Watching TV via the internet is set to become a big business during 2011. The existing broadcasters all have their own internet TV portals, such as Sky Player, BBC iPlayer, ITV player and Channel Four's 4OD.
Sky Player is an internet TV service boasting over 30 different channels to watch via your PC or Xbox LIVE games console. Highlights of the live or on demand channels include:-
- Sky Sports
- National Geographic
- And many more.
Existing Sky TV Viewers can view Sky Player for free, however, if a channel is not in your normal package, an extra subscription would have to be paid. This service is very good for those viewers who cannot normally get Sky, either via cable or satellite, as the broadcaster allows viewers to take out a separate subscription for internet viewing.
The BBC iPlayer has been available for nearly three years and appears to be gaining in popularity every year. The iPlayer lets you view most of the TV output from the BBC for the last seven days and even has some HD programming available if you can play back via an HD TV.
The BBC iPlayer is also available for viewing on the Wii and Playstation 3 games consoles. There have been ongoing discussions with Xbox Live to be included on their service, but so far to no avail.
The ITV Player has been gradually expanding and you can now view up to the last 30 days content from many of the ITV channels, ideal if you've missed the latest Coronation Street or Dancing On Ice. The ITV Player was also added to the Playstation 3 towards the end of last year giving the PS3 virtually all TV-on-demand channels.
Channel 4's 4OD
Channel 4's 4OD is much the same as the ITV Player in that it also has the last 30 days television to catch up on. As well as viewing by the computer, this is also available on the PS3, making the Playstation 3 the best option for those wanting TV via a console.
Channel 5's Demand Five
Demand 5 is channel 5's internet TV service and has many of the recent programmes to watch on catch-up together with some of their other shows going further back.
Further options for internet TV also include the Sky Anytime service available for viewing via a Sky + box, Virgin's catch-up service and many channels broadcasting via the mobile phone network. BT Vision also have an internet TV service linked to their Freeview Boxes offering a vast amount of viewing.
With the addition of Seesaw and YouView, we have never been offered so many different ways to watch our favourite TV programmes. Whether all these different forms of delivery will all stay in business for years to come is another question.