The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Review: MobileTV

Watching broadcast TV on your iPhone

3 min read
Review: MobileTV
Photo: TAKA

08RMobileTVPhoto: TAKA

Even as more and more viewers shift to getting television programs delivered via fixed and mobile Internet connections, broadcast television still has its place. Over-the-air transmissions are more resilient than a video stream. There’s no network congestion or overwhelmed ­servers during a live event, for example, and when disasters rob cell towers or home routers of power, television stations can still reach affected areas. So it’s perhaps a little bit surprising that the options for watching broadcast TV on mobile devices have been thin on the ground, which makes gadgets like Escort’s MobileTV for iOS devices very welcome.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

Keep Reading ↓Show less