The Basics of Accessing Online Content - dummies

The Basics of Accessing Online Content

By Danny Briere, Pat Hurley

Accessing online content is pretty easy with the help of high-speed Internet connectivity. The more you access and download online content for viewing, you put pricing and product pressure on cable, satellite, and telephone company TV offerings. In other words, it’ll get less expensive!

Lots of industry players have stepped up to the challenge of organizing all of this online content for you through content portals. After you find the online content you’re looking for, you typically either download, rent, or subscribe to the content, depending on the content service.

When it comes to buying or accessing online content, here are the three main forms of content services:

  • Download: You download a file, and it’s yours to use forever. Music downloads tend to be in this category. Downloads may be free or not.

  • Rental: You download a file, and it’s yours to use for a limited time. Many movie rentals allow you a certain number of days to view the movie before it expires and is no longer viewable. Rentals are usually paid for, but can be free on promotion.

    Most video rentals have two time restrictions. The first, mentioned above, is how long you can keep the file on your hard drive before it is disabled — this is usually a week or two. The second clock starts when you begin watching the video — you typically have 24 hours (on the clock) from starting the video for the first time before it expires.

  • Subscription: You subscribe to a service that gives you access to unlimited use of the content as it is presented on the portal, such as subscribing to 120 channels of streaming audio for a monthly fee.