network connectivity is becoming something of a standard feature on most new home entertainment systems; any screen with a spare HDMI input can be taken advantage of for home streaming with devices such as the Google Chromecast. The Chromecast is thumb sized device with a single HDMI connector (not too dissimilar to a USB storage drive in appearance), and allows computers and mobile devices to play content to your TV, as well as access a number of apps for popular subscription services such as Netflix, Stan, and Pandora; as well as free services such as YouTube and web-browsing via Google Chrome. The Chromecast and other streaming devices have become very affordable, and are available from JB Hi-Fi at the new Eastland in Ringwood! (For more details check out the official page here).
Film and TV is not the only industry that benefits from streaming options, as the gaming enthusiast can also take advantage and reach a huge audience from the comfort of their home. Popular gamers such as the famed PewDiePie have been uploading ‘Let’s Play’ recordings of their gameplay and often entertaining commentaries to YouTube. Now players can showcase their game-based entertainment fully live from their computer or console via Twitch, a service that can be integrated into your gaming platform of choice where you can broadcast to millions of followers, with the viewer being able to interact in return via a comment thread.
The Film, TV, and Gaming buffs here at PC Medic are very much excited to see how users take advantage of these services and how these technologies develop further in the future. As always, if you have any issues or questions about home and internet streaming, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email