With ever-expanding technology, owning a television is becoming less and less of a necessity. For a single person, living on your own or with roommates, spending money and bedroom space on a television is something that a lot of people can easily go without. Using that valuable space for something else might be a much bigger need than a TV set. Since the Internet is becoming more expansive than pretty much anyone imagined, more and more people are giving up on buying or owning any type of traditional television. The future is here and everyone is trying to find the best way to watch TV on a computer.
With so many options for electronic devices these days, owning a TV isn’t even really needed. PC’s, laptops, tablets and mobile phones are just about all capable of playing video – and some of them even look and sound better than a TV. Nearly all of them connect to the Internet one way or another, whether it’s through Wi-Fi capabilities or the network your cell service is through, and with the Internet, just about every single show is only a click away.
Leading the charge in new ways to watch TV on a computer are companies like Netflix and Hulu. Netflix has a cache of TV series and movies that are readily available for streaming for a small monthly fee. Netflix is available online and also has mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. It can be accessed through a wireless connection, and streamed pretty much anywhere you are as long as the connection stays strong enough. All the titles available through Netflix are generally a season behind what’s currently on the air, though. The company operates essentially the way DVD releases do – just before a new season begins to air, the previous season becomes available to allow fans to catch up on what happened and promote the new season.
Hulu works much the same way that Netflix does – a monthly fee for unlimited viewing available across multiple platforms. Hulu provides recent TV shows, and is a way to stay current with a slate of programs without having to wait a year or so before they’re released to DVD or Netflix. The only downside is that while it’s a monthly fee for unlimited viewing, it’s still supported by advertisements. There aren’t as many as a normal broadcast, but there are still ads.
For both of these programs to work as well as they can, you’ll need a consistent Internet connection. The one you’re stealing from the Laundromat next door probably won’t be powerful enough. Even so, a subscription to both Netflix and Hulu and a monthly Internet bill will still probably be cheaper than cable. Your own connection will also mean you won’t have to worry about someone snaking your bandwidth for downloads, slowing the connection to a crawl and making your show so pixelated you can’t even make out what’s going on.
A lot of networks also stream shows they air on their own websites, too. There are even some site that stream live sporting events so you can keep up with your favorite team throughout the season. The ability to watch TV on your computer is easier than it has ever been, and if you’re trying to keep your budget down, an Internet connection and Netflix/Hulu subscriptions may be the way to go. You’ll lose the experience of cycling through every channel, skipping hundreds of shows while complaining that there’s nothing to watch, but in the end, it’ll all work out for the best.