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Definition: Internet TV


Watching TV programs and movies from the Internet on a computer, mobile device or TV. People have watched video clips on the Web for years; however, Internet-based movies on demand such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, VUDU and iTunes migrated to the TV in the home via a set-top box that converts network packets to digital TV signals.

Smart TVs and modern Blu-ray players have built-in set-top box functionality for these streaming services, and Google introduced its second-generation TV platform in 2014 (see Android TV).

From User to TV
Several device-to-TV solutions are available for sending content from a user's computer or mobile device to the TV (see AirPlay, Chromecast, Miracast and wireless USB). Another approach is the "home theater PC," which is a Windows PC with a user interface designed for TV screens (see HTPC). In addition, any computer with a video-out port can be cabled directly to a TV.

The earliest approach for sending Internet content to the TV was the WebTV set-top box in 1996. With a keyboard and mouse, it connected to the Internet via dial-up (see MSN TV). See smart TV, digital media hub, Yahoo Connected TV, video portal and video-on-demand.




Zinc Video Portal
Zinc was a browser application that found movies and TV shows on the Web. Providing a 10-foot user interface for large screens, Zinc enabled access to a host of free and paid content. See 10-foot user interface.