Watching TV Online

There are three ways to watch TV online, pay for it, watch if for free legally or watch it for free illegally. The latter shouldn’t be an option, and there are very stiff penalties when you are caught.

You can watch whatever you like if you are prepared to pay. Most ISP bundles offer TV packages, upgradeable with additional programs. However, if you would like to catch up on a program, there are many old episodes only at no charge.

Firstly, establish what you would like to watch. Is it films, sport, TV shows, or just an impressive selection of TV channels. How much can you afford? Remember, you get what you pay for. Do you want to get your phone, TV and broadband service in one ISP bundle? This is convenient and saves on costs, but sometimes it will tie you into a lengthy contract.

If cost isn’t a factor, and you want a full bundle, then the big companies are the obvious choices. They offer the widest range of inclusive channels and great sports option. But then, all providers seem to offer a staggering number of TV on-demand services and channels. Dedicated sports channels are available from other providers, but it’s best to check that the channels you want are included in the bundle. For example, some companies don’t offer specific channels, due to costs.

Then there is the option of a dedicated TV, unique to particular providers, but this option only allows you to rent shows, you cannot own them outright. Many reviewers like the quality, the streamlined design and the simple setup of this type of offering, but the limited selection in a no-no.

Watching TV Online

The major contenders (like Netflix or Amazon) have a huge variety of shows and some have become an industry leader in the 20 years that the medium has been around. With massive libraries and subscriber bases in the millions, they probably rate as the most successful of them all. Original and exclusive content with too many categories of programming to list, fantastic customer service, ease of use plus great value for money all adds up to well-earned reputations. The only place that some of them fall down is the availability of the most current series season. In some cases, you may have to wait up to 10 months to view the latest and greatest.

On the other hand, smaller companies offer many current TV programs within a week of the premiere. They also add a fortune’s worth of imported and art-house films and anime movies and series. Be prepared, though, the odd advert will creep in and sometimes the quality isn’t up-to-scratch, but many of them are negotiating for live premieres and a larger stable of shows.

Some providers are only available if you have their phone and broadband. They offer basic TV and premium TV Plus packages, both inclusive of a free set-top box, which will give you access to catch-up and on-demand services. And you get the option to purchase major sports and movie channels from other suppliers on a month-to-month basis.

Set-top boxes often have the ability to record up to 180 hours of content in standard definition and many include up to 30 extra channels.

The top of the pops for sports viewers, competition is creeping in for the ability to offer the major sports channels. Everyone wants to watch their sport live, and some streaming sites offer real-time viewing. Plus, the added 80+ channels that come included with the top-of-the-range premium offerings. Set-top boxes with the ability to allow 300 hours of recordings and catch-up for a weeks’ worth of programes are becoming the norm. You can pause, rewind and replay live TV, to make time to pop into the kitchen for a cup of tea. And one of the best ideas yet, add-ons such as movie and sports channels can be bolted on to the product.

Uniquely, and most cost effective is a low-cost streaming alternative to broadcast with both live TV streaming and up-to-date movies. Divided into three sections – sports, TV content and movies, plus live channel streams, the choice of content is huge. Proving to offer more flexibility than a satellite subscription, you can pay for a day’s viewing in some cases, a better option for those not wanting to get tied into a contract.