I don’t have cable, and I don’t want it. It’s too expensive, I don’t like the hassle that I get from them, and I havean internet connection, so I can pretty much get whatever shows I want without the commercials, and whatever I can’t find online I just rent and plug it into the DVD player. My children are not being indoctrinated with the advertising culture that surrounds and supports the cable television industry. and my wife and I spend more time talking and doing things together rather than being tempted to vegetate in front of the television.
So, here’s the rub. I like to watch television. Beneath all of the complaints that I have about the industry and the negative impact that it has on our society, I like to watch come good shows. My wife and I have watched Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Desperate Houswives, Heroes, and we are currently watching the first season of Prison Break. Relaxing after a long day with some ice cream and a great story is part of our routine. The question is, “What is the best, and most ethical, way for us to watch television?”
Many of us can remember a few years back when the music industry was clamoring that the digital download would spell the end of the major music labels. Bands like Metallica, representing the industry, went after fans for downloading their music (music that had more of a plagiarism feel to it, rather than piracy.) There was a media frenzy and some little girls arrested for downloading some Michael Jackson albums or something, and then Steve Jobs came along and innovated us out of our dilemma. Are we headed for the same fate with our television programs? Can’t we just be a little more innovative and avoid this whole piracy conspiracy debate? I want to watch a television show occasionally, I don’t want cable, and I have an internet connection and a computer that would support streaming video online. But, sadly, there are no good options out there for me. I can watch some of the recent shows on the commercials, Also, there are no archives of the shows available. I can’t watch season one of Lost. I have to watch the last five episodes, and then the network can take them down to keep viewers glued to their televisions. Can someone solve this for me? Is there anywhere that I can just watch whatever shows I want. whenever I want, and not have to deal with inline commercials?
Well, there are places, but they are not associated with the networks, and I have had people tell me that I am stealing by watching those shows. Here are some of the places where I watch television shows and movies online:
- sidereel.com – This is probably my favorite for television shows. It is clean and easy to navigate, and you can prety much watch whatever show you want. Is it legal? I don’t know, maybe not, but it is a better site than NBC.
- moviediva.blogspot.com – a great movie blog. The movies are updated regularly and the site is pretty easy to use. Many of the movies are pretty obviously pirated – you can see the folks in the front row of the theater occaisionally, so watch at you own discretion.
- hulu.com – this site is really nice and has clean links. It is a subscription service, so you will need to sign up for a password. It doesn’t cost anything, but it does take a little while to get your password. Also, this site typically has only the most recent shows, so many of them can be found on the network sites.
These are only a few, if you have any other sites, please leave them in the comments and I will check them out. Even these sites are not as good as renting the video from the video store and watching them on the DVD player. But that gets expensive. I think it is cheaper to get the episodes for a dollar on itunes, but you have to be proactive if your connection speeds are not top notch. You will want to start downloading your episodes well before you plan on watching them.
I don’t want to steal anything. I just want to watch television with my wife. I would gladly pay a monthly fee for a nice, clean, internet television package that would allow me to watch television shows on my computer easily and quickly. Does that exist? Ihave a hard time feeling anything for the plight of the network television industry.