The internet has been very useful for us since its birth back in 1969. It has made the process of communication a lot easier, with the invention of electronic mail, instant messaging, and even social networking sites. It has also given us a quicker access to information and to entertainment. Now the question is this: Can I watch cable TV on my computer? Let’s find out.

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The internet makes it possible to stream video and audio. Streaming refers to the normal flow of data as it travels to someone's desktop computer from a server through a network connection. When streaming video, you can choose to watch it directly from your personal computer or to hook your PC to your television screen for a wider LCD display. What you can use in order to achieve this is an MPEG decoder card. The MPEG decoder card is a hardware PCI card that is put in your computer before it is connected to your television.

Apart from streaming, you may also opt to download internet videos onto your hard drive. There are some internet protocols that enable fast downloading of large files using minimum internet bandwidth. Usually, websites that offer this type of service contain links to download a file to your computer. When you click these links, the web browser software on your computer tells the server to transfer a copy of the file to your computer. The transfer is then handled by a protocol such as file transfer protocol (FTP) or hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP).

The transfer speed is affected by a number of variables. This includes the type of protocol being used, the number of other computers that are currently downloading the same file, and the amount of traffic on the server. Large files usually take a lot of time to download. The same thing goes for popular files for which the demands on the server are great.

Streaming or downloading video benefits users as these methods spare them from the inconvenience of stepping out of the house to get to the cinema or a rental shop. Users also get to save some money that they will otherwise spend on gassing up their car or riding a cab, as well as on snacks and beverages.

So ask yourself again: “Can I watch cable TV on my computer?” This time, you can respond with a resounding “Oh, yes, I definitely can!”

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