Who’d have thought a couple of decades ago that the majority of us would be watching TV shows and films through a broadband connection rather than through and aerial or satellite? Not me that’s for sure. However the more you think about it, the more it makes perfect sense. One of the largest benefits to broadband and particular fibre broadband is the ability to download and upload data specific to an individual at high speeds. While a decade ago it may have been problematic to watch a TV show through a broadband line, today it is very common to be able to watch a television show or film almost instantly.
Fibre broadband has provided a platform for broadcasters to show their content over the Internet rather than through conventional TV channels. If you combine this with the busy nature of many people in the UK and the huge amount of channels with different shows, it seems logical that offering people the ability to watch a show when they wish would become a requirement in all households.
Catch Up TV allows users to watch a show from a particular network whenever they like, so long as that show has already aired, they can catch up with any missed shows at any time of the day. Usually, these shows will be available for around 30 days and are available for a number of platforms such as via the web, on a mobile phone app or through streaming devices like Now TV and Amazon Fire Stick.
Many Catch Up Television services and apps now have the ability to watch the channel live. BBC iPlayer, in particular, will let you watch a show as its aired of from the start, which is more advanced than the likes of ITV hub that will let you watch the channel live or after it’s finished but nothing in-between.
Netflix and Amazon Prime have become a genuine competitor to conventional TV channels and will allow you to watch TV series and films all in one go rather than having to wait for a new episode each week like you would normally have to on TV.
Netflix and Amazon Prime have also recently started offering its own unique content such as shows like Netflix’s House of Cards or Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour. This content is not a second rate content and more often than not can be some of the best TV shows or films available. This allows Netflix and Amazon Prime to have a unique selling point and is often the only way to watch certain things. Having their own content plus many other shows means that they can become more popular than many TV channels and for some people it can be their own point of contact with entertainment, opting to purchase Netflix and Amazon Prime over Sky or Virgin TV.
Many of the above-mentioned services offer mobile and tablet apps allowing you to access content on the move. This functionality is something that makes use of smartphone apps and the improved hardware and screens available today. Mobile apps allow you to stream content live or download and watch later. This is a clear advantage over live TV as it is currently not possible to receive a satellite signal or aerial signal on a mobile phone.
As a nation, the United Kingdom is very well connected through broadband and 4G mobile signal, and so it is a lot easier to connect to the Internet on the move and have speeds quick enough to stream high definition shows and films.
Fibre broadband is more and more common throughout the UK and Virgin Media have started to roll out its 200mb connections to more places in the United Kingdom. This all means that accessing High-Quality Ultra HD and 4K content is much easier. Amazon offers 4k Content through its Amazon Fire TV and was one of the first providers to offer this service well before any satellite or terrestrial TV companies. This is mainly due to the fact that offering 4k content over existing ADSL and Fibre broadband cables is much easier than satellite companies and terrestrial TV companies.
Currently, there is a maximum bandwidth available through an aerial which means that TV companies have to phase out Standard Definition and phase in HD channels. You may have noticed that BBC One can’t show local news in HD and this is due to that fact that there is not enough bandwidth to allow it to do so yet.
Content over the Internet currently has a clear advantage as they can offer content over multiple formats and different qualities which will be downloaded by the user depending on the speed of their Internet connection.
One of the biggest drawbacks to watching content over the Internet is the buffering and lag that can sometimes occur. This is a problem that satellite and aerial TV does not have as it uses wavelengths rather than downloaded bits of data. Buffering is one of the biggest problems with watching content over a broadband connection, and most people will have witnessed it at some point.
This can be particularly frustrating when watching live TV and sports as you want to be able to see what is happening live and not have a delay due to a poor broadband connection.
Broadband speeds are getting quicker, however, and it won’t be long before buffering is a thing of the past, particularly on standard definition content. If you want to improve your broadband speeds, check out what broadband is available near you.