How to Watch TV on a Computer Screen

In the old days, ie about ten years ago, most TV signals arrived to our sets as analog, not digital. They were like radio waves, except frequencies were higher. Transmitted by air, and received by roof antennas, they were used to create sounds and images. Depending on where one lived, the number of available channels could be as great as ten, or as small as one.

The situation is changing rapidly; most TV signals are now digital, and they arrive through wires belonging to telephone or cable-TV companies. The number of available channels is usually much larger than in the past. The quality of pictures, on our flat TV screens, has increased greatly. But pictures shown on computer screens are usually sharper than those shown on flat TV screens. Can TV programs be watched on our computer screens? Yes they can; this approach is called "Internet TV." Anyone who has a fast Internet connection can already do this. Some people believe that Internet TV will soon displace cable TV.

What follows is a brief description of my attempt to use Miro, a free application designed to make Internet TV possible. First I downloaded Miro (version 5.3.1). Being a Mac user I downloaded the Mac version of the program; the Windows version is also available. Then I launched the program. Its home window has three sections: the menu bar, the sidebar, and the central display area. After reading a reasonably well-written user's guide, found by Googling, I started experimenting. Several icons appeared in the central window. I clicked on the icon called "Saturday Night Live." This resulted in the display of additional icons, representing individual video files. Each had a "download" button, next to it. I clicked one of these buttons and downloaded the file. Then I downloaded the second file, in the same way, and quit the application.

A little later I launched Miro again and clicked the "Video" tab, in the side bar. The central screen showed that my library had two named files, one for 5 minutes and another for 52 minutes. I clicked on the "play" icon, next to the first file name, and watched the video on the screen. Then I watched the longer video. During that time I checked that control buttons, such as "volume," "full screen," "pause," "rewind," etc., behaved as described in the guide. The sharpness of the display was indeed no worse than on my high resolution TV set.

This exercise did not turn me into an expert. Playing prerecorded video files is not the same as playing live TV programs, from chosen channels. I plan to find a tutorial in which this kind of activity is described. The purpose of sharing my very limited experience is to encourage others to experiment with new software.

Source by Ludwik Kowalski

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