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Show #2019-57 Broadcast March 20, 2019 – Computer Insider
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Computer Insider is the world's first broadcast technology series, launched in 1986. Since our first broadcast, we have been constantly redefining our content to meet the needs of consumers to delivering information of value to today's consumer.

Show #2019-57 Broadcast March 20, 2019

I have long advocated for free and independent internet and was an early adopter of streaming video, and today we’re going to talk about how that market has changed and look at how many companies like Netflix and Amazon are taking steps to take business away from the cable companies.

Let’s start with the easy stuff. To watch any video from the internet, you’re doing to need some sort of a device to receive the data, whether it’s a computer, tablet, android box, Apple TV, you’ll need something. Experience suggests that having a dedicated box is the easiest, mostly because it’s always connected to your TV, and ready to deliver content. Today we’re only looking at android set top boxes.  If you’re going to be using it solely as a Kodi box, then there are lots of choices. But, if you’re planning on streaming a good portion of your content through Netflix or Amazon Prime, then you’re going to be limited.

Netflix only has a short list of devices that can stream in 4K, and Amazon will force you to use their hardware in order to get the best picture quality.

Why? The short answer is that there are DRM or Digital Rights Management services which will limit who can see specific content.

For Android media players, you need Netflix Approval and a Google Widevine Level 1 licence to playback DRM 1080p or 4K video streams. For HBO Now you’ll need a Microsoft Playready licence as well.

Without the right hardware, you’ll never get better than Standard Definition (SD) resolution with those streaming services.

Which leads to another area to keep an eye on. Just because the screen says that the movie is available in 4K or 1080p, there’s no assurance that you’re actually reviving video in that resolution. Some player will tell the resolution while they are setting up to receive.

Reporting for Computer Insider, I’m Bob Pritchard

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