While cable and network television are the traditional venues for watching your favorite television shows, the advances in technology, especially the Internet, has made watching programs online widely available to anyone with an Internet connection.
The first step to watching television via the Internet is making sure your Internet provider offers high-speed and reliable connections. While dial-up or slower speeds are perfectly fine for typical web surfing, you’ll need a high-speed Internet connection to stream videos, movies and television shows.
For strictly watching television shows on your computer, all you need is reliable, high-speed Internet service and a computer. Many network and cable channels offer free streaming of their shows on their websites, while Hulu offers free streaming of a variety of current cable and network shows. The only catch is that you can’t watch the television shows live; however, the shows are typically available the next day. You can also stream movies and television shows on your computer via Amazon Instant Video and Netflix, which offer movies and television shows for a monthly subscription. Beyond these mainstream websites, many other sites offer streaming of television shows.
If you’d like to stream television shows through your television via the Internet, you can purchase a variety of devices such as Roku, Apple TV and Boxee. Each device is user-friendly and allows users to create favorite channels, such Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus, for easy selection and viewing. In addition to strictly Internet streaming devices, many gaming systems, televisions and Blu-ray players are Internet-streaming compatible. Some of these devices include Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, select Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Haier and VIZIO televisions and Blu-rays, WD TV media players and TiVo Premiere.
In addition to streaming television shows on your computer and television, you can also stream shows on compatible mobile devices, such as iPhones, iPads, iPod touch and Android smartphones. Most services, like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, allow users to share streaming across multiple devices, televisions or computers.
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