Most people hesitate to have their cable TV subscriptions discontinued because they worry about missing their favorite programs. This should not be a problem, though, as there are a number of alternatives to cable TV subscriptions. Some people watch episodes on YouTube (although a few days old). Others go online and try to find websites offering free live streaming of their favorite TV shows.
Yes, live streaming is the most popular of the alternatives to cable TV. Those who have discovered its wonders swear that it is the most practical substitute to cable TV subscription. Many, however, are still quite confused about what live streaming really has to offer. Knowing what happens when one streams live videos (or audio) will help you understand what live streaming means.
A live stream refers to multimedia (like a video) that is delivered continuously to you through a web server. Even if the video is still being delivered to your computer, you can already see its content. And you do not have to download the whole content just so you can watch it. You can immediately play the video or audio.
In order to watch your favorite shows via live streaming websites, you will need to have a good and steady Internet connection. Additionally, you should also have a stand-alone player or a plug-in for your Web browser. You'll find sites online that will allow you to download a player for free. You'll even be able to choose from among the most popular: Adobe Flash Player, Apple's QuickTime, Microsoft Windows Media, and RealPlayer. Make sure that the video codex in your PC or Mac is up-to-date so that you can play any video format.
The next step is to find a good video streaming website. There are a lot of these sites, so you should take some time to study your options. You may have heard of Hulu, Netflix and Ubuntu. These are just three of the most popular streaming sites. Find out which one will work best for you:
• Hulu – this live streaming website allows you to watch full-feature movies and music videos in addition to your favorite TV shows. You will need Adobe Flash Player in order to stream videos from Hulu. After you open the website, you'll find embedded video players. Choose the one that features the TV program or movie you want to watch. Live streaming from Hulu is made free courtesy of short advertisements that appear on the videos from time-to-time.
• Netflix – considered the leader in the Internet television network industry, Netflix is used by millions of viewers from different countries. Its Watch Instantly feature allows you to view your favorite shows and movies no matter where you are, as long as you are connected to the Internet. The first thing that you need to do is prepare your Netflix-ready device and connect it to your TV. Check your wireless Internet access and make sure it is good. After you open the Netflix application, your device will display a set of instructions that you need to follow in order to get the access code you need. Once you get the code, launch the Netflix website and enter the code. In a matter of minutes, you will be able to sit back, relax and enjoy your favorite TV program or movie.
• Ubuntu – while it is primarily known as an operating system, many are also aware that it offers a wealth of applications (for free) that aim to bring the computer experience a notch higher. Ubuntu TV has a built-in box office which makes it easy for you to find the TV show or movie you want to watch. All that you will need is your TV and you'll be able to enjoy a variety of entertainment: TV (live and online), movies and even personal videos. Your video player should be either the Adobe Flash Player or the RealPlayer. Once your web browser is open, simply type in the URL of the video you want to view, click on the play button once the video player is displayed, and you're ready to go!
If live video streaming is not for you, there are other alternatives to cable TV you can choose from. YouTube features videos of every kind, so you might just find what you are looking for there. You can also visit network websites and watch old episodes of your favorite TV shows. Or you can go the old-fashioned way and buy an antenna. It may not be a modern option, but it can deliver the free shows you want. And it is way cheaper than your cable TV subscription, too!