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Watching TV on Wireless Internet

written by: dean0088•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 1/8/2011

In this article, we discuss watching TV on wireless internet on your home theater set-up. We look at optimizing your wireless connection as well as choosing correct files that suit wireless transfer. Check it out!

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    TV over Wireless Internet?

    One of the great things about the Internet is that when combined with home entertainment, the pair are an unstoppable force constantly changing how we are entertained and how we operate our home theater systems.

    As you can see in my last article on Free TV Over the Internet, I described the best ways to get media from your computer to your TV. We discussed various types of cabling solutions and different Internet enabled theater devices which could stream movies from services such as Netflix.

    Here, we look at optimizing that set-up for watching TV on wireless internet, such as a home WiFi network or a mobile 3G data connection.

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    The Connection

    Firstly, ensure that you are getting the best data speed possible from your wireless connection. If you have a home WiFi network, ensure that it is set up properly and that the router isn't placed in areas where the signal may be weakened or blocked, like in a corner between two thick concrete walls or behind obstacles. Also, make sure you're getting the kind of speed you were promised when you signed up to the service. If not, call your ISP.

    The closer the router to your device the better.

    Finally, you need to make sure then when streaming or downloading large media files, your internet connection is focused on solely that. Other people using a wireless network even for the most basic of things such as loading small websites or checking email can slow down your transfer time because the connection's efforts are being split. It's also a good idea to make sure the connection is secure so neighbors are not stealing your WiFi!

    If you connection is still slow, you could try boosting your WiFi connection.

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    The File and It's Size

    Obviously, wireless networking is still a little behind in terms of speed when compared to wired internet. Therefore, you need to consider the file you're going to be downloading/streaming.If downloading a file from a torrent or elsewhere. Check if there are smaller versions available.

    When streaming videos from sites such as YouTube, select a lower resolution. This will result in slightly downgraded image quality, but will increase download time. Furthermore, the video shouldn't need to buffer.

    When worst comes to worst, it can often be better to pause a video for ten or fifteen minutes to allow it to buffer so that it won't be stopping and starting constantly. At least then you can enjoy your film in peace.

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    Using a 3G Connection

    Other people, particularly those who have a 3G modem for their laptop normally with a cell phone network provider, may want to view content over a 3G connection on their TVs. In most cases, this is not advisable as videos - particularly full length films, which can be over 1GB depending on the quality. Downloading 1GB over your 3G modem will eat up a large chunk of your data allowance, and if you go over your allowance you could end up with a hefty bill. Also, never download movies over 3G when roaming. People have been charged thousands of dollars for clips which last mere minutes.

    In principal however, the same rules apply when using a 3G connection. only you must enforce them more strenuously. Ensure you're getting good speed, use the connection for downloading the move only and make sure the file isn't ridiculously big.

    By following these few simple guidelines, you will be able to take full advantage of the entertainment possibilities out there and watch TV on wireless internet right on your living room TV.