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What is Placeshifting?

By Shannon Kietzman
Updated: Jan 23, 2024

Placeshifting is a type of technology used to view video streams by means of a broadband Internet connection. With placeshifting, the user can forward video streams from a personal video recorder or a television to any computer with a high-speed connection to the Internet. Placeshifting is not the same as timeshifting. Timeshifting allows the user to view programs from a remote location, though they may be viewed at a time other than when they were originally broadcast. Placeshifting, on the other hand, forwards the program to the user at the same time that it is originally broadcast.

When a user views a video stream through placeshifting, the sounds and images broadcast to the television are automatically converted to digital signals. The digital signals are then transmitted to the computer with the Internet connection, where the user can view them from his or her computer monitor. In addition to having a high speed Internet connection to enjoy placeshifting, many individuals choose to purchase large computer monitors or large liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions to which the computer can be connected. In this way, the shows viewed with the help of placeshifting technology are just as enjoyable to watch as they would be if viewed from the original location. In fact, an entire home movie theater can be set up and used to view shows through placeshifting.

There are many advantages to using placeshifting. Individuals who spend a great deal of time away from home, but do not want to miss out on their favorite shows, can take advantage of placeshifting. Through the use of placeshifting, these shows can easily be forwarded to any hotel with a high-speed Internet connection.

Individuals with a second home may also take advantage of placeshifting. While away at a vacation cottage, for example, the individual may utilize placeshifting to forward shows. Placeshifting can be a cost saving measure in this case, as it eliminates the need to pay for a separate cable or satellite subscription for each location.

Wireless networks and cell phones continue to be able to transmit high-speed Internet connections. In this way, placeshifting is becoming a much more viable and available option to individuals interested in forwarding shows from one location to another.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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