Pros and Cons of Place and Time Shifting of TV Shows

 

First, we need to understand a few terms:

STREAMING (from the BBC):
Streaming means watching video in ‘real time’, instead of downloading a file to your computer and watching it later.  When you stream a tv show or video, you will get to watch it, but won’t have the file on your computer to do things with later. With internet videos, there is no file to download, just a continuous stream of data. Almost like listening to the radio — you get to hear all the songs, but you do not have a copy of them.  Some broadcasters prefer streaming because it’s hard for most users to save the content and distribute it illegally.

You can be prevented from streaming tv shows and movies by not having enough bandwidth (not a high speed internet connection) or because of the country you are physically located in.  You can’t subscribe to Netflix directly, for example, if you live in a foreign country.

 

THE CLOUD and STORE AND FORWARD
We use the terms “the cloud” and “store and forward” to indicate an online storage facility that allows for uploads of files and automatically “pushes” or “forwards” the uploaded files to everyone authorized to receive it.

 

TIME SHIFT OR TIMESHIFTING
Timeshifting is the process of recording and storing shows, movies, etc., for later viewing when it is more convenient for the viewer (ie: “shifting the time” that you watch the program, and allowing you to watch the program at your convenience rather than at the scheduled broadcast time).

This requires a personal video recorder (PVR or DVR) recording the shows that are to be watched at a later time.  Time shifting on its own does not refer to watching from another location.

 

PLACE SHIFT OR PLACESHIFTING
Placeshifting (or place shifting) is a process that allows anyone with a broadband (ie: high speed) Internet connection to have video streams from their home television set or personal video recorder (PVR or DVR) available for viewing at any location where they have a computer and a second high-speed Internet connection.

Placeshifting, for example, lets people catch their home team’s game live, wherever they are. Their TV subscription service and associated content follows them wherever they have an Internet connection.

 

TIME AND PLACE SHIFTING
A combination of the two previously described processes Watching a previously recorded show or movie from a different place from where your television and cable service is located.

 

TORRENT
The most common question we receive is … “What is a Torrent?”.   I have searched for the easiest to understand answer I can find.  And none of the definitions are simple enough.  So here is my definition:

A Torrent is like a road sign.  It tells you WHERE a specific file is located; HOW BIG is the file; whether it is in GOOD CONDITION or not; and HOW MANY PEOPLE have a good copy of the file on their computers.

To download the file that the torrent (road sign) is pointing to — you must have a specific program that “understand” torrents. When you download a file by way of a torrent program, you might actually be getting small pieces of the file from 1000 different people.  The torrent program knows which parts you received, and which parts you still need, and then lets you know when it has the completed file.

There are millions of torrents, covering every subject from TV shows, to movies, to books, to magazines, to music and more.  You can read about the legality and illegality somewhere else (such as wiki).  There are many varied opinions on right-and-wrong — and we aren’t interested in discussing them on this board.

 

The Technologies:
A.  SLINGBOX –>  Time Shifting; Place and Time Shifting;

B.  TORRENTS –> Issues of Legality, must search for shows, no repeat programming;

C.  HAUPPAUGE DVR –> Lets you set your shows for record, then sends you the file that you can take anywhere.

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Place Shifting:
1.  No pre-programming required; change channels and watch TV shows online as if you were sitting in front of your home tv and cable box.  You are able to stream tv in REAL TIME.  This is YOUR television online.
2.  You have complete access to every channel on your cable box from anywhere with high speed internet
3.  This is not “internet TV”.  You are watching YOUR cable service that you have already paid for.  There should be no other fees or charges.  Internet TV often has additional charges and may not be available from some locations or countries.
4.

Negatives of Place Shifting:
1.  cannot skip commercials
2.  high speed bandwidth required on both sides; speed dips can have a major effect on quality. Rarely get true HD quality outside the US.
3.  lose a connection and the show you were watching is gone
4.  Can’t take a show or movie with you to watch somewhere that you do not have internet (airplane, car, etc.).
5.

 

Benefits of Time and Place Shifting:
1.  You have complete access to every channel on your cable box from anywhere with high speed internet
2.  This is not “internet TV”.  You are watching YOUR cable service that you have already paid for.  There should be no other fees or charges.  Internet TV often has additional charges and may not be available from some locations or countries.
3.  You are able to access your cable TV service and DVR/PVR from anywhere to watch the shows you have already programmed to record.
4. Because the program you are watching is already recorded on your DVR/PVR, you can pause, fast forward, rewind and skip commercials as you wish.  The ability to control your DVR/PVR easily is very dependent on your internet connection speed.
5. Because the program you are watching is already recorded on your DVR/PVR, you will not lose the program if you were to lose internet connection.  When your connection would resume, your show will be there until you choose to delete it.
6.

Negatives of Time and Place Shifting:
1.  high speed bandwidth required on both sides; speed dips can have a major effect on quality. Rarely get true HD quality outside the US.
2.  Can’t take a show or movie with you to watch somewhere that you do not have internet (airplane, car, etc.).
3.  You are limited to the storage capacity of your DVR/PVR.  You can’t move the recordings on to another drive.
4.  Accessing PVRs remotely (play, forward, rewind, etc.) often takes up additional bandwidth and has delays as you send the command, the machine receives it and performs the action, then you must send an action again.
5.

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