Internet TV is a relatively new concept which has exploded onto the world in the past few years. It started with You Tube but quickly morphed into other types of materials. For example, did you know that it’s possible to get free, live TV over the Internet? All you need is some really cool Internet TV software. And we’re not talking about the illegal stuff either. We’re talking live, honest to goodness broadcast TV directly over the Internet from major TV networks.
So what’s the catch? Well, there is one big one and a few small ones. First, the big one: The site we’re talking about is a place called Livestation. They broadcast about a dozen high quality live TV channels over the Internet free for the taking whenever you want and pretty much wherever you happen to live. It’s licensed by the networks and is 100% legal. The catch: the only channels they have are news channels, places like BBC, Al Jazeera, France 24 (strangely missing are American news channels such as Fox News and CNN – one guesses they figure they’ve got enough of an audience without them).
That said, they do offer some sporting material as well, with their new pay per view program (did we mention that the channels above are all free and you need to do is to download the Internet TV software from their web site?). Recent material included European football matches which one could not necessarily see in one’s home country.
But what about all the other types of channels? How do we get Internet TV into the mainstream? Well they answer that question as well. They provide you with the option of getting user defined channels into the system. Now of course the fact that you can enter a user defined channel does not mean you’ll be watching the Simpsons for free online (although many such shows are available elsewhere). But there are nearly 3,000 other TV stations from all over the world that are included in the program.
The interface is gorgeous as well, providing a kind of a carousel wheel where you can see the channels sliding by as you flip through a virtual “book” of channels available for viewing.
One problem with all this beauty though is that it does require a fairly fast Internet connection. This is a problem since a great many people try to get away with the phone company’s cheapo 786K connection and frankly that just isn’t fast enough to handle the amount of data that it takes for an Internet TV broadcast to come through clearly. They recommend a higher level for their Internet TV software and trust us, it definitely shows.