In years past, you had three basic choices when considering TV reception: cable, satellite, or the good old-fashioned over-the-air antenna. But a fourth option is now coming on strong. It goes by a wide variety of names--IP TV, streaming video, online TV, even "over the top" (OTT) TV--but we're calling it Internet TV for lack of a better name.
This guide is intended as a straightforward overview of this new entertainment medium. We compare the available services and hardware, and help you choose which ones are right for you.
Inside this Quick Guide:
Internet TV: An overview: "Internet TV" means different things to different people. We discuss what it is, why you (probably) want it, and what the potential drawbacks are.
PPV services compared: We compare the pay-per-view video services, including Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, and Zune. What are the differences--and similarities--on each service, and how much will you pay for movies and TV shows on each?
Subscriptions, free services, and extras: Don't want to pay by the title? Netflix, Hulu Plus, and MLB.TV offer flat subscription plans, while Google TV and YouTube are free. We also examine the notable extras to keep in mind when shopping for hardware, including audio and photo services and streaming content from in-home servers and USB drives.
Hardware: What products are out there? Once you figure out which services you want, it's time to think about hardware. In addition to some devices you may already own, such as Blu-ray players, game consoles, and network-ready TVs, we examine standalone boxes such as Roku, Apple TV, Logitech Revue (Google TV), and Boxee.
Conclusion and final thoughts: Our final recommendations on which products and services are--and aren't--right for you.