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What Is TV Everywhere?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (February 12, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to swann@tvpredictions.com

Q. I keep hearing about this TV Everywhere thing. I know it has something to do with the Internet, but what is it? How do I use it? -- Marion, Pomona, California.

TV Everywhere is the term used by networks and TV providers to describe programs they offer on computers, tablets and smart phones after they've aired on the traditional channels. For instance, after Showtime airs a new episode of Homeland, they permit some TV providers, such as DIRECTV, to allow their subscribers to watch the show on non-TV devices. This can come in handy if you missed the episode and would like to watch it on your iPad while sitting in your favorite comfy chair.

TV Everywhere usually does not cost anything extra, but there are a few catches. In most cases, you have to be a subscriber to the channel to watch the show later on a computer or mobile device. The channels require this because they are afraid that people won't subscribe if they can watch their shows for free soon after they air.

Also, most TV providers require that you watch the TV Everywhere show in your home using your wireless network. This is done to help protect the channel from possible illegal viewing and piracy violations.

In some cases, a TV provider uses the TV Everywhere term to describe the offering of live TV streamed at the same time it's airing on the regular channel. Using DIRECTV again, the satcaster allows subscribers to watch dozens of channels live on their iPad and/or iPhone. (You still need a subscription to the channel to watch it live on the mobile device, however.) Except for DIRECTV's own channel, The Audience Network, the live streaming can only be done in the home.



As you can see, TV Everywhere has several restrictions, which is one reason why it has not clicked with a significant number of consumers. But TV Everywhere advocates hope one day it will lead to a more literal definition -- being able to watch your favorite channels and shows regardless of location.

Dish, for one, is already offering a version of that with its Sling-equipped Hopper HD DVR which allows subscribers to stream their home TV channels to a mobile device no matter where it is. (Dish calls its service, Dish Anywhere.) The satcaster owns Sling Media, which has offered products for years that enable you to watch your home TV channels while on the road. But this is the first pay TV set-top that integrates the Sling features.

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