A guide for how to watch TV online, both live and recorded, from both basic and premium cable channels, for free.
With consumers facing tighter household budgets these days, pricey subscription cable packages have been among the first things to go. Known as “cord cutting,” consumers drop their cable provider and seek out alternative TV viewing options. Among the option are free over-the-air TV, Netflix, iTunes, and physical DVDs.
Each has their own drawback, a combination of price and selection. What many are unaware of, however is that there exists another option: Free online TV streaming.
The Internet has made it easier than ever before for people to put content online. When it comes to live sporting events, for example it can be as simple as a guy in Cleveland pointing a webcam at his TV, or as complex as as guy in Paris retransmitting a quality NFL Network signal.
TV broadcasts are no longer limited by arbitrary geographical or financial considerations.
So where can you watch TV online for free? Here’s a list of some of my favorite sites.
TVPC is hands down my favorite of the bunch. It has just about every TV channel you can think of, both from here and abroad. Want to watch Danish news? Check. Puerto Rican telenovelas? Check.
When it comes down to US programming the selection is unmatched. For starters it has the following: ESPN, Cinemax, Fox News, FX, HBO, History Channel, Showtime, and Fox News.
It has a channel guaranteed to suit everybody’s tastes.
Downside? It’s live TV so you can’t make up missed shows.
Hulu is a free streaming site that has been around for several years now. It contains a healthy mix of free TV shows and movies to watch.
You can check out shows like Glee, SNL, The Daily Show, The Office, and Body of Proof.
Downside? The selection isn’t stunning, and the shows are ad-supported (for $7.99 a month you can upgrade to Hulu Plus and get access to more shows and movies with less ads).
Streamkick is a collection of live streaming TV links.
It has links for news channels (Fox, Al Jazeera, Sky News, etc.), movies, business (MSNBC, Bloomberg), entertainment (History Channel), and best of all – local.
Downsides? Live TV streaming content, and thin content selection.
Project – Free TV is of the old on-demand video streaming site ilk that links to uploaded videos hosted on third-party sites (usually China-based).
It basically has a long list of links to various TV shows that users can watch wherever and whenever you want.
Project – Free TV has one of the better selections out there, offering episodes from The Walking Dead, Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and The Big Bang Theory.
One of the better features that sets it apart is the calendar display. You can check each day for links to your favorite show or perhaps others that family or friends have suggested you watch.
Now I’ve already mentioned how you can watch NFL games for free on this site, but many aren’t aware that WiziWig also helps facilitate a whole range of other live sporting events.
You can watch tennis, football, soccer, golf, hockey, rugby, baseball, cricket, cycling, motorsports (NASCAR), basketball, UFC, volleyball, table tennis, horse racing, and the list goes on and on.
Downside? It only offers live sports programming, though it promises live TV “coming soon.”
Every major TV broadcaster long ago decided that it needed to compete with people providing its content online for free, putting a healthy mix of new and old TV shows online (ad-supported of course).
NBC offers newer shows like Parks and Recreation alongside old school shows like Battlestar Galactica (the original one).
CBS offers full episodes of shows like 60 Minutes, The Big Bang Theory, and all the CSIs.
ABC has a collection of its hits like Dancing With the Stars, Revenge, Grey’s Anatomy, and Modern Family.
Fox has some of its hit shows available like House, American Dad, Glee, and Terra Nova to name a few.
The CW rounds out the selection with videos of popular shows like Arrow, Supernatural, the Vampire Diaries.
Downside? They’re ad-supported and shows are limited to the newer episodes.
Crackle has a stunning selection of both movies AND TV shows that is guaranteed to have something that please everyone. From the 3 Stooges to movies like “30 Days of Night,” Crackle has wide variety of stuff to watch.
Flixster doesn’t have nearly the selection that Crackle does, but it does have FREE MOVIES along with some free TV shows as well.
TV.com is another site full of streaming TV episodes for you to enjoy.
Rounding out the list is a place to watch LIVE SPORTS! From baseball to basketball, from cricket to NACAR, WiziWig has it all.
It’s that easy.
[email protected] | @jaredmoya