No ridicules subscription fees, no waiting for cable guys for hours on Saturday morning, no satellite dishes and no dependency on schedules and size limitations? And you know what? Not even commercials…
Well, I don’t have a TV. I have a 37″ full HD LCD monitor, yes, but that’s not a TV. It’s connected to my mac, and an ATSC receiver which I hadn’t used for the last half a year.
So how do I watch TV? Over the Internet. News are not a problem, there are tons of news sites all over the place. But what about the shows?
Well, several options here:
- 1. HULU – pretty nice concept, they have shows from several different networks (like ABC, FOX, NBC), and small commercial breaks (but they do have commercials). You can watch the shows they have any time you want, you can pause, fast forward, rewind, watch with close-captions – do everything your DVR can do, except for skipping those commercials. Well, not that bad overall. One major problem with HULU is that it has limited episodes (they are only keeping the last 5 episodes of many FOX shows, for example). Bottom line is that you can watch all your shows for free there.
- 2. Network sites – many networks have their own internet portals on which you can watch the network shows. Go to CBS website, and you can watch the latest episodes of all the shows on the network, and also some additional videos, commentaries and other show related content. They usually have commercials as well, and only limited to shows of the network, you won’t find an ABC show on the CBS website, of course. But that is a solution for networks that don’t allow their content to HULU, like the Comedy Central. Free again.
- 3. iTunes – the Apple Internet store which sells episodes of many shows. Although it costs some $$, it comes without commercials, and you keep it on your computer – for you to watch whenever you feel like it.
4. Downloading – well, legality of this may be questionable, so its up to you, but if you do choose to download – several options are available there:
- Manually search the Internet using applications like eMule or bittorent, and download what you found. Old-fashioned and time consuming.
- Use applications like Vuze to subscribe to shows you’re interested in, and download the episodes you want manually or automatically. Nice, but requires the application to be on all the time, and will take some of your bandwidth for file sharing.
- Use applications like Ted to subscribe. This is almost perfect :-)Ted will launch the torrent application once a new episode of one of your shows has been found, but until then – you don’t need to share your PC with the world.
So, these are some of the options you could use to save hundreds of dollars a year you pay to TV providers for something you can get for free (well, if you don’t have to pay – watching a couple of commercials doesn’t seem to be that big of a burden all of the sudden, but even that you can get rid of if you choose).
So, enjoy the show!
Your Little Advisor