Watch TV on your computer


On the Internet, new content arrives online at an exponential rate. In fact there are more words on the Internet, than that of all printed material. But not just words are what we look at when we surf the WWW. Pictures, interactive content such as animation, and some video are online. In recent years audio files and content have bombarded the Internet.

MPEG (pronounced M-peg), which stands for Moving Picture Experts Group, is the name of family of standards used for coding audio-visual information (e.g., movies, video, music) in a digital compressed format.

The major advantage of MPEG compared to other video and audio coding formats is that MPEG files are much smaller for the same quality. This is because MPEG uses very sophisticated compression techniques.

The MPEG people and some industry leaders, such as Apple’s Quicktime are introducing their players, and support for the new format MPEG-4: a new standard for which audio-visual information can be compressed and viewed through the Internet.

With this new format, Video can be broadcast from a computer, and sent through the Internet to several computers all through the Internet. And on top of that, the quality is better, even with a 56k dial up modem. The days of being able to watch a DVD (which is MPEG 2 specially packaged) through your Internet connection is much closer.

Just as MP3 files disrupted the recording industry, the new MPEG-4 will change the way content can be sent through the Internet, watching TV, DVDs, Internet radio stations, or even broadcasting your own shows and music to friends from your computer at home.

With the new MPEG-4 standard coming, some industries are weary with what effect it will have on copyrighted material. MP3 standard has had major effect on the recording industry, CD recorded music can easily be shared over the Internet without collecting any money on behalf of the artist that performed it.

With MPEG-4 television, and video content might be as easily be ripped and shared over the Internet. This has some companies concerned about protecting their products. Users might just want to share every DVD or TV show and share it with their friends.

The recording companies are implementing some copy-protection-CDs so that users cannot play or even rip music in their computer. This has created some problems with music fans that wish to simply play music in their computer, or rip them to burn a CD for their own use.

It will be a new playing field once this new format becomes popular. The idea of watching TV from Japan, or London through the Internet sounds exciting. Finally I can get rid of that cable box, and my Dish. I can even get rid of my TV now. Imagine, watching any movie, or TV show, at any time you want to, all without commercials.

To find out more, visit, mpeg.org. Or apple.com/hotnews/ 

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