- Entertainment and Media
10 Reasons to Watch TV on Your Computer and Why You No Longer Need A TV
There are a whole multitutude of reasons why I watch TV shows online on my PC. Sometimes I watch these TV shows online and sometimes I download them. It really depends if they are free or if I have to pay to watch the episodes. Regardless of whether I stream TV shows online or download them to my laptop, computer, iPad or iPod, I always strive to find legal ways to watch TV.
It's easy to catch up on a TV show you've missed by watching it online. You can usually do this free by visiting the official website of the TV show you missed. For example, if you missed The Lying Game on ABC Family you could check and see if the episode is available to watch. This can be done with many other networks such as NBC and TNT. These types of shows generally aren't available for a long time but they do tend to be free to watch. The only downside is there are likely to be adverts, but if you were watching TV in the traditional way you'd expect a few adverts.
You can use similar services in other countries too. For example, in the UK, if you missed a program on BBC and want to catch up then you can log onto BBC iplayer.
However, when you struggle to find the episode you are looking for, this way, it's generally not a problem. There are a number of places you can download an episode, for a small fee, such as on Amazon, iTunes, Netflix or Hulu.
Watching TV shows through Amazon, iTunes, Netflix and Hulu works a little differently. Amazon and iTunes work similarly in that you pay per episode or season. Prices tend to range from $1.99 to $2.99 depending on whether you wish to view in HD. It is quite common for the pilot episodes of new TV shows to be available through Amazon or iTunes free. You can save money by purchasing an Amazon TV Pass which gives you a 5% discount per episode purchased. This may sound small but if you buy a lot of episodes it does add up. You can also save money with iTunes in a similar manner.
Netflix works on a monthly fee basis and recently started supplying content for the UK and other countries. Now you can watch many of your favourite new US shows, that haven't aired yet in the UK, for less than £6 a month. This is something that Netflix has provided for American viewers for years, but has only managed to get international streaming rights in the last few months. Their monthly subscription prices are reasonable, especially when you consider the alternatives of paying for Cable or Satellite TV.
Hulu works in a similar format to Netflix and you can pay a monthly subscription of $7.99 for Hulu Plus. However, Hulu only has US streaming rights and is not available in other countries. If you try to use Hulu while in another country it will give you a message explaining that you have to be in the USA to watch through Hulu, but they do say that they are trying to get international streaming rights. So perhaps like Netflix, this may change soon.
To be honest, perhaps with all the options open to us nowadays it's more a question of why more people don't watch TV shows online? I simply find the benefits of watching TV online far outway sitting on my couch and zoning out in front of the box. After all, I can plug my laptop into the actual TV if everyone else wants to watch what I am watching or if I want to watch on a bigger screen.
Continue reading to find out the 10 reasons for watching TV on your computer, rather than the traditional method, and also to see how many of these benefits suit you.
Nothing to Watch on the Box
How often do you sit down and watch the latest rubbish on TV? I have to say that I don't even own a TV. Yes that might come as a surprise when you consider I write Hubs mainly about new TV shows.
When I talk to friends and family they talk about the Soaps they have watched and the repeated movie they saw the other night. They really find it strange that I don't have a Television and wonder why. The most prominent answer is because when there is a TV on I tend to find myself doing what everyone else is doing, and zoning out to the latest rubbish on the box. I hate wasting my time like that so I only watch TV online.
Watch What You Want When You Want
We want to watch our favourite TV shows when we want to watch them and not when cable companies decide we should watch. We live in the modern world where our lives are different now. Not all of us have jobs where we get up in the morning, head out to work and get home after 6pm. Many TV channels still work to the model of the average Joe and set their programming scheduling to suit the majority of viewers.This makes sense for the broadcaster but not for us as viewers all the time.
Who wants to be stuck watching the actual TV if it means there is a limited selection of TV shows to watch, especially during the day. Daytime TV is terrible and is aimed at the elderly and the really young, everyone else is assumed to be at school or working. Since a huge audience does not fall into neither of these brackets it's sometimes best to watch TV shows online. Seriously, shows about antiques and the Telly Tubbies are not always suitable viewing.
Pause, Rewind and Replay TV Shows
You can pause, rewind and replay a number of TV shows you have watched online. Yes, this is not exclusive to watching TV on your pc but it is easier. By watching on your laptop you don't need Tivo or a satellite box. You don't need to pay for a more expensive TV to have these options. You also don't have to record TV shows to be able to replay them or wait for it to be repeated. Most of these options involve buying some type of equipment such as a DVD player etc. Why waste your money on that when you can have these benefits by watching TV on your computer?
Never Have to Try and Find the Remote
One of the most annoying aspects of watching TV, in the traditional manner, is trying to find the remote control. It's so easy to lose the remote down the side of the sofa, under the table, in a magazine or the cat has been playing with it and has hidden it somewhere. I have experienced all of these issues and I never have that when watching TV shows on my computer, laptop, iPad or iPhone.
Watch New USA Released TV Shows Around The World
For those not living in the USA, it can be a frustrating wait to be able to see new American TV shows finally come to air on your TV. Many new TV series, or dramas, are first released in the USA, which can lead to weeks or months of waiting for a Broadcaster in your country to get the rights to air it.
Yes, this has improved over the years but it wasn't unheard of to have to wait 6 months to a year for a TV series to cross the Atlantic, to air in Europe. Many viewers were patiently waiting to watch the Heroes TV series that audiences were raving about online. It took over 6 months of waiting for European viewers to have the option of watching it on their TV screens. That was 4 years ago and now a number of TV shows are released around the world within a few weeks because they realize audiences will go online to view if it's not available in their country.
Falling Skies was a perfect example of this. Within 2 weeks of the Falling Skies pilot episode screening in the USA it was already being sold to view in the UK, Germany, France and many other European countries. Australia had to wait a few more weeks but within a month over 25 other countries had the ability to watch Falling Skies on their TV screens. Again, Netflix is great for watching new US television shows abroad.
TV Licensing Fees
In a number of countries there is a fee to watch TV at home.
In the UK, anyone with a television has to buy a TV license. There are various rules as to why you need to pay for this but as long as you don't have any equipment to receive live TV signals then you don't have to pay it, making a saving of £145 a year.
Save Money by Watching TV Shows Online
The best American produced TV shows are usually only available on fee paying channels. Large numbers of people mainly watch TV shows that come out weekly and normally range from 8 to 22 episodes. If you want to watch these TV shows then you are generally forced to buy a Cable TV subscription or pay for Satellite TV. You are then forced to add more and more premium channels in order to watch the actual shows you want to watch.
Of course, the TV shows I want to watch are on the most expensive packages and this could end up costing over $40 a month. If you're in a country that has a TV licensing fee, like the UK, then you'll also be forced to pay that too. You can't very well receive Cable or Satellite programs if you don't have the necessary equipment.
By watching TV online you can save a lot of money and hassle, like I do. Sure I still pay for programs but it's far cheaper for me to pay for a single episode at a time rather than pay a set monthly fee, regardless of what I watch.
Watch TV Anywhere
Watching TV on an actual Plasma or LCD TV can be limiting. However, another benefit of watching TV online or downloading an episode is the ability to watch it wherever you want. You can watch it on your laptop with some headphones and not disturb anyone. In this way, you could even watch TV in the library.
Bored while sitting on the toilet? Not any more when you can set up your iPad or iPod and watch TV while sitting on the toilet. Need to wait for ages to be seen in hospital, well now you can watch a show or two. Going on a bus trip or flight? You get the idea.
Also it can be great to have the choices of shows to watch on Cable or Satellite TV but then you can only watch those shows in your home. If you want to go abroad, or on holiday, then how will you watch your TV shows?
I mainly go to Europe on holiday and, apart form the news channels, most of them are in a foreign tongue. All I have to do is plug in my laptop and watch the shows I already downloaded before I left.
Do You Watch TV Shows Online or on Your Computer?
Please Not More News
Yes I appreciate that the news is important but I have to say it's one of my least favourite aspects of watching standard TV. Every hour, on at least one of the channels, there's a news program repeating the same news that was just reported the previous hour. Not to mention the multitude of actual channels that are simply 24 hour news channels. If I want to know the news I can load a news page on my PC and get it over with.
Also, I find the news so depressing and I prefer to avoid it. I really don't need to know most of it and it simply makes for inane gossip or talking points. Discussing the majority of the news stories will not change the world and most of them have little or no effect on my day to day life. Not all news is like that but slow news days are the worst.
Adverts in themselves are not that annoying. Having the odd advert interrupt your show can be helpful. It can allow you to get a drink, go to the bathroom or move around so your bum doesn't get numb. On the other hand, adverts can be annoying when they are a lot louder than the actual TV show you are watching. They want us to pay attention to the adverts but when they are so loud most people simply mute the channel until their TV show comes back on, or they decide to surf channels. However, I don't suffer from this loud effect when I watch TV shows online.
Generally, when watching TV shows online, there will be adverts but they are shorter and there tend to be less of them. Mostly, you will be forced to watch the ads and are unable to just skip right past them no matter how you try. However, you can still employ the tactics you would use while watching TV, of muting or doing something else.
Standard TV Versus Watching Online
Overall, I find the reasons for Watching TV online far out way watching TV in the traditional manner. It is generally cheaper, easier, more convienant and faster to watch TV series online. And if you follow the copyright rules and stay within the law, like me, then there's no risk either. You can continue to enjoy your viewing habits but have all the benefits of watching TV shows online, at your leisure.