Sunday, May 10, 2009

ByeBye Cable/Satellite Bills!

The job of the TV Website Critic is obviously not the same as a TV critic. But I willingly do my share of both! Increasingly, the two worlds of web and tv are conjoining--far beyond the telecommunication combo packages that we see offered in subscriptions. But get ready to cut out a big chunk of that bill, because now we can watch TV on the computer! Here, I'll give you the rundown:

The good news is that most of it is still free. And yes, there may be ads, but the security and quick-n-easiness of finding services makes watching very enjoyable. Get it while the getting is good though: Internet Advertisements are expected to increase by 30% in the next year!

Hulu. Giant marketing monster thanks to the very watchable commercials on television (the real set, you remember that big box in the living room?). The website is equally watchable. The quality is way above average in terms of variey, stream quality, minimal advertisements. Now Disney - yes, that Disney - is teaming up with Hulu to get a slice of the webTV pie.

YouTube The grandaddy of online tv. Most all of us have seen youtube at some point, but like anybody else, they gotta keep it fresh and keep the watchers motivated (or not!). So...Coming Soon to a Monitor Near You...Full Length Feature Films on YouTube! Nice.

MyEasyTV. - provides streams and links for various tv sources. E.g.: reutersTVor Easy to find what your looking for and lots of variety.

Veoh. Maybe not the first site to offer free viewing and free publishing - But probably the first to offer both the independent artists (er, home video publishers) and full-length versions of the stuff that big networks release. Not bad, but there's still a few bugs.

FreeTVonline: "Every Computer is a Free TV." They've got your live TV, your favorite shows - itemized by episode, and a very usable, workable website. The cons: downloading (which makes a few people grumpy, if they have a slow connection or low memory on a PC); and the advertisements are confusing and annoying.

NetFlix With a monthly subscription, you can get DVDs by mail and/or you can watch the movies right on your monitor without a physical DVD (called "watch instantly). Woohoo!

iTunes You could purchase a movie that's yours and you can access forever. You can rent the movie for a lower cost, but you must start movie within 30 days of buying it and once you start watching it, you have 24 hours before - poof! - it disappears. You can also buy TV shows for about $1.99-$2.99/each depending if you get HD or not. And you get between 0% discount (on current TV shows like Dexter) and up to 10%-20% discount (if you buy an older season) if you buy a whole season.

Thanks to the new, more intellegent idiot box, I can multi-task--on the same machine. Now that you've discovered the art of watching TV on a computer, I must warn you: Online TV is as equally addictive as the old-fashioned version; and watching the Office while you are in the office could prove to be a big mistake. 

In fact, get 2 or 3 monitors - Windows and Macs support these - and you can watch 2 channels and do your work (I mean do your work and watch TV ;-)).

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