The Webformix Guide to Online Video On DemandNow more than ever, the Internet is a portal to a world of great movies, television and video. As data speeds and streaming devices have improved, more viewers are relying on their internet service providers to connect them with streaming video and entertainment, offering the unparalleled convenience and value of video on demand. This guide surveys the landscape of services and devices that deliver thousands of hours of entertainment to your screen of choice.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (It’ll Be Streamed!)Not long ago, watching video on the Internet meant squinting at short, grainy clips in a tiny window that often failed to load smoothly. Now viewers have access to a world of full-screen, high definition video, including entire movies and complete seasons of their favorite television shows. Instead of combing the Internet for slow downloads from questionable sources, viewers have completely legal access to a variety of streaming service providers that make choosing your next video as easy as the old days of browsing the video store. For some customers, paying separately for Internet and cable is a thing of the past. These cord cutters are embracing the affordability and convenience of online content, accessing a wealth of entertainment – at a fraction of the cost.
Here is an overview of some of the most popular and powerful streaming video providers on the web.
Netflix: Thousands of Options, Never a Commercial
Netflix became a household name by delivering red envelopes of DVDs to our doorstep, but in recent years the company has focused on building its streaming video offerings, which include archives of many classic TV shows and films of yesteryear, plus a variety of new shows like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, as well as exciting new movies and comedy specials. Better yet, the company has launched Netflix Studios to branch out into its own original programming, including breakout hits like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black that rival the quality of programming on premium networks like HBO. To top it all off, Netflix also has a powerful recommendation engine to help you discover new movies and shows. With packages starting for just a few dollars a month, Netflix is a must-have service for anyone looking to have the best of Internet video at their fingertips.
Hulu: A Few Commercials, a Ton of Great Shows Launched as a partnership between major broadcast and cable networks, Hulu is home to some of your favorite shows, updated the day after their original air date. Whether you’re interested in catching up on your favorite shows like Modern Family, The Daily Show, Scandal, or Gray’s Anatomy, Hulu allows you to watch your favorite programs on your own schedule. The service also offers a great selection of streaming movies. A low monthly fee and a few commercials is a small price to pay for so much great content.
Amazon Instant VideoUsers of Amazon’s Prime delivery service now have a new benefit – streaming video. Amazon’s video offerings cover many of today’s best shows and also a vast library of movies that can be rented or purchased in high definition. For users who already take advantage of Prime shipping, it’s a great free added bonus with thousands of Prime eligible movies and TV shows at no additional cost.
iTunes Once known solely as a place to download music, iTunes has grown into a one-stop-shop for HD quality television and movies. Users can download entire season of television – or just individual episodes – at affordable prices. Given that many users are familiar with the iTunes interface through Apple devices like the iPod, iPhone and iPad, iTunes is one of the easiest ways to organize and enjoy the movies and TV shows you already have — and shop for the ones you want to get.
Exciting New Devices Integrate with Your TVThe days of watching Internet video solely on your computer are a thing of the past. A new generation of Internet equipped TV’s allow viewers to watch content from services like Netflix and Hulu directly on their television, controlled using the same remote they would use to browse traditional channels. Yet even if your TV is not Internet enabled, a host of affordable and convenient devices are capable of delivering the Internet directly to your TV.
Here are a few of the most popular options.