If you’re looking for Television on the internet, and you’re looking for an exclusively legal way to do that, you either have to go to the source (the network websites themselves) or to Ad Supported video on demand site that partners with the networks or studios (Hulu, Joost, Veoh.) Let’s just go with the non network sites, as we can save the problems we have with those for another day.
Now, I’ve watched them all, and the quality is pretty good with all of these guys, but the real differences are found in the UI. I’ll tell you this right now, If I have to get up and click something, at every commercial, I’m not gonna watch. I’m going to pirate. I’m looking at you ABC. Okay fine, so they stopped doing that. Thank goodness.
Joost has the most potential, but I find it’s UI to be kind of a pain in the butt. I’ve signed up for it four times and every time, within a week I’d stopped watching. The little bit of content is not nearly compelling enough to keep with other vectors. Also, any site that doesn’t give me content on the front page pisses me off.
Hulu is interesting. It’s got tons of shows, a decent number of movies, clips from TV shows, etc. How much you like the site depends on a very simple question. Do you, or would you actually watch any of the shows they have up? The movies for the most part are 80’s crap, with a few exceptions. It’s easy to use, it buffers well, and it’s free. If you’re not picky, you won’t be disappointed.
Veoh is a significantly uglier version of Hulu with better shows. It’s not quite as easy to use, and the ads make it really unattractive. It links you right to the network site, so really it’s just another aggregator. But they have permission (at least with some shows) to do this, and thus, Veoh rounds out the list of the best legal sites to Watch TV Shows. Between the three, you really don’t have to go anywhere else for network television. They don’t solve the problems of premium content yet, and I suppose for those we’ll just have to watch via alternative methods.
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