The History of Internet Television

Since its inception, television has grown and blossomed over the years, and with the rise in power of the world wide web, Internet Television is exploding across the world's monitors. It was only two generations ago that television was something that dictated peoples' schedules. If viewers wanted to see something, they had to be there at a set place at a set time. Then with another generation came the VCR and then TiVo, so they could record a show and watch it later. Now there's Internet Television, or IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), and the programming can be arranged according to your schedule.

The Internet

In 1969, the Defense Department developed a packet-switching system of distributing information between different computers, and it was named the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). This was designed in the post-Cold War years, to be a bombproof means of keeping communication lines open. It was the front-runner of the modern Internet, which gave people the means of conveying text, data and images easily over different communication lines. It was not long before people recognized the amazing information transfer potential available.

Early Internet TV

Although broadcast television had been busily at work since the 1940s, 1994 saw the very first broadcast on the Internet, when ABC World News broadcasted their news show there. Companies like Audionet jumped in to offer streaming music, and Cisco started early work for broadcasting television programming. From these pioneering days, the three main uses for Internet TV have been LiveTV, Video on Demand (VoD) and Interactive TV (iTV). The growth of Internet television has been extremely useful internationally in distributing programming for the rest of the world, especially in areas like China and India, that don't have the infrastructure supporting access equipment like cable or DSL lines. Domestically, this new venue offered an opportunity for media distribution with untold opportunity.

The Face of Internet Television

Internet Television was an alternative for viewers to typical broadcast television. It did not take long for the major broadcast companies to realize that this could easily encroach on their viewership. They realized that the surest way to combat this new threat was to work with it. Most every major broadcast company has developed their own Internet distribution arms. One of the pioneering groups was Hulu, a division of NBC, that distributed their own material over the Internet. It proved an instant success. Now, the rest of the major broadcast companies (as well as many of the smaller ones) have developed their own Internet TV groups. Many have built their own branches to develop Internet-Specific Content (ISC), as well as content that was previously broadcasted being made available according to the viewer's own schedule.

The end of the journey for Internet Television is far from over, but there is an explosion of activity wherein you, the viewer, are able to schedule what you want to watch when you want to watch it.