Internet or online television, also referred as digital distribution of video content, delivers video contents via Internet using video streaming technology. Web TV is another similar concept, which is used to deliver short programs and videos over Internet. Though online TV is still in its infancy, but last year it produce few highly watched web TV series, for instance, The Power Inside, F to 7th, One for Ten, Emma Approved, and so on.
According to an estimate, 50% of Internet users watch videos online and this trend is even higher among people of age 20-30. In year 2014, 25% of new televisions are smart TV. It seems customers in living rooms are responding positively to idea of Internet TV. Therefore, top technology companies are competing through their Internet TV products. Following are few leading Internet TVs in today's market;
- Apple TV Box by Apple
- Chromecast by Google
- Fire TV by Amazon
Netflix and Hulu are main players for content distribution of Internet television. Though Amazon was already providing video streaming services on Kindle Fire, but with launch of Fire TV it is going to be both serious competitor and a threat to Netflix and Hulu - three of them will be competing to get content rights from leading televisions and film studios.
On the other hand, cable companies are also embarking on their viewing applications and digital television ideas to counter emerging Internet television trend. For instance, Comcast app is available for tables and smartphones. Similarly, major broadcasters (like BBC, CNN, Aljazeera etc.) have setup their own digital distribution and are providing Internet television platform for their viewers.
As of today, it seems both Internet and Cable TV are growing, competing and collaborating. Internet TV is obviously in infancy and for video contents dependent on cable and film studios. Extreme growth of Internet TV has also caused Internet bandwidth issues. Consequence, there is hot debate in favor and against Internet neutrality. Internet TV is growing fast but clearly is not a replacement to cable TV. However, Internet bandwidth issue is going to get serious in coming months and years.