Did you cut the cable bill out, and now you’re frustrated that you cannot watch your favorite TV shows when they’re on? Or, maybe you’ve never had cable or TV, but you’re longingly looking at a couple of TV shows that you wouldn’t mind enjoying. No matter what the problem or story is, you’re in luck — there are plenty of ways to watch TV shows online, and legally. Most people might opt to use a virtual private network, and then anonymously download shows off of some torrent website, but that comes with a lot of risk. You don’t know whether you’ll get caught and stuck with a hefty bill, and you sure don’t know if there’s malware attached to those files.
So, if you follow along below, we’ll show you the best options you have for watching TV shows online and in a perfectly legal matter.
Use a TV streaming service
The best way to watch a TV show these days is to sign up for a service that allows you to watch your favorite TV shows online or in a recorded manner. A new market has launched for people that want to cut out the traditional cable service. That said, there are many types of TV streaming services that are available to you: SlingTV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV, and countless others.
All of these services provide you with a cheap way to watch your favorite TV shows online, and in a legal manner. They’re all at different price ranges as well, and include different packages. Cheap tiers will give you a basic amount of channels to use, and some of the services will actually allow you to choose channels in an a la carte manner. That means you can choose a really cheap, basic package, and then you can add channels that you’re interested in for a couple of bucks each.
One of the neat things about these TV streaming services is that many of them don’t require you to watch live. You can set them up to record a TV show, and then you can catch up on it at a later date when you have time to sit down and watch.
Use a VOD service
A really cheap way to watch your favorite TV shows online is to use a VOD service. Both Netflix and Hulu are great options for this, often costing you less than $10 per month. They have many popular and well rated TV shows on them, but you do have to be quick about watching some. Both Hulu and Netflix are a revolving door as far as licensing goes — that means that TV shows are always coming and going. The show Hell on Wheels could be on Netflix for awhile, but then AMC might cut the contract, and it won’t be there in the next month. You never know. Still, you can find awesome TV shows on these services like TURN, The Great British Baking Show, The Night Shift, and many others.
Purchase the rights online
One of the last ways that you can watch your favorite TV shows online is by purchasing the rights to watch it online. Many companies, such as Google and Apple, will allow you to “rent” or “buy” top rated TV shows for you to watch whenever. The neat thing about this is that you can often download these TV shows for watching offline. This means you don’t have to stream them all the time.
On the downside, this method can be really expensive. For example, if you want to purchase the rights to watching the Game of Thrones series, you’re looking at spending about $30 per season to watch the shows. On the upside, you’ll have the rights to these shows forever, and you’ll be able to watch them whenever you want.
You might also want to consider picking up a streaming device. Many streaming devices, such as the Fire TV, Roku or Apple TV will allow you to download apps from specific entertainment companies — after these apps are downloaded, you’ll be able to watch the TV shows and movies that are under that company’s licensing. Streaming devices are relatively cheap, but sometimes apps will require a subscription to them, as is the case with ones like CBS All Access and HBO Now.
As you can see, watching your favorite TV shows online is easy to do legally. In some cases, it won’t be too pricey, that is, unless you plan to purchase permanent rights to streaming the content online. If you choose a VOD or TV streaming service, it’s a relatively cheap process.