How to Watch Regular TV on a Computer

Television programming is increasingly available via streaming video over the Internet. While few programs stream live online,you can watch archived episodes of after they initially appear on television. You'll need the fastest broadband Internet connection available in your area. A good-size computer monitor is also an advantage.

Step

Get the fastest Internet connection you can afford to enjoy the best quality streaming video. Fiber optic is the fastest consumer connection, followed by cable and DSL. Dial-up connections will not deliver enough data speed for you to watch video.

Step

Find a Web site featuring the show you wish to watch. Dozens of sites stream video of programs from the regular broadcast networks, such as NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and Public Television. Go to CastTV (see Resources) for an alphabetical list of hundreds of shows you can view on your computer. Episodes of different shows are archived for easy identification.

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Hulu.com features hundreds of TV programs, including many shows aired on premium cable channels. The site also offers cartoons, documentary programs and news shows.

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Search for a specific program by entering specific keywords. For example, if you want to watch the complete series of The Sopranos, which ran for six seasons on HBO, type "Sopranos," "online" and "free" into a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. Your search will return Web sites that offer free streaming video of The Sopranos, organized by season and episode.