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Internet Streaming 101: How to Watch Live Tv Online


Have you ever missed your favorite television show one week and wanted to watch it before the next week’s new episode aired so that you wouldn’t be completely lost (Fans of “24” and “Lost” can certainly relate to this). Have you parked yourself in front of your television to watch a football, basketball, or soccer match only to realize that the game isn’t playing in your market? Have you ever wanted to watch foreign newscasts only to realize that your cable or satellite provider doesn’t provide the coverage you want?


Well, you can spend a lot of money and invest in a satellite dish, TiVO, and premium sports and pay-per-view packages. But who has that kind of money to throw around, especially in these difficult times? Luckily for all of us, there are plenty of sites on-line that stream live and on-demand news, sports, and entertainment that we can watch in the comfort of our own homes.


Getting Started


Obviously, the most important thing you’ll need is a high-speed internet connection. If you can’t afford to have a cable modem, a DSL line, or a high-speed internet service installed in your home, you can always go to your local internet café. Just make sure that they have a high speed connection and aren’t using some dial-up relic from the 90’s.


Most sites are built for PC users. As such, you’ll need Windows XP or Vista, the latest version of Internet Explorer (although Firefox also works), and Windows Media Player version 9 or higher. Mac users can download Flip4Mac, a free program that will convert WMV files for use on the Mac.


Live Television


There are many sites out there that broadcast live television from stations all over the world. If you want to watch Spanish movies, Chinese newscasts, Euroleague basketball games, or MTV Europe, then you’ll have plenty of channels to choose from.



 


Networks with Free On-Demand Content



If you missed your favorite show or wish to get caught up, most networks have high-definition, high quality videos of full episodes and video clips for you to enjoy. Some sites will only have the latest episode, or the most recent episodes up, so timeliness can be an issue.


American Networks:



 


British Networks:




  • BBC iPlayer – http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer - Gives you access to BBC TV, radio, and movies – only available in UK (except for radio, which is available to the entire world). Note: The proposed joint on-demand venture between the BBC, Channel 4, and ITV has been delayed until 2009, at the earliest.




  • TV Catchup – http://tvcatchup.com - the appropriately named service is only available to the UK and allows you to watch content from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5, among others.




 


On Demand TV Shows


Most networks will allow you to watch a replay of the latest week’s episode for a limited amount of time. If you want to watch prior seasons, then you’ll have to rely on other means. Luckily, there are plenty of places you can go:


 


On Demand Options:




  • Hulu Videos: http://www.hulu.com - Popular on-demand site that is owned by NBC and hosts full episodes and short video clips of shows from NBC, Fox, Warner Brothers, Sony, MGM, and more.




 



 




  • Myspace Primetime: http://www.myspace.com/primetime - Largest archive of shows I’ve ever seen at any site on-line. High quality video, too. Includes current shows, as well as oldies like “Bewitched,” “ALF,” “Cheers,” and others.




 




  • Fancast: http://www.fancast.com - A good-sized archive of older shows, and most current shows are available here. Similar to Hulu.




 



 




  • Joost: http://www.joost.com - Good archive of high quality videos of TV shows, music videos, and sports highlights.




 




  • Boxee TV – www.boxee.tv - Contains content from BBC, Hulu, NPR, and many other providers.




 




  • Dude Videos : http://videos.repph.com - Huge archive of shows, past and present, to choose from, including “24,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “CSI,” “NYPD Blue,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “Dexter.”




 




  • Kumfumble: http://www.kumfumble.com - I believe this is a mirror site for Dude Videos. Same shows, but the user interface is a little different.




 




  • TV Duck: http://www.tvduck.com - Good resource that provides links to other sites that stream free on-demand TV shows. Includes latest shows, as well as movies, music videos, documentaries, and soap operas.




 




  • Megavideo: http://www.megavideo.com – Decent-sized archive of shows, music videos, and sports clips. Interface is similar to Youtube. Drawback: there are limits to how much you can watch unless you are a Premium member.




 



 




  • Ninja Video: http://www.ninjavideo.net - A huge archive of shows available, but you must launch the Ninja Video Helper Beta in order to view said videos.




 




  • TV Corn: www.tvcorn.com - A large archive of current and older shows. Also has different feeds to choose from.




 



 


 


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