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The Pros and Cons of Computer Television Today

Aug 17, 2007
When does a trend become the accepted way for things to get done? Is it when everyone jumps on the bandwagon? Perhaps, just when the major players do? Whatever the case, the computer television trend might no longer be considered one. It's become a fact of life, the new frontier for developers and creators.

With just about every major network in the United States, cable and regular broadcast alike, and a whole host of other networks worldwide all taking part in offering computer television, there's no denying the marriage between TV and the computer has been sealed.

This provides both good and bad news for TV fans. Let's look at some of the pros and cons of computer television:

Pros

* Variety. It's virtually impossible for a regular cable or even satellite company to beat the variety that's offered by computer television. With stations coming in from all over the world as they air or on demand, online viewing just provides a whole lot of choice. Plus, there's the fact there's a lot of independent developers out there, providing more choice.

* Added content. Many networks air their shows as they would on broadcast, and then add to the content via online means. This means special web episodes, comic books, blogs and a whole bunch of other vehicles that advance the plotline outside of regular means. This gives fans something to check out in between regular airing and also helps writers and creators develop better show storylines.

* Pricing. Computer television is perhaps the cheapest way going to get the most content. You can't beat the package deals out there on streaming TV or the per episode costs versus having to buy an entire season on DVD to pick up that one show you missed!

* Freedom. Since federal regulators haven't put their fingers in the pot as of yet, the content online can follow more natural conclusions. There's not as big of a fear of censor retribution online.

Cons

* If you're a TV fan and you don't happen to have a computer and a broadband connection, you could be missing a lot about your favorite shows.

* Almost too much. It's hard to say whether this one is a pro or con, but the fact is there is a lot out there to watch, a whole lot. Making choices can be difficult!

* Quality. Not all computer television is of the highest quality, or even legal for that matter. To ensure high quality, services are often the best route to go. Streaming video can be fantastic, but sometimes there will be hiccups even when viewed directly from the network in question. Downloads generally provide a bit of a higher quality.

* Legalities. Some computer television simply isn't legal. There are those out there that take copyrighted material and put it online without permissions. This is unethical and illegal. The real problem is it can be difficult to tell the difference.

Computer television has been embraced by networks all over the world and is being pushed as the natural progression of this medium. The fact is the trend is no more; computer television is here to stay.
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