The Internet has completely revolutionized the way people watch television. Watching TV online has become increasingly popular over the last few years, thanks to the ever-increasing availability of online television shows.
If you forget to record the season premiere of your favorite show or fail to make it home in time to catch the first quarter of the big game, don’t despair. Chances are, you can find your beloved program somewhere online – although you may have to fork over a few dollars to watch it.
Some major television networks, such as ABC, CBS and PBS, have their own websites that allow users to watch full episodes of popular shows for free. However, these episodes are usually available only for a certain period of time – often ranging from 24 hours to a couple weeks after the episode originally aired.
There are also several popular websites that allow users to watch shows from a variety of television networks, all in one place. Some of these websites are free or require users to pay a reasonable subscription fee. For instance, Hulu allows users to watch recently aired television shows for free, but television episodes usually do not remain on Hulu for more than a couple of weeks. For a small price, users can upgrade their accounts to Hulu Plus and enjoy a wider selection of online episodes.
Services like Netflix®, on the other hand, have a much wider selection of shows and movies to watch but always require the payment of a monthly subscription fee. Netflix® is becoming an increasingly popular option for consumers who want to watch television shows on their own schedules. Netflix® also produces original series streamed exclusively on Netflix. House of Cards and Orange is the New Black are two examples of Netflix original series that achieved enormous popularity in 2013.
For sports lovers, there are quite a few online services that can allow you to watch your favorite games online. These services include WatchESPN, NBA Unlimited Pass and MLB.TV. These sports services almost always require users to pay to view programming.
There are streaming services that cater to all kinds of tastes beyond the mainstream. Like K-Dramas (Korean dramas)? What about Japanese animation (anime)? A service called Crunchyroll runs a lot of the major Eastern dramas and animations, many of which are still ongoing in their country of origin. Of course, if streaming online isn’t an option, streaming devices can help.
Streaming devices can help viewers get more from their favorite shows without having to fire up an Internet browser. All you need is an Internet connection and a device of which there are many different choices. There’s the Amazon – Fire TV and the Roku which stand out as the major go-tos. Google Chromecast is also a viable option.
Many current generation gaming consoles like the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox One also feature free streaming apps for Netflix and Hulu Plus. Apps are easy to find and all you really need is an existing account with one of these services in order to access their digital libraries.