There are several televisions, from makers such as Sony, Vizio and LG, that hook straight to the Internet and are compatible with streaming video sites like Hulu and Netflix. I saw an ad for Sony just now that claims “There’s more to watch now that television and Internet are together at last.” What the crap? We’ve been watching the Internet on television since discovering Hulu in the summer of 2008.
The process took a few days to get right. I bought a new laptop in June of 2008, and during the summer Olympics NBC was offering many replays of events and a few in live streams. THEY DID NOT offer coverage of the 2010 games the same way. The past winter Olympics coverage left a lot to be desired, but fortunately the summer games are my favorite. At any rate, my first attempt to get a better view, since my laptop screen is only 14.1″ wide, was to hook up our large flatscreen monitor via the traditional monitor jack. We had a larger picture, but it was still a monitor, not a television set. Digital TV’s have had HDMI for a while, and you could have been watching Internet on those for some time now. Fast forward.
What we had was a conventional 32″ television from RCA. S-Video may have already run it’s course, but in the middle of 2008 I hooked my computer’s S-Video out to an RF modulator, and ran the picture signal into my television through an old fashion 75 ohm cable. RF modulators became popular when people needed to hook up their new DVD player to an older television. I hooked up the head phone jack to our 5 channel surround sound, because we all know that there are no good laptop speakers. (Dolby would beg to differ, but let’s be honest.) Black out the laptop screen and you can’t tell you’re not watching television.
Most network sites, such as NBC.com, always have some junk running at the bottom of the screen like a progress meter or extra logos or something and it kinda’ ruins the effect. Hulu became our new best friend. Once their player goes to full screen, all of the controls and meters fade out. The commercial interruptions DO NOT break out of full screen, and the program continues after the break seamlessly, a little trick that Fancast never figured out correctly. So yes, you can now receive internet programming straight to your t.v. But anyone that knows how their computer works could have been watching streaming television on their big screen for some time.