Computers are capable of doing so many things that it's not really a surprise that some individuals spend the majority of their day using them. Whether you are using one at work or on your own personal time, the multiple tasks a computer is able to carry out saves you time and money. You can communicate and share information with anyone in the world at any time of day or night. The computer that can create documents and spreadsheets, send emails, host live chats, upload and download files, play music and movies and stream live audio and video broadcasts, just got better.
Right now you must be wondering what else the computer can do that it can't do already. Well if you think about all of the technology gadgets that you have in your life, you can probably figure it out. Let's start with the radio. The radio is a technology that is losing popularity. You might assume that Satellite radio is the reason for this. Satellite radio gained a lot of popularity due to the fact that the quality is phenomenal and that a lot of stations have no commercials. If a subscription wasn't required for satellite radio basically AM and FM radio broadcasts would be obsolete. However, even though satellite radio offers superior quality above and beyond what traditional AM and FM radio waves produce, the associated cost of satellite radio still leaves room for free AM and FM radio to share the marketplace. A better reason why the number of people who tune into AM and FM radio broadcasts is decreasing is because the popularity of computers has increased with their increase in functionality.
Computers have become media hubs. Since we started storing all of our personal information on them, including our favorite music, the market started offering ways to bring that personal information with you everywhere you went. Instead of carrying a laptop, mp3 players offered an even easier way to bring all of your favorite songs with you on the go. On top of that, many of them give you the option of carrying your favorite pictures and videos with you too! It is obvious why AM and FM radio is losing popularity. Why would anyone opt for a playlist on FM that consists of songs they may not prefer, along with endless commercial breaks, when they can listen to their favorite songs commercial free on their computer or when transferred to an mp3 player? It boils down to the fact that the computer has become a disruptive technology. While the radio can only stream audio, the computer can stream, store and transfer audio, video and data information
Computers are replacing the necessity for multiple
technology devices by offering all forms of communication in one unit. In addition to
streaming live music broadcasts, and storing and transferring songs, computers can host
live televisions broadcasts too. In reality, a television wouldn't be necessary if you
could stream all of your TV stations online with great quality and at lower costs. If you
are paying for internet service already, then the ability to stream live television over
the internet might make you think twice about paying for separate cable service. However,
at the time being, most stations cannot be streamed live over the internet and computers
capable of streaming live television with good quality and without lag also carry a
relatively high cost. A separate cable subscription is still necessary and smarter to
receive all of your live TV broadcasts on time and in the quality you demand.
Although a separate cable subscription might be necessary, computers can replace the necessity of owning or leasing a cable box. A lot of television companies sell or lease you their digital or HD tuner box. However, making a one-time purchase of a TV tuner card for your computer might be much cheaper than paying monthly to lease the digital or HD cable hardware. If you receive your broadcast directly into your computer tuner card, you can change the channel and record TV right on your desktop. It would not be streaming over the internet. It is just like watching your normal TV, but on your computer screen instead. Therefore, quality should be just as good and lag time should not be a factor. You just would use the tuner card instead of a cable box. With HD tuners and HD outputs becoming more common on newer computers you can even output the signal onto your giant LCD or Plasma TV. It really gives the computer a fighting chance to replace a leased or purchased cable box. If you do want to watch your favorite HD channels on your HDTV, you just want to make sure your tuner card and video card with the HDMI output are capable of hosting the higher refresh rates that the television boasts to produce the 1080i or 1080p picture.
If we're already using our computers to take advantage of music and television broadcasts, what else is left that the computer can do that we aren't using it for? We know email has made sending documents, letters, cards, etc. much easier, faster, and cheaper than sending it through the post office. However, the mail system is still necessary since you obviously cannot send packages through the internet. : There is something else that the computer could replace though. It could just be the most popular communications device we currently own; the phone. Whether it's a cell phone or a landline phone, there is no faster way to communicate with somebody. The mobility of a cell phone has simply taken communication technology to a whole new level. What if your computer could make phone calls the way cell phones could? What if carrying a laptop meant you were carrying your one stop source for email, music, TV and phone calls. You wouldn't need any other technology device and all of their associated networking cables for these purposes. Let's talk about VoIP and how it's changing the way we communicate.
You may or may not know that computers have been capable of hosting phone calls
for quite awhile. Depending on the computer involved, this phone call may or may not have
been of great quality. Now, with better computers and voice over internet protocol (VoIP)
technology, making phone calls through a network has never been better. VoIP hardware lets
you make phone calls over the internet by plugging directly into your broadband
connection. If you own a computer and a headset, all you need to do is find a service
provider and dial away on your desktop. Some websites act as service providers and allow
you to make phone calls for free. Some other service providers may offer you all kinds of
features and benefits and superior quality but might charge you monthly. However, VoIP
service is supposed to be much cheaper than your landline or cell phone service. It's
simply cheaper to send information over the network.
Just like any new technology, some prices can be expensive. You can utilize your existing telephone with a VoIP adapter to save money. If you want to purchase a VoIP telephone that plugs directly into your broadband connection then you should consider VoIP used phones. VoIP phones can be very expensive depending on what features they offer and what brand name they are. The point of using VoIP is to save money, so it makes sense to save as much money up front when switching over to VoIP hardware so that the payback period for using VoIP service is shorter. Used and refurbished phones sometimes have nothing wrong with them or maybe had a minor problem that was fixed and have not ever been used at all. A lot of them come with the manufacturer's warranty as well. It is smart for businesses to explore a VoIP network that consists of a combination of computers that they already own, some regular business phones they already have that use a VoIP adapter, and purchasing whatever extra VoIP phones they need as used or refurbished to ultimately save as much money as possible.
There are some issues with VoIP that still need to be worked out. For the time being, VoIP cannot replace the need for a cell phone. You would need your laptop to always have access to the internet and always be on to send and receive phone calls on the fly. If a wireless network is always available to you, then VoIP gains some serious ground. If your laptop were small like a cell phone, then the convenience of using VoIP would skyrocket. Without immediate access to phone calling, emergency services such as 911 are not available. VoIP can replace a majority of landline phone calls made. The inexpensive nature of VoIP phone calls are especially useful for businesses that make hundreds or thousands of phone calls a day or frequently make long distance calls.
Computers are capable of replacing all sorts of other technologies. With the addition of VoIP, all of our communication options can be packed into a laptop. While we might still opt to own the devices specific to one type of communication, it's nice to know that there are ways to save money and time by having it offered all in one package. One day we might just find out that all of our antennae's, 6P6C and coaxial network cables are replaced by a single 8P8C Ethernet cable.
Written by Eric Higgins
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