An increasingly popular way to catch up with the latest TV shows and movies is by using internet TV services to watch TV online. Watching TV and movies online will only become more popular in the future because it is an easy and convenient way for users to access their favorite TV programs at any time and place of their choosing. Also TV broadcasters realize it is what consumers want and so have made it easier than ever to watch movies and TV online.
The aim of this guide is to provide you with information on how to watch TV online –
How Can I Get Online TV?
So what exactly is involved and how can you watch HDTV online? Basically all you need is a regular computer or laptop and a decent internet connection. The higher the spec of PC and the faster the internet connection the better because streaming internet TV is requiring a decent setup, an old and slow PC with a dial-up connection will not be sufficient.
The next thing you are going to find is an internet TV provider, and this is where things get a little bit complex. Don’t confuse complex with being difficult. It is just that there are now so many websites that provide movies and TV series online, some provide free internet TV, music and movies and some are subscription services and it can take a little time to find what you want. You will most likely find that you will need to use the services of a few internet TV websites to give you access to all the content you require.
Another thing that you frequently need in order to watch TV online is software that will enable you to view the internet TV channels. This varies from site to site, but typically the provider will use Adobe Flash Player, Windows Media Player or the providers own custom software. In most cases this software is free, for instance media player is included with Microsoft Windows and Adobe Flash Player is integrated into internet browsers. Also other common software such as Apple Quicktime, RealPlayer and VLC Media Player can be downloaded for free also.
What is Internet TV or Online TV?
This is the term that people frequently use when referring to watching TV channels online, they are frequently the same channels and programs that are available using the regular TV in your home. This is possible because TV broadcasters make the same channels available on the internet using online streaming or downloads.
Typically, internet TV channels provide the free programming that is available through a TV and not the premium or subscription channels. These are typically the free entertainment, news and shopping channels, not subscription movie and sports channels.
What is Internet TV Streaming and Downloading about?
In order to be able to watch TV on PC, the video content must be transferred over the internet. The size or amount of data involved viewing movies and TV online can be considerable. The longer the duration of the content and the higher the quality of the picture, the greater the amount of data that must be transferred using your internet connection.
Streaming TV and movies involves viewing the video whilst it is downloading. To do this effectively you must be able to download the data at a rate which is quicker than is required to display it in ‘real time’. If you have a slow computer and internet connection, you will be unable to transfer the data quick enough and so the video will pause or slow whilst the computer ‘catches up’ downloading the data.
Downloading video is different to streaming because it involves transferring the whole video file and saving it to your PC before you view it. If the video file is large in size this can take a long time especially over a slow internet connection. Obviously this method means that you cannot view the video until it is fully downloaded and a large video file may take many hours to download. However, on the plus side you will not experience stuttering pictures or delays when playing back the video.
As previously mentioned, regardless of the method used the amount of data can be considerable. If your internet service provider limits the amount of data that you can download using your internet connection (typically done on a monthly basis), you could soon find yourself exceeding your data allowances in you become a regular user on TV and movie internet services.
It is therefore wise to check if you have any such limits on your internet connection. If you do have download limits you will typically be able to upgrade your internet package and increase your download allowance. Most providers offer an unrestricted service which means you can download or watch TV online for as long as you like without incurring any penalties. And if your current internet service provider doesn’t offer and uncapped or unlimited service you may be able to switch to one who does.
One Method of Downloading and Watching TV Series and Movies Online To Avoid
One particular method of watching TV series and movies using the internet is by using P2P software and websites. How this works is that all the P2P users ‘share’ the media on their computers over the internet using the P2P software. A user can then search for media such as music, movies and TV series online using the P2P software and then download it from the other users.
However, beware that this is an illegal practice which can result in prosecution of offenders. Even if you do not purposely share the media you have on your computer, just by downloading movies or any other media files, you are at the same time sharing the same files that you download and therefore making it available for others to download. If you choose to ignore this warning and signup for one of the many P2P file-sharing services advertised on the internet, then you risk the possibility of being sued by the music and film industry who have filed many thousands of lawsuits for copyright and intellectual property infringement.
Watch Catch Up TV and On Demand TV Internet Services
To watch the TV shows, music videos and movies from your favorite TV channels on the internet you can simply go their own websites. Most major television channels now offer this service, making it easy to catch up with shows that you may have missed when they were originally broadcast TV. The various websites all work in a similar by allowing you to either browse or search the available TV shows, series and movies etc. that are on their websites.
You will find that some or most of the online TV websites are geographically restricted to viewers of the same country where the TV channel is broadcast. This is normally due to licensing restrictions. The TV websites are able to detect your geographic location by the IP address from which you connect from and block you from viewing content if you are outside of the permitted geographic region. However, if this happens some of the providers provide global access and will have alternate regional TV websites where you can watch online TV. One such example is the online music website for the US MTV channel which if you try to view from the UK will then redirect you to MTV’s UK website.
Which Websites Provide Legal TV and Movies Streaming and Download Services?
As already mentioned you can get into big trouble for downloading or streaming illegally broadcast online TV movies and music. So how can you be sure which online TV and movies websites are legit? To help you get started he is a list of some of the best online TV and movie websites which provide streaming, catch up and download services.
Watch TV Online
- ABC Player
- BBC iPlayer
- Cartoon Network Online Shows
- CBS Online
- Comedy Central Online
- Fox.com Online TV Episodes
- FX Networks TV and Video On Demand
- HBO GO Online TV
- MTV Online Music Videos
- TV.com Full TV Series Episodes
- VH1 Full Episodes
Watch Movies Online
- Amazon Instant Video
- Blockbuster Online – On Demand Movies
- CinemaNow Online Movies
- Crackle Free Online TV Series and Movies
- Dish Online – Shows and Movies On Demand
- Hulu – The Best Online TV and Movies Website
- NBC Video Full TV Episodes Online
- Netflix – Watch TV Series and Movies Online
- Vudu – Watch Movies Online