Watching television shows via the internet is a relatively new practice. However, technology experts and analysts have long predicted the convergence of various entertainment media into a single, or a just a few, delivery channels. The primary benefit of watching television shows and movie via the internet is that the shows are available on-demand, meaning you can watch them anytime.
There are several downsides to watching TV online, including: a slow connection speed will result in a choppy, almost unwatchable video; you have to watch the movie on your computer monitor, rather than on a much larger television set; and at times you have to endure advertising messages embedded in the videos themselves.
Online television websites allow you to watch TV shows via your web browser using an internet connection. If you missed one of your favorite TV shows, odds are that one of these websites has the episode available.
Following are the most popular websites offering the capability to watch television online.
- Fancast.com – With Fancast, you can watch online the hits CSI: Miami, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, and plenty of other full-length TV series. You can also check out the latest movie trailers, clips, photos, news and reviews. And you can search for any movie and TV-related info you absolutely need at that moment.
- Hulu.com – Hulu is the online distribution service launched by NBC Universal and News Corp. (Fox). Hulu’s content can also be found on AOL, Fancast, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo. Episodes range from recent Fox and NBC shows to older series including Firefly, Kojak and Miami Vice. Videos can be sent via e-mail or embedded into personal websites.
- Joost.com – Joost is free TV with the choice to watch alone or with friends. Joost is packed with internet tools such as instant messaging and channel chat, allowing people to really share the TV experience. It’s a completely secure platform for content owners that respects their rights, while protecting and enhancing their brands. And it’s an incredibly flexible way for advertisers to reach a truly global audience, in ways that really work. Joost isn’t just video on the internet – it’s the next generation of television for viewers, content owners and advertisers everywhere.
- Veoh.com – Veoh is a Web site that’s headed for your TV. It’s also the name for a suite of applications for collecting, publishing, and watching a vast selection of video programming. Veoh is a diverse, virtual community of indie publishers coming together with their new audiences. And it’s also a few offices in Southern California full of entertainment industry insiders, outsiders, and technologists.
- MySpace.com/primetime – MySpace launched this website with full-length shows from NBC and Fox, plus classics such as Buck Rogers, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Kojak (“powered by Hulu”) and exclusive series such as Roommates.
- Television.AOL.com – Highlights full episodes from all major networks – ABC Network, CBS Network (CSI) Fox (The Simpsons), NBC (The Office) and displays a list of online TV shows.
- TV.com – TV.com allows you to watch your favorite shows, talk to other fans, read all the behind-the-scenes news, and just generally revel in the most up-to-date and complete TV site anywhere. Registration allows you to write reviews, participate in discussions, and contribute to show, episode and person guides.
- Yahoo (tv.yahoo.com) – Along with TV listings and news and features, the portal’s TV beta service has a list of 40 shows including 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica, Chuck, Heroes, House, Prison Break and The Simpsons.
- YouTube.com – Founded in February 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small.