Couch Surfing the Web

Fed up with the cable experience, The Grouse aims his remote Webward

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.