How to watch free internet television
So you want to watch something but you haven’t got the DVD and it is not on TV right now? Fancy watching what you want for free and right now? Thankfully the internet is a wondrous place and comes to your rescue.
There are a plethora of sites out there on the World Wide Web that enable you to watch just about any program or movie you can think of. I recently took a trip down memory lane and watch some of the kids programs I grew up with… did I mention the Internet is awesome? Anyway enough about me; as with “steaming web media with a Wii” this article is not aimed at telling you how to steam media but is intended to help you find the thing you want.
Before we get started there are a few things to keep in mind when finding your videos on the internet:
- Several of the videos are of low quality but you can find some real treasures out there so don’t get disheartened just keep looking.
- Depending on your bandwidth and internet provider, videos can take a little while to download so be patient, but remember you don’t have to wait for it to be fully downloaded when streaming before you can start watching.
- The DivX player has a neat feature. When it streams it saves the video on your hard drive in the folder “DivX MoviesTemporary Downloaded Files”. The file will have an extension of .part, just rename the file extension to .avi and you can play the movie on your machine without accessing the internet. This is particularly useful if the video is in a foreign language because you can download the subtitles from sites like OpenSubtitles and SubScene. Once you have the video and subtitles downloaded just rename the subtitles to have the same name as the video and then play the video. As long as you have something like DirectVobSub installed you will see the subtitles.
- If all else fails google is your friend. Try typing “watch online” where you replace [video with the thing you want to watch. Or if you are feeling adventurous you can use a combination of advanced search operators that specify video files available in an Apache directory listing to find video files on servers. Try this search for videos related to James Bond: –inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:”index of” +”last modified” +”parent directory” +description +size +(mpg|avi) “james bond”.
TV CHANNEL SITES
There are a growing number television channels which are making their TV programs available online. Can I hear a hurrah?
One problem with these official sites is that they often restrict usage to particular countries, such as Hulu below which requires you to be located in the US. There are ways around this so if you are an American visiting the UK never fear because you can us a proxy such as Hotspot Shield which will make it appear like you are accessing the internet from America.
For all those based in the United States (and those using a proxy), here is a treat for you. Hulu is an awesome site which brings together media from several different sites. With Hulu you have access to content from Fox, NBC, Warner Bros. TV, and over 15 cable networks (Bravo, E! Entertainment, USA, and more). The site has licensing deals with Fox, MGM, Sony, Universal, Lionsgate movie studios; as well as the NBA, and NHL.
Hulu brings you a wide variety of full-length episodes, popular video clips, and even a few full-length movies which are easy to search and play. One downside except for only being accessible to the US is that some of the content has adverts, but that is only a minor issue when you think of what you are getting in return.
Moving onto the awesomeness that is the BBC iPlayer. With this beauty you can watch BBC programs or listen to BBC radio online for free. In my opinion the iPlayer has gone from strength to strength and the video quality is superb. In the past the BBC iPlayer only kept programs on the site for 7 days but it seems that some programs are being kept online for longer now.
We could carry on listing all the television channels and their corresponding website but that would bore us and you, so if there is a program on a particular channel which you like just do quick search for the channel and chances are it will have a catch up section which will enable you to watch the desired program. If not then don’t worry, just keep on reading this article because there are plenty of ways to get around such problems.
LINK INDEX SITES
The websites that fit into this area do not host videos themselves but instead amass a huge resource of links to other sites which do host the videos. These sites are invaluable to the watcher of free media. Here are three of the best on the web.
Surf The Channel has a small ambition in life: “indexing “all videos, everywhere” and listing them in easy to navigate pages”. And I have to say they are doing a great job. Surf The Channel have got several categories to choose from and also have a leaderboard of video sites that makes it a doddle to find new video sources.
AllUC is similar to Surf The Channel, if you can’t find the video you want on one try the other. The videos are split into: cartoons, TV-shows, anime, movies, music videos, sports videos, and documentaries. The videos are rated so you can see which ones are good or not and the links are regularly checked to make sure they are still working.
Kumby is a specialised link site which focuses on links to anime series and anime movies. Personal favourite of mine, this site is great for all those who love anime and can’t wait to download them using torrents.
Online Theatre & Digital Jukebox is not nice to look at and is badly designed, but if you can get past that it has a whole load of movie links which will keep you entertained for days. A nice touch to the site is the descriptions of the movies as well as the links to actually view the movie.
VIDEO HOST SITES
Everyone is familiar with this type of video site; if you have not heard of YouTube by now then you are in for a real treat. I had to mention YouTube because it is so big and well know but there are others out there which rival this giant.
Guga for example has a huge selection of TV and movies, yet is virtually unheard of compared to YouTube. Guga has fast speeds and excellent quality (far better than the one I have already named three times).
Tudou is huge over in China, moving more than 1 Petabyte of video every day. This is a great site with fast download speeds and because it is in Chinese you will find videos which are deleted off other sites are not deleted off Tudou. The downside is it is in Chinese so use sites like Surf The Channel to find the videos.
Megavideo allows large video file size upload so movies and TV programs are generally in one piece rather than split into multiple bits. Megavideo is known for good quality and fast loading times. Like Tudou, videos tend to stay on the site because there is virtually no moderation done.
Whatever way you choose to watch your programs and movies I hope you enjoy the free resources of the Internet. If you have any other links please share them and post a comment below.