TV on the Internet to the Internet on TV – Part 1

With the economy in the tank right now many of us are trying to figure out ways to save money. And some of us are gazing at the cable box and thinking  “sacrificial lamb.” If you’re like me, you’re paying $50.00 plus per month for cable and lately, you’ve been hearing all this talk about how you can watch your favorite TV shows on the Internet, for FREE!!! Movies, sports, all sorts of entertainment choices are now available on the fabulous World Wide Web for no monthly fee. And they’re  all just a mouse click away. Being the inquisitive type I just had to know if all this talk was really true or just more “web hype.”

The first thing I needed to do was hook up a computer to my TV. That was fairly easy, I have a flat screen with a VGA input. I just plugged in my TV where my computer monitor had been.  But “inquiring minds have to know” and I found ways to connect my computer to ANY television. I have a real old one with only an “antenna” input and got it to work as well. Didn’t look as good as my flat panel, but it was there. Which brings me up to step 2. Being able to read the darn screen when I’m setting on my sofa 15 feet away from my television. The desktop icons were about the size pin heads and the text looked like little white blobs from that far away. Plus, I had to use extension cables for my keyboard and mouse if I wanted to use it from the sofa.

So, I  scooted a chair close to the TV and spent a least a couple of hours a night for about a week tweaking the desktop so it could be clearly seen from my sofa. The Windows Desktop has tons of settings that allows you to do this if you know how to find them. Microsoft really doesn’t want you monkeying around too much with the Desktop’s appearance, but having dissected the Windows Operating System as many times as I have, I knew what switches to throw to make the icons as big as a grapefruit and the text clearly readable from my sofa. There, that’s better. But I’m still tethered to the the computer with the keyboard and mouse cables. Thank GOD for wireless devices. For about $40.00 I purchased a wireless set. Now,  finally,  I’m on the sofa and ready to start surfing FREE TV!!! That’s when the confusion began.

What’s a Shockwave Plug-In??? Seems I can’t watch doodley without it. That’s because browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox don’t actually play the video. They’re kind of like the picture frame, the picture is played by the browser’s Shockwave Plug-In, an additional program created by Adobe that you have to download and install. A bunch of website and nearly all Internet TV stations use this program.  I’ll bet most of you reading this have already installed Adobe’s Shockwave into whatever browser you’re using. But there is a little known fact about the Shockwave player that definitely affects performance when watching video on the web. Not all Shockwave Plug-In’s are created equal. The Plug-In created for Microsoft is a slightly different program than the ones made for all other browsers like Firefox, Google Chrome, Oprah and all others. Internet Explorer gets the “special” Shockwave player which uses about 30% less CPU power than any other browser. And CPU power is the KEY ingredient in being able to watch smooth, non-jerky video over the Internet. голова болит секс

I was a bit dismayed because personally, I’m a Firefox fan and always referred to Internet Explorer as Internet Exploder as the early versions seem to always crash. I was determined to use Firefox and not Explorer until I tested this theory for myself. But sure enough, the article was right. All I had to do was pull up the task manager, which registers CPU usage and note the difference. Engage Firefox and the useage jumps up to over 90% in full screen. Engage Internet Explorer on the exact same website playing the exact same video, and the usage jumps to only 50%. I tried and tried to streamline Firefox to not gobble up as much power as it does, but no matter what I did, Explorer 8 always outperformed all other browsers by at least 30%, more on browsers like the one in Real Player. The CPU usage goes off the scale when you engage that bad boy. But that’s okay, I can manage with Explorer. Version 8 is really fast and almost as configurable as Firefox.

So, here I am with a computer I can see from across the room without being cabled to it and the fastest browser, fully equipped with the best Plug-In available. The cable company can kiss my grits because I’m about to start enjoying FREE TV over the Internet!!!

I clicked on the Explorer icon, typed in “Internet Television” and began my search. The confusion only intensified.

“EDGE OF YOUR SEAT” MUSIC COMES UP: голова болит секс

ANNOUNCER BEGINS:

“Will Stan really be able to sift through his confusion and watch television for free over the Internet? Will the cheap computer he put together from spare parts hold up under the enormous strain of Hi-Definition video? Will the cable company actually kiss his posterior?” голова болит секс

“Stay tuned for the next exciting episode!!!”