Want to watch TV on your computer monitor? Oh, there are options, and in abundance! From streaming (streaming video) to recording programs that go on TV - it all depends on your preferences and capabilities, including financial ones. And if you have a TV tuner installed, then you don't even need an internet connection!
Method 1 of 3: Streaming
Step 1. Install an ad blocking browser extension
As a rule, the sites on which you can watch streaming video are hung with advertisements at most. You can simplify your life if you download the appropriate application that will block the display of ads.
AdBlock is one of the most popular applications of this kind and can be downloaded for Chrome and Firefox (there is no IE version)
Step 2. Find a site where you can watch streaming video
You can find a lot of such sites, many of them are even free. True, the legality of the services they provide is controversial, and therefore the quality of these services also, as a rule, leaves much to be desired. Examples of this kind of sites include:
- There are many sports streaming sites out there, although if you search, you can find a streaming site with any kind of content.
Step 3. Find the program or channel you want to watch
On most streaming sites, content is categorized and has a search function. Search until you find the one you want!
But whether you find what you need - it already depends mainly on the site
Step 4. Look for a working stream
After choosing a channel or program, you will be offered several broadcasts to choose from. Do not flatter yourself, not everyone will work well. Sometimes broadcasts are closed due to a request from the copyright holder or due to poor quality of communication. In general, you will have to look for a broadcast that works well enough.
Sometimes a link to a broadcast can take you to a completely different site, and sometimes you have to go through several such sites at once
Step 5. Wait for the ad to finish
Having chosen a stream, it is too early to relax - first you will be shown an advertisement! Wait for it to finish, then close it. And yes, still don't be relaxed - chances are that ads will pop up more than once or twice.
Step 6. Go to the sites of TV channels
Sometimes there you can find not only the TV program, but also the direct stream of the film or program going on at that moment on the channel. As a rule, only news is broadcast on the network, although no one bothers you to search better..
Method 2 of 3: Specialized Subscriber Services
Step 1. Hulu - for watching TV shows
Hulu will let you watch the main channels (and sometimes even airs new shows ahead of the official TV date). However, there is also a fly in the ointment - Hulu is only available in the US (if that consolates you - it works in any browser).
- Even without subscribing to Hulu +, you can watch many programs. However, if you want to watch the latest episodes of your favorite show, you will have to pay. Hulu is a federal TV channel project, so don't be surprised.
- And yes, you can't hide from ads even in Hulu.
Step 2. Netflix - for watching media content for entire seasons
Netflix has a huge assortment of different shows for you. You can even find very old shows there! But keep in mind that Netflix is dependent on DVD releases, so new shows may take a long time to appear there. And yes, this is again not an option for residents of Russia.
- Unlike Hulu, Netflix is paid with no exceptions. However, there is no advertising there either.
- Netflix broadcasts its own programs, available to subscribers via the service itself, iTunes or Google Play.
Step 3. HBOGo - to watch HBO programs
If you are a proud HBO subscriber, then you can use HBOGo to watch everything HBO has to offer on your computer. Please note that new episodes become available for online viewing only about an hour after they appear on the air.
It is HBO's policy to allow multiple people (family, friends) to use the same account. If among your friends there are subscribers to this channel, ask if you can use it too
Step 4. Stream service from your cable TV provider
As a rule, such a service is still provided - well, at least in the USA and at least Comcast Streampix, Time Warner's TWC TV and others. Which channels will be available, how much and on what terms depends on the cable TV provider.
Of course, you need to draw up a contract for connecting to cable television, Internet access alone will not be enough
Method 3 of 3: TV tuner
Step 1. Buy an external TV tuner
It will allow you to connect an antenna or cable to your computer, through which, roughly speaking, TV programs and penetrate your home. An external TV tuner will allow you to watch TV shows on your computer monitor, some even allow you to record shows and save them to your hard drive. Installing an external TV tuner is many times easier than installing a built-in TV tuner, although there is no difference in functionality.
- You can find TV tuners at almost any electronics store.
- To install an embedded TV tuner, you need a free PCI slot on your motherboard, which is much more difficult than finding a free USB slot for connecting an external tuner.
Step 2. Connect the tuner via USB
Plug the tuner directly into your computer's USB port. If the wires are short, use an extension cord. We ask one thing - do not connect TV tuners to USB hubs, those are not powerful enough for tuners.
Step 3. Connect the antenna or cable cable
Some tuners have a built-in antenna. However, a cable or external antenna can always be connected to the tuner using a coaxial connector.
If you need to bring cable to both TV and computer, buy a coaxial splitter
Step 4. Connect external audio / video output (optional)
Some tuners also give you the option to use an external audio / video output (say a DVD player) by connecting it to the tuner. This will turn your computer into a universal entertainment center.
Step 5. Install all required software
Perhaps it will come with a tuner (and in most cases it will). If there is no CD with drivers in the box with the tuner, download them directly from the manufacturer's website.
Windows Media Center supports TV tuners
Step 6. Search for channels
Turn on the tuner and follow the instructions to find available channels. If you are using an antenna, then keep in mind that what channels you have depends on the strength of the signal.
Step 7. Record the show
Many tuners offer the ability to record the broadcasts you watch onto your hard drive. Yes, it takes up a lot of space, but you can enjoy your favorite show again at any time!