Watching TV online is a convenient alternative to the traditional, static method of sitting on the couch in front of the television set and being glued to the spot in case you miss something. With watching TV online, you have much more mobility, as you can watch your TV programs from just about any device, be it laptop, PC, phone or tablet.
Perhaps one of the most enticing options for online TV is that you are not limited to the small selection of shows available on cable at any certain time. You can watch shows from channels you aren’t subscribed to via cable, and you can easily catch up on shows that you’ve missed because of time constraints, electronic problems, or just inconvenient scheduling. You can watch TV whenever you have the time, and you can watch old programs as well as new ones.
You can also pause the program you are watching for short interruptions, like if you need to get a snack, without missing something. Since online TV is mobile, you can also take it with you for multitasking purposes.
Another benefit to watching TV online is that you don’t have to pay those costly cable or satellite bills. All you need is a device that connects to the internet, and a relatively good internet connection. Even in cases where you pay to view online TV shows, you are paying for what you want, and not a bundle that includes channels that you don’t want to watch. There are many free options available, though. However, these options tend to be more restrictive.
Many channels that offer their TV programs online free will only offer an episode at a time, and then only for a week before it’s locked. Many also restrict viewers based on location, with some shows only being available in the US or Canada. Still other channels, like Global, require that you already be a cable subscriber in order to gain access to their online content.
Watching TV online also takes up bandwidth, meaning it is difficult to use the internet for multiple things without the connection becoming subject to slowness or jerkiness. In addition, many sites that offer shows from a variety of channels are illegal pirating sites that are riddled with annoying popups that put you at risk of viruses and malware that can be very expensive to fix.
Being restricted to the internet also means that watching TV online limits you to devices that connect to the internet. In order to watch those programs on your big screen TV you will need to connect your computer to the TV, and even then the quality of online TV streaming is not as good as it is from cable. You may also miss out on such things as pay per view channels and live sports, which are extremely limited on the internet. The convenience of TV at your fingertips also means it’s more of a distraction and requires more self-control not to waste time watching TV.