Best Sites To Watch TV On Your Computer Over The Internet

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watch tv on your computer over the internet Most cable companies enjoy a monopoly within their communities. So far, they are oblivious to the fact that people now have access to some of the best tools to watch TV on computer.  When it comes to the costs of cable TV, consumers are left footing the bill, paying upwards of $80 to $100 every month for a list of about 50 to 100 channels, most of which are filled with half-hour infomercials or documentaries about the many uses of whale blubber in third world countries.

Much like phone companies became complacent with their position of power before the world of VoIP started capturing more of the telecom market, cable TV providers are complacent and oblivious to the rising popularity and reach of Video over IP.  More and more people are getting fed up with the exorbitant rates these companies charge, and they are looking to the internet for alternatives. Here, I will introduce you to some websites that lets you watch tv on your computer over the internet.

Finding the Best Tools to Watch TV on Your Computer

While the world of VidIP has a long way to go before it can capture a large portion of the video broadcasting market, it has made a great deal of progress over the past few years. ¬†Most people don’t realize that there are now enough options available online so that you can permanently trash your cable TV subscription and still have access to some of the best entertainment video content available. ¬†The only prerequisite is that you have an excellent broadband connection and a computer or laptop.¬† To get free content, you have several options available – either Video On Demand (VOD), streaming Internet TV, or standalone PC applications that connect via the Internet.

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Movies and Network TV Shows

There are a whole range of websites that provide the ability to access cable TV online.¬†Some offer more content, and some have higher quality streaming video.¬†My own experience is that streaming quality is far more important than quantity, since there’s nothing more annoying than trying to watch sports when the screen keeps freezing up every minute or two.¬† Luckily there are plenty of options available.

Hulu is a popular website that offers the option to legally download full episodes and video clips of your favorite network shows and major motion films.¬†Browsing through Hulu, I discovered an episode of my favorite show, “The Office.”¬† The quality of the video is smooth and clear.¬† Hulu has organized the selection of shows based on categories like “Comedy,” or “Action and Adventure,” so finding your favorite show is easy.

Watching Network TV on a Computer

Sling offers popular channels like FX, CBS, NBC, FOX, and SciFi.¬†The variety of shows Sling offers is impressive, with full length episodes identified by a TV image next to the show title.¬† Were you a fan of the 1980s hit show, “The A-Team?”¬† Well, on Sling you’ll find 61 full-length episodes.¬† Similar to Hulu, Sling also offers an impressive list of popular movies for free.¬† I fired off one of my favorite movies, “Behind Enemy Lines,” and within less than a minute the Sling player launched the movie in amazing detail and virtually no skipping, even in full-screen mode.

watch tv on pc

Hulu seems to offer a little bit more in content, but slightly lower streaming quality than Sling.  Unfortunately, both Hulu and Sling are US only sites. However there are ways you can watch Hulu and Sling videos from abroad.

Popular TV Channels and Programs

One of the biggest hurdles to turning away from cable and using Internet TV for video entertainment is that many people have favorite channels or programs that they like to watch.¬†Luckily, there are websites available to solve that dilemma. For example, TVChannelsFree is one of the largest collections of TV channels in one place on the web, featuring over 3700 channels from more than 60 countries around the world.¬†You’ll find Animal Planet, TTV Asia, and even Game TV from Germany. The site requires a variety of plug-ins, however, so be prepared to install SopCast, RealPlayer, or Windows Media Player if you don’t already have it.

Another great website that offers on-page TV viewing of  popular programs is TidalTV (update: no longer available). The navigation is in the standard TV Guide table format. The site design is excellent and the video quality is absolutely stunning.

TV - watch tv online live

In the process of testing this web app, I realized that there was an episode of Jericho on, which I’ve been wanting to watch! Other channels on TidalTV include Discovery, Food Network, National Geographic, HGTV and other great content.¬† The full-screen mode for the viewer works well, and the quality remains sharp enough for display on a big screen TV.

One other great website where you can locate all of your favorite TV shows is InnerLive, one of the few online TV websites with enough of a selection so that I could find Nickelodeon – the one channel my kids need if I’d ever switch from cable to Internet TV.¬† InnerLive is also one of the few TV sites that cleverly combined social networking with the TV viewing experience by integrating a chat room alongside the viewer.

Watch TV on computer

One other honorable mention on the list of TV viewing websites is TVWeb360, which uses the same viewer technology (without a chat room) as InnerLive, but it has slightly fewer channel choices. I did notice slightly more skipping with these two websites, but if you make sure to optimize the speed of your Internet connection, you shouldn’t experience any problems.

Sports Channels

One impressive website that offers more sports channels than any other site on the web is MyP2P (update: no longer available). While this website offers a short list of live TV channels, its real strength lies in the “Live Sports” section.

Watch Live Sports on Your Computer

The cool thing about MyP2P is that you can click on the sport category you’re interested in and view all of the live games that are scheduled for broadcast.¬† MyP2P features broadcasts covering 11 major sports, and even an “other” category with sports like darts and snooker!¬† The list of live sports content is impressive, the football section alone currently lists 18 scheduled live games from across the world over the next two weeks.

Watch News Channels Online

While other websites where you can watch TV typically list popular channels like Discover or HGTV, they are often lacking when it comes to quality news broadcasting from the major news organizations across the world.¬† Providing the best news content from across the world is where the website LiveStation is a powerhouse.¬† Of all TV viewing sites I tested, LiveStation had the best quality by far, and its interface was far more aesthetically pleasing.¬†LiveStation offers a few popular channels like MTV and Sci Fi, but it’s news offering is the most impressive, including Al Jazeera, BBC World Service, ITN, Russia Today, France 24, and CNN.¬†Watching NASA TV in full-screen mode, with the channel carousel around it, absolutely blew me away.

watch news channels online

Make sure to read Mark’s two stories on Livestation here and here.

While video over IP technology still has a long way to go, the technology and the associated broadband speeds have advanced far enough at this point so that if anyone is fed up enough with the overpriced monopoly of cable TV, switching to the Internet for your video entertainment needs isn’t all that painful.

Have you switched to the the internet solely for your television watching? If so, what applications do you use to receive your programming?

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49 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Gregg B.

anyone know anything about http://www.isoftwaretv.com/ ?

Looking at the site I can’t tell if its legit or a scam.

blueye

hi gregg, i have been looking at this one too, did you find out if it’s legit?

sallysung

Are you interested in different cultures , with channels from all kinds of countries , you will never get bored , you can switch from Europe to Asia ,Africa or south America . There is a software can make it come true for you ,SatelliteDirect√Ę‚Äě¬Ę ,
http://softjohn.com/tv_on_pc/pctv.html

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san

of no use to european region users,, what a shame.

unless you get a proxy , which is in USA and is fast enough to stream,, but thats almost impossible..

mabe in 10 years it will be available here too

Mark O’Neill

If you install Hotspot Shield, some of these apps work outside the US.

Livestation also works perfectly outside the US.

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Mike

Not all cable companies are oblivious to Internet TV. Comcast, for instance, took the initiative to launch Fancast, which you don’t list here and which is a better site than half of the ones you’ve got listed, IMO.

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Ryan Dube

Mike – thanks for your comment. Did you notice that Fancast has the Hulu logo at the top of their videos for the full length TV episodes?

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Kevin

I’m pretty sure that Tom & Jerry has never been on Nick. I went on the site and it showed Flinstones, and Spongebob was on on my TV. Went to Cartoon Network and it showed some old show I vaguely remember seeing on TV several years ago. Inner-Live is more like Inner-5 Years. I WANT MY CARTOONS! >:C

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FancastFan

Ryan, just to note your response to Mike, while Fancast certainly has shows from NBC and Fox (the parent companies of Hulu, hence the logo on some of the videos) it ALSO has full-length programs from ABC, CBS, Viacom cable nets like Comedy Central, and other outlets like The WB – in fact, every major network and studio, including pay channels like HBO, Showtime and Starz. And old classics too from the golden age of sit-coms (which usually means CBS).
Maybe you can note that?
Cheers,
Jim (for fancast)

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Marco

@ Ryan

Excellent piece! Definitely going to my bookmarks.

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alex

What about software for watching tv from a tuner?
thanks

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Richard Hartman

Thanks for the great advise
I use this site for all my free movies,cable and TV links
http://www.nosubscriptionrequired.net/

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Pat

What?? No mention of boxee? It’s about to go public alpha on Jan 8th.

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Adam

If you Live in Engaland (and soon Europe) You can watch all freeview channels LIVE on
http://tvcatchup.com

Its not owned or operated by any UK Network, and is useing a loophole for freeview, great stuff I can not beleave Makeuseof has featured this website.

The channels currently Live, Free to anyone in UK:
BBC One, BBC Two, ITV 1, Channel 4, Five, ITV 2, Five US, E4, ITV 3, ITV 4, More 4, BBC Three, BBC Four, Dave, Fiver, Film 4, BBC News, CBBC

Adam

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Ryan

For those who want to watch Internet TV on a TV…

Here’s a how to (if interested):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-IryK4wsUM

I got sick of watching on my computer and paying $80 a month for stuff I could watch free on the net!

HTH some readers :)

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Topsy-Techie

We chucked our satellite about six months ago, and haven’t missed it a bit! One of the sites we use the most is VIP-TV.net. It isn’t completely free, but pretty close! I’ve struggled to find a good sports source, though, so thanks for the info on that!

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Cory

Nice article. I recently wrote a post on “how to watch on demand commercial free HDTV without cable” with some additional insights:

http://www.coryshaw.com/how-to-watch-commercial-free-hdtv-on-demand-without-cable/

Reply

j√Ę‚ā¨¬Ęmurg

Very helpful and informative article. Thanks for taking the time to research and share, Ryan.

– j√Ę‚ā¨¬Ęmurg

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finelliville

just go to ovguide.com they have links to everything known to man

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Jeremy Mordkoff

zeevee makes zviewer, a free firefox add-on that makes it easy to find and play internet video content

we also sell ZvBox, a device that attaches to your PC and lets you localcast your audio and video to all the HD TVs in your house over your existing Coax cables and RF remotes.

Reply

steadyboy

Hulu downloader can easily download Hulu video/tv shows/movies/web videos. Capturing Hulu web video automatically and downloads it while you continue surfing the web. Free download Hulu download.

Aibek

link ?

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Jocuri Miniclip

Great list.
(steadyboy) Can you post the link for the Hulu downloader ! I ‘ve been looking for one but no luck so far .

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steadyboy

It’s a bit of strange, i can’t post the link.

You can search “hulu downloader” in google search, you will see a site called mp4kits.com, which has that program.

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steadyboy

Hi Jocuri Miniclip, it’s a bit of strang i can’t post link sucessfully.

you can search “hulu downloader” in google, there is a site mp4kits dot com, which has that “hulu downloader” program. However, it is not free. So make sure you download for try first.

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Edwin

Hi, ever hear about zangocash? This site legit? Ever heard their program is contains spyware? many thanks.

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Ryan Dube

Hi Edwin, thanks for your comment. Yeah, yahoo and McAfee both report that the site has spyware, adware, and other “malicious” ads running. I’d avoid it..

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Ryan Dube

Thanks. I have to say that Hulu and Sling are, by far, my favorite for movies. But I agree, when I want to watch sports online I always turn to MyP2P too. Thanks for your comment!

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chad

You Rock !! thanks a lot for the GOOD INFO everything was just like you said!!

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Jeremy Jacobs

innerlive.com is not allowing new people to register, and you can’t contact them either.

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ninja

ninjavideo.net for Divx quality tv shows. New episodes updated every day

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Garth

Useful atricle…. movies and tv on the web are here to stay.
Here’s a collection of free movies/tv sites:
MovieSwamp.com

Here’s a firefox addon that online movie watchers might find useful ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/11037 )

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kevinms

I register Graboid via CJ but my application disapproved…. and state refused by Graboid… is there anyone can help solve my problem?

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Henry

My friend recommended the World’s #1 video Downloader for Web Video & TV called RipTiger:

Capture, download and convert popular web video formats, like hulu video, youtube video and almost all other sites.

It saves video to your computer as soon as you start watching. It captures web video automatically and downloads it while you continue surfing the web. All downloads are saved to your download folder so you can change file names, convert web video to other formats and enjoy your video.

kevinms

Henry √Ę‚ā¨‚Äú thanks for your comment..

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Scott

How can I use these sites overseas? I’ve heard of people using ISP blockers. What’s out there I can use?

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yhuu

100 % scam tom nd jerry is on nick according to that picture lol

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Chris

Hii

I watch TV channels from USA, UK and Europe on Youweb.TV :

youweb.tv/en/index.html

CNN, ABC, NBC, FOX… sports, movies… for free without any software or submission needed.

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David

What?? The “TVChannelsFree” site you mentioned asks for my CELL NUMBER. Instant fraud site alert!

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Dave

Yeah, TVChannelsFree asks for your cell number then in the fine print says you agree to pay 10 dollars a month. Maybe it wasn’t a scam when this article was written, but it looks like it is now.

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JOhn

limited30.etvcorp.hop.clickbank.net

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kevinms

just go to freewactchtvpro.com……i personally like it….

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James

Hey guys the best place to find a tv on pc software is http://www.gettvoncomputer.com. I used them and I cancelled my cable bill. I get all the football games and tv shows I’ve always wanted.

Reply

Dj23

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Pablo666

This is the best streaming site-3500 channels in HD for one time small fee:-

http://snipurl.com/net.tv2009

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leechy

a excellent site i use is
http://www.dwi-tv.com

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J

What I find frustrating is the shows freezing a lot. Fancast, Hulu, IMDB. It seems that it is mostly CBS shows but it happens a lot. Is that internet connection or pc issues? Could it be the site lagging from users?

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Jason

Thank you so much for this! I’ve been looking everywhere for a way to watch television and the first option, Sling, works great!

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