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The YouTube Generation: Soon We'll all Watch TV on Computer

Mar 4, 2008
There is an interesting trend emerging among the younger generation. More and more people are turning away from those clunky old-fashioned television sets, and using a software program to watch TV on computer. As the "YouTube generation" grows up, they are carrying with them the habits of turning to the computer for entertainment, not just as a tool to use for school or work.

The Lines are becoming increasingly blurred between the television and Internet mediums, and younger users especially may choose to watch TV on computer more often than they actually sit down in front of the TV set.

Blame It on YouTube

The credit -- or blame -- for this emerging trend is largely the work of YouTube. The addictive streaming media community web site has become incredibly popular, with more and more teenagers and young adults using YouTube to keep abreast of current events, music and videos.

It's little wonder then, that software programs to watch TV on computer are becoming more popular as well. Many people would now rather spend an evening watching video entertainment on the computer, than relying on cable or satellite TV.

The Screen Is the Thing

There's another important reason why watching TV on computer is becoming more commonplace: computer monitors have advanced to the point where they are excellent for viewing TV and films on the computer. In fact, the larger screen sizes, and increased definition of modern flat-screen computer monitors result in TV image quality that is often as good as -- or better than -- standard television sets.

Still another reason for the trend toward using the computer to watch TV is that more people now have access to high speed broadband Internet connections. In the old days of dial-up Internet, a user would consider themselves lucky if they were able to successfully stream an audio file (like an MP3) online without "stuttering."

But with the prevalence of high speed Internet connections these days, streaming video and online TV is a real option. Not only that, but the quality of online TV video is improving all the time. New MP4 video codecs and other improvements make it easy to watch TV on computer without stuttering, or experiencing that annoying "start and stop" buffering that used to be such a big problem online.

The Virtual Satellite Dish

A new breed of software to watch TV on computer has emerged in the last several years that allows users to access upwards of 4000 channels (yes, 4000!) of programming from all over the world. Channels are available in nearly any language you can think of, and even specialty events, like sports matches are plentiful.

One of the benefits of this software is the ability to watch local TV stations, from nearly any place in the world, as well as international stations and premium channels. The software also has the advantage of being a portable entertainment solution. In other words, you can take your laptop with the satellite TV software anywhere you go for access to thousands of entertainment, sports, news, special events and local channels.

But unlike traditional satellite dish set ups, the software to watch TV on computer requires only a one-time fee -- no additional hardware is required -- and there are no monthly premiums, as you would expect to find with a traditional satellite or cable TV provider.

The downside to using this type of software is that you must have a broadband Internet connection in order to watch TV on the computer. You'll also have to be content to watch your favorite programs on your computer screen, so if you don't have a very good monitor, you'll definitely want to invest in one before you invest in any software to watch TV on the computer.

But if you have a relatively new monitor, and access to a high-speed Internet connection, software programs to watch TV on computer can be both convenient and cost effective.
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