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8-step guide to watching TV on your PC and mobile

Entertainment today... and everywhere

What better way to relax than to curl up in front of a good TV show? PC Advisor explains how you can get your daily fix on your PC, wherever your travels might take you.

TV anywhere

Place-shifting soon followed time-shifting. This lets you use your laptop to watch whatever you'd have been able to see if you were still at home, rather than sweating away a dull evening in a poorly air-conditioned business hotel. All you need is a device back at home that could hook up to your web connection and deliver the sights and sounds to your location.

Those with a Media Center Extender, a PlayStation 3 or an Xbox 360 can copy and stream content from room to room, but more straightforward options are on their way.

This clever ability to port programmes to another location has its appeal. But the most popular function of all has turned out to be simply accessing the content you want, hours, days or even years after its broadcast.

By June, just six months after its launch, ITV's Catch Up Player had achieved 12 million downloads. The BBC iPlayer clocked up 11 million in its first few weeks and goes from strength to strength.

Internet telly

The PC is central to the concept, along with a reliable and steady web connection and either a standalone player or a free applet in the form of Apple's QuickTime or Microsoft Silverlight driving the TV delivery.

But, true to form, Microsoft isn't happy to let all this lovely content be delivered for free via a web browser. For Microsoft, IPTV (TV over the internet) is a golden opportunity to meld what ISPs and broadcasters can offer and provide a means of feeding it all back to whence it came: the TV.

Yes, Microsoft is once again eyeing up the so-called ‘10-foot view' that has previously eluded it. The software giant has amalgamated its Media Center and Microsoft TV development teams to make one last attempt at conquering the living room.

Microsoft Mediaroom is what enables BT Vision to offer IPTV on a TV and Virgin Media customers to get BBC iPlayer and ITV Catch Up on their TVs.

It's in talks with other ISPs to offer a similar content-shifting setup from the home PC back to the living room and expects more products of this nature to launch late this year or in early 2009.

NEXT PAGE: TV over IP on your PC > >

  1. TV on your PC
  2. TV anywhere
  3. Internet telly
  4. TV over IP on your PC
  5. The best time to watch
  6. Mobile TV
  7. Mobile TV, part II
  8. Other options

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