If you want to watch TV shows online there is more than one way to do it. Peer to Peer TV (P2PTV) and streaming media remain the two most popular choices. This article will talk, in simple terms, about the advantages and disadvantages of the two protocols.
1. Peer to Peer TV, better known as P2PTV.
This is the newest kid on the block and a lot people are taking notice of P2PTV. How can you not notice it, when the makers of Skype have taken this on as their next project? Joostt is just one of the players in and increasingly competitive field. P2PTV works on the same principles as BitTorrent. The big difference is that P2PTV does not take packets of data in a random order. Instead P2PTV picks up all of the parts in sequence. What this means, for the viewer, is that you are able to watch the show as you download. You then share the information along to the next person or people watching the program, seeding as you would for a normal torrent.
- You can watch high quality shows using P2PTV, just the same as you can with BitTorrent.
- There are legal networks available.
- The technology is improving constantly, and a lot of money is being poured into P2PTV.
- There is one great disadvantage to P2PTV, and that is that it does use similar protocols as BitTorrent. With that in mind, if your ISP shapes torrent traffic in any way at all, or it is blocked by a school or college network, then you may no be able to use P2PTV.
2. Online streaming TV media.
Online streaming media has been around for years. You have most probably come across online media streaming in your travels across the Internet. The way streaming media works is similar to the way normal HTTP traffic works. It's called Real Time Streaming Protocol or RTSP. As a type of traffic on the Internet it is virtually invisible to normal traffic. The way the video downloads is in sequence, and the packets are delivered sequentially in order to your computer. You can watch as it downloads, just as you can with P2PTV.
- Streaming media looks like normal Internet traffic, so if your ISP is shaping torrent traffic streaming media will still get through unhindered.
- Although it's an old technology, it is being improved all the time.
- Because of the way streaming downloads, during peak times the picture can become jerky due to the speed of traffic.
The two main protocols for watching TV shows online both have their advantages and disadvantages. When choosing which way to go, take in to account your circumstances and how your ISP or college network operates, and you'll be watching your favorite TV shows online without interference.