With the new fall TV season currently kicking into warp speed, there's no time like the present to finally take the networks up on all those offers to "Check Out Full Episodes Online!" In fact, I'm willing to bet that there's enough network and cable TV available online for free (or just about) that with a little hard work, I could completely replace the traditional $50+ per month TV viewing paradigm with a 100-percent Internet (for which I pay next to nothing) experience.
So, I set out to do just that and the criteria of the experiment were as follows: I needed to find all of the programming I normally watch or record and it had to be full screen. I'd connect my laptop to my 32-inch LCD to replicate the 10-foot experience and I'd swear off of illegal downloading. I'd score freebies wherever possible, but allow myself to tap iTunes for stuff I couldn't find free.
The highs and lows of my experiment are here, but in short:
• The majors are light years ahead of cable networks in terms of online offerings.
• Hulu is the future—but the future hasn't quite arrived.
• This week's CBS/YouTube joint venture was an exercise in publicity and nothing more.
• Live news and sporting events are a no-go.
• The 10-foot experience is good but not great.
Launch the full overview, here.
I agree that Hulu is fantastic, but has one major problem like many of the sites mentioned: they only work in America. this is extremely annoying and more-than-slightly insulting. I just started watching Heroes, but after trying and failing to find a Europe-friendly website that had good quality and working episodes, I gave up and paid 35 euros ( give or take 50 dollars) for the DVD box set of season 1.
when did the World Wide Web become.... not WorldWide?
Also, I hate for waiting for videos to load. I think I'll stick with my tv and Sky+ for now
I will say that I prefer the way adds are taken care of on ABC, where you have to click to start the show up again. I despise commercials, even though I concede they are a necessary evil, and as soon as an add starts on ABC online, I can get up and go do something else (get the chips, let the dog out) and not have to worry about missing any part of the show. I can start it up again when I'm ready. This makes it much easier to ignore the adds, even though it is a tad annoying if you just want to sit back and watch and don't care about the adds.
I have lived cable and satellite free for over a 1 1/2 years . I do not miss any commercials or any shows . plus some sites allow you to download the show . i generate files and watch the hole season at once. ever major network ( abc, nbc, cbs , fox , cw , and streaming sites hulu and joost ) you'll never miss your cable bill.