So, I’ve had this conversation many times in the last month:
Them, walking into my house: “Hey, your living room doesn’t have a TV. Where’s your TV?”
Me: “In the guest room. We don’t use it much–we canceled cable two years ago.”
Them: “Wha…?!? But then how do you watch (insert random tv show here).”
I then go into a brief explanation of how to watch TV online, and it’s super awesome because I can see whatever I want whenever I want, and I can watch in every room in the house. Neat and fun for me!
Anyhow, the inevitable next question is “Where?” and that takes a heck of a lot longer to answer, so I’ve been telling people I’d write a blog about it. Now that I’ve told a bunch of people that, though, I sure as hell better write a blog about it, now shouldn’t I? Here I go!
Yep, I watch TV exclusively online (even when someone is actually watching TV on an actual TV–that way I don’t have to watch baseball or something stupid. I’m so sneaky!) How do I do it? Sheer force of will! And I’ve spent a lot of time looking for all the shows I want to watch. Here’s the list of places I watch, along with the good and bad points of each:
Like most network sites, this has both full episodes and clips. I hate just watching clips, so if you scroll to the bottom of this page, you’ll see a list of full episodes.
ABC likes to bill itself as the first network to offer full episodes online. They have a special episode player, but I’ve found the player is kind of sketchy on my Mac. It works just fine on Vista, though, so as long as you have a PC this will work just fine.
Different from ABC, this has shows for tweens, I think. I don’t care, I love Gilmore Girls. This is another site that has both clips and full episodes, so you have to make sure you click on the full episodes.
They’ve got a bunch of stuff on here, including Family Guy, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Venture Brothers (Go team venture!), Frisky Dingo, and Metalocalypse. There’s a bunch of others that I don’t really watch, but may start. Oh, and Ben! They have Boondocks!
This is getting a lot of press lately since it just signed Whitney Port (of “The Hills” and “The City” fame) to star in its newest scripted series. They only have a few show up now, but I’m thinking this may be the wave of the future. I’ll see if I can’t get into it!
So this is one of those iffy ones–the sites above all have commercials that are incorporated into the show. This site searches a bunch of different sites that stream video and lists the particular shows. These don’t have commercials, which is usually a sign that it’s not so legal. That and the fact that sometimes a link is down with a “copyright take down” notice. But whatever. I can usually find any show I want on here, though, and that rules. Just don’t click “yes” on any pop ups–that’ll install something stupid on your computer.
Amazon has just come up with a video on demand service that allows you to download various shows and movies for a small fee (or free for some of them! At the moment you can watch the Walking Dead for free!). You can also sign up for season passes and pre-order shows and movies. There are also some rumors about a ad-driven service that Amazon may offer to its Amazon Prime members, but there’s nothing substantive about that information yet.
America’s Test Kitchen
This is EASILY my favorite cooking show…who knew I could watch episodes online?!? Best day! They’ve got 10 full seasons of the show up, without commercial breaks. I could spend days watching this, I tell you!
During the writer’s strike, a bunch of actors started doing online work (that was part of the reason for the strike, after all). This site is part of that movement, and has a bunch of original programming.
Oh, Bravo. When will companies learn that being bitchy about content just makes me not want to watch it? Bravo currently has 5 episodes (count them, 5!) from their shows up. Sigh. Here I am, wanting to support their advertisers, but they just won’t let me! Maybe they’ll get better.
There are sites like this popping up everywhere at the moment! This is another site that trolls tv streaming pages and collects the videos. What’s new about this one, is it includes things like Amazon TV, where you can pay to download episodes. It has a lot of free content as well, but if you want to keep a copy of an especially good episode, you could find where to get it here, legally.
The network site has a lot of clips, but only a few full episodes, but they tend to be the newest or most popular episodes. Besides, CBS makes their shows available to other sites like Hulu.com or YouTube, so I reward them by going to their site and clicking on ad links and such. They’re shows include NCIS (usually the last two or three episodes), Jericho, The Unit, CSI (and all the spin offs–just don’t let me catch you watching CSI Miami! That show blows goats), The Mentalist (a sad rip off of Psych, I think. Watch the original instead), The Price is Right, and several soaps. They also have short clips from all their shows, but I only like to watch full episodes, so I won’t list them here.
This is a site that rotates horror tv shows, movies, and web-exclusive content including the Eyegore Awards. They don’t have a stable list of things, but it’s fun to check back and see what’s up.
Country Music Television
CMT has turned to a lot of reality shows, and most of them are available here. You can watch Hulk Hogan’s Championship Wrestling, My Big Redneck Wedding 2, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team 3 (Yep, I’ve watched all three seasons. What?), Gone Country 2, Outsiders Inn, Redneck Dreams (this sounds intriguing…), Made in America, Mobile Home Disaster, Trick My Truck, The Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search (this isn’t such a good show, and I keep trying to like it. Just fair warning), and I Want to Look Like a High School Cheerleader Again.
MSNBC has a lot of content online, but I only like watching the Rachel Maddow show. The new episodes are usually up by 8 pm every evening, and you can watch the whole show or just certain portions.
Sony Pictures owns this site, and is currently trying turn this into something cool. At the moment it has some stuff on it, but they’re trying to get more classic TV episodes and movies soon. Keep checking back if you don’t see anything you like.
This is a pretty good site for watching TV, and they have a good number of shows. The only problem is they put up shows a few days after they air, so you have to be careful if you don’t want to be spoiled. But not really that big of a deal. Besides, new 90210! Also: Stylista (it’s a pretty good reality show about people trying to work at some magazine), the new 90210, Gossip Girl, Privileged, One Tree Hilll, America’s Next Top Model, Smallville, Supernatural, Everybody Hates Chris, The Game, Easy Money, Valentine, The Harms Way, 4Real, and Reaper.
Discover, TLC, Animal Planet
These three are together because the networks are owned by the same group and all three share a full episode player. They have a pretty good list of shows, but they all have an expiration date.
I found this through HGTV, and just spent an evening watching Sweat Equity. There are a bunch of full episodes on this page, and they seem to be rotating all the time.
This is a site powered by SciFi that does reviews on tech products and whatnot. They have some good episodes, and keep them all archived.
This is a fan driven site where people upload various episodes. It’s not my first stop to try and find something to watch, but it does have a lot of video, so I tend to just browse here when I’m bored.
Fine Living Network
While this doesn’t have all their shows (Mom just told me about a Martha Stewart one that I want to see. Maybe this will be put up soon). At them moment, FLN has Any Given Latitude, Travel in High Definition, We Live Here, What’s Your Time Worth, Real Estate Confidential, Shopping With Chefs, All-Girl Getaways, Cool Kids’ Parties, Great Cocktails, and Fine Living Specials.
I think Fox is one of the better sites on which to watch episodes. They seem to have a bunch of stuff up, and I haven’t noticed any expiration dates yet. They also have clips up, but, like I said, I don’t watch them. They are currently playing American Dad, America’s Most Wanted, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, Bones, Cops, Family Guy, Fringe, Hell’s Kitchen, Hole in the Wall (a funny concept, but a boring show to watch for too long), House, King of the Hill, Kitchen Nightmares, MADtv, The Moment of Truth, Prison Break, The Simpsons, TalkShow with Spike Feresten, Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles, ’til Death
I don’t think all of their shows are up, but most of them are, which makes all the difference. Right now, they play It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Sons of Anarchy, Testees, and 30 Days
GAC (Great American Country)
You can watch new country music videos here. Of course, you can do that at Launchcast (which is Yahoo’s music site) too.
For those of you who want to catch up on Gossip Girl, this site streams all the episodes from all the seasons from a variety of sites. Some get take down notices, but I’ve been able to watch most of the seasons so far without any trouble. The newest episodes are on CW, which has a much better quality.
HGTV is also a great place for watching shows. They don’t have all their content, but what they do have is good quality and never expires. I caught up on a lot of different shows. They currently have: Color Splash, Curb Appeal, Design Star (all 3 seasons), Designed to Sell, Gardening by the Yard, Ground Breakers, HGTV Dream Home, Hidden Potential, House Hunters, House Hunters Int’l, My First Place, My House is Worth What?, Miles of Style, National Open House, Over Your Head, Property Virgins, Red Hot and Green, Rate My Space, Sleep on It, Spice Up My Kitchen, Summer Showdown, and The Stagers
Hulu is the (in my opinion) the end-all-be-all of TV sites. They have contracts with many of the major networks, which means episodes are uploaded quickly and are of great quality. They also have movies and clips from a bunch of different shows. What I really like about them is you can list the shows and filter by full episode, have an alphabetical list of all the shows, have a list by most recently added, or search for anything you like. It’s a very easy site to use and watch, and it’s the first one I turn to every day.
The Internet Archive is noted for it’s collection of old websites, and now has begun to collect moving images, including movies, television shows, commercials, and propaganda films. Joy!
Joost really wants to be like Hulu, but just fell short. I think they tried to focus on the social networking aspect of TV watching–you can create a profile and share your favorite videos with your friends, which would be a nice thing to do…that is, if the rest of Joost was any good. The biggest problem I have is there’s no way to filter by full episode, so if I want to find a full episode of any show I have to manually go though all their listings and find the one that has the right length. Their search function is sketchy as well, and only sometimes pulls up what I want to see. I think they put so much effort into the MySpace-esque aspect of the site that all the rest fell by the wayside. Perhaps if they had made it a good TV site first and a friend site second things would have worked. I keep it on my list in hopes that it will get better, because I’d really like to share good shows with other TV lovers (Earl!). Leave it off your list for now, though, unless you want to take hours finding something to watch. If so, add me as your friend and tell me what you find!
Once again, this is a place where actors could go to do independent projects. Lisa Kudrow just launched a series on here that is pretty good. The site is all original content, and a lot of it is very engaging.
This has a limited number of full episodes and movies to offer, but it’s better than nothing at times. Besides, it has a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Neat!
Most all of MTV’s shows are online now, and put up pretty much right when the shows air live. Sometimes their player is a bit sketchy–for a few weeks there it kept trying to install cookies on my computer, but eventually that went away. Never let these sites install anything! Stupid sites. They’ve also recently started taking down episodes until after the season is over. So annoying! Maybe I’ll start downloading the shows out of spite.
My Easy TV
I really haven’t explored this very much, but it looks like a pretty comprehensive list of online TV resources. I’ll have to spend a few hours and see how it all works eventually, but I’m looking forward to doing that.
Most of NBC’s stuff is on Hulu, which is where I tend to watch it, but sometimes they have exclusive stuff on their own site. I check it every once in a while just to make sure I’m not missing anything.
This is an original programming site that includes a show by Amy Pohler of Saturday Night Live fame. They’re getting more and more content, so I think I’ll have to make them one of my regular stops.
From what I can tell, they have most PBS shows in full length up. They are working on getting all content up, but the site is still in beta. I’m expecting that they will have a really great site soon. I’ve spent a few days catching up on NOVA, so I haven’t watched much else, but I will very, very soon. Go public television!
Project Free TV
This looks a lot like Alluc.org or one of those others, and they seem to have most of the shows I can’t find on Hulu. Yay!
Reality TV Fan
I’ve noticed that some reality shows aren’t up online (it was really hard to find Project Runway there for awhile) and this site captures and posts them the same night they are broadcast. The shows are broken up into 10 minute clips, though, so that can be a bit tedious for general watching. I like the site, though, and I’m able to watch all the best reality shows right on time. This is my second stop after Hulu.
The Research Channel
This is pre-taped lectures on various subjects. You can watch the lectures, or just listen to the audio. Some pretty interesting stuff here!
I just found this online-only tv station while surfing my RSS feeds. They have the normal jumble of “what’s new/cool/funny/embarrassing online!” type of content, but also specialize in original shows that are only streamed through the site. I’m starting to follow more and more of these types of shows, and this looks like a great place.
Not all their shows are up here, but there are a few good ones, and every once in a while they’ll feature a fantastically bad movie. That’s always good for a laugh. They are currently playing Santuary, Ghost Hunters, Scare Tactics, Destination Truth, Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, and Ghost Hunters International.
Not much here yet, but it promises to get better. At the moment they’re playing Kojak, Miami Vice (yep, that one), and Simon & Simon.
This site is a lot like Hulu (my current fave), and offers a nice selection of TV and film.
This was big news when it came out, and it is as awesome as it sounds. Everything’s there! Never miss an episode! Wooo!
About half of their network content is up on the website, but it’s pretty good quality. As soon you click to the page an ad starts playing all loud, though, which is super annoying. At the moment, they have full episodes of 1000 Ways to Die, DEA, Factory, Game Trailers TV, I Bet You Will, Manswers, Murder, Pros vs. Joes, and Real Vice Cps Uncut.
I dunno–they say they have full episodes up, but they way they have them broken up is weird. I’m hoping they get it turned around soon, although I must admit I’m not missing much. They don’t have too many good things up that I can’t get elsewhere: 10 Items or Less, Frank TV, The Bill Engvall Show, My Boys, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Seinfeld, Just Shoot Me, Married with Children, and Blue Collar Comedy: the Next Generation.
This only has a few shows up, but may add more. At the moment, they have Raising the Bar, Charmed, and Angel, as well as Full-Length Movies.
With new original programming and a larger line up of ” classic” shows (i.e. shows from the 80s), TV land has become a force to be reckoned with.
This is another amalgamation site that has a lot of different shows. I include it on my list because it has a bunch of the British shows I can’t seem to find anywhere else. Be careful, though…some of the shows come with a pop up that will install crap on your computer.
This network only has 5 shows up, and they’re all the first season (Starter Wife, Dr. Steve-O, Burn Notice, Psych, and Monk). I’m pretty sure you can also get all of them on Hulu, but whatever. Reward the network!
I haven’t explored this one much, but it seems like they just have the latest episodes of some of their shows, along with clips from others. If I ever get into these shows, I’ll have to find them on another source probably. This is a good way to find out what shows are out there, though.
There are a lot of full episodes on Yahoo, but there seems to be nothing unique about this site versus all the others. You might find something you like here, though.
Well, that’s it (so far). I left off some of the networks that I just don’t care fore (Nick and TV land spring to mind) but if you like those, I think they show full episodes. If you know of any I left off my list, let me know!
Update: So I’ve found some more places to watch–as I find more and more I’ll add them to the bottom here.
Found this one when I was looking for a place to watch Trailer Park Boys online. They seem to have a bunch of things listed, including movies, which is always a nice source to have.
Just found this one. It specializes in horror stuff, and you can watch lots of clips and trailers, as well as full episodes of some sort of horror genre show,. They also have a few free movies (including Leprechaun 5: In the Hood. Oh yes, they made that) all of which look B-tastic and horrible. I’ll happily watch! Well, I’ll happily watch with the lights on, in the middle of the day, and then sleep with my headphones playing Disney music, but whatever.
Apparently CBS has owned the rights to TV.com for awhile, and now they’re finally doing something with it. They are attempting to rival Hulu.com by making deals with several pay networks (HBO, Showtime, etc) for their shows, and using TV.com to post many CBS shows, as well. Given that CBS is notorious for not putting their stuff up online, I’m rather excited by the prospect. At the moment, it just seems to be an amalgamation of clips and episodes, with no real way to sort them effectively (I’m very fond of Hulu’s “new video” sort in the full episodes group. That way I can find the newest episodes, which I know are full episodes. This doesn’t do that yet). They aren’t going to be fully opperational for a bit, though, so maybe it’ll get better.
This is a free documentary site–they have small and big budget things (such as Super Size Me) all streaming, for free. W00t!
A 24 hour world news site, which covers everything from politics to science from an international standpoint.
Asian Horror Movies
Just found this site, and it’s exactly like the title says–a long list of Asian horror movies. If you’re into that, this is the place for you! (I’m looking at you, Ivan!)
This is a great site for Anime, if you’re into it (or want to get into it). I may try one of these days…who knows?
Free video lectures on a variety of subjects, from many prestigious universities. Awesome!
Classic Cinema Online
This site has lots of old movies, and uses the time of year to feature several centered around a theme. I can’t wait until Christmas to see what old-timey Christmas movies I can discover!
I just found this site by following the epic Felicia Day on Twitter. This has original comic content, and hosts episodes of The Guild! (Fabulous if you know anyone who plays online games). Gonna have to spend an evening catching up on these new finds.
Whose Line Is It Anyway
This is a site with all of the Whose line episodes, USA and British, for free with no pop ups. Thanks whomever did that !!
This is a good SciFi page–lots of interesting original programming, and it looks like you can watch most of it online. Hurray!