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From the archives: Everything you need to know about Internet TV

Until recently internet TV tended to involve cameras pointed at cheese or happy slapping clips on YouTube, but the telly times are changing. Internet TV is coming!

It’s incredible how far we’ve come. In the bad old days you’d spend £200 on a TV set, another £100 on a video recorder and you’d get your programmes for free. Today, though, technology has made everything better. All you need for internet TV is a £1,000 PC, a £20 per month broadband connection and a portal into a parallel universe where instead of throwing slippers at the screen when the broadcaster shows repeats, you reach for your credit card instead.

We’ve seen technology do some amazing things, but we never thought it could get people to pay for repeats. But that’s exactly what’s happened: by calling their old tat “archive material” or “premium content”, internet TV services are successfully persuading people to pay 99p for old episodes. Presumably the broadcasters could paint lipstick on a pig, tell everyone it’s Madonna and get the same people to shell out £100 on tickets to see it dance to disco music.

According to technology evangelists internet TV is just the beginning. They say that everything we currently get over the air – such as TV broadcasts – will eventually be piped into our homes, and they also say that the reverse is happening, so everything we currently get via pipes will come through the air. Which means that somewhere, someone is trying to transmit water over Wi-Fi.

[Originally published in Official Windows Vista magazine]