How to Watch TV Online for Free Using Phone,Tablet, Computer or Laptop

Want to watch the latest TV shows on your computer, laptop, tablet, iPad or phone, but not quite sure how? Well you are in the right place, as I will be covering many of your options. Some free, a few bargains, and one or two more costly options perfect for the expat living abroad!

So what TV shows can you, legally, watch online these days? Amazingly the answer is just about anything! You might have thought that watching prime time shows was only available through illegal file sharing systems like Torrent and eMule, but you would be quite wrong. For a number of years now I have been watching movies and TV on the Internet and have seen just about every major hit show going!

Now you may have seen adverts saying ‘watch sat tv on pc’, while these are no exactly a con they are misleading as the only way to view satellite TV on PC is to install a satellite card in the PC. I will go over what these companies really offer later on.

Read: The Best Tablet for Watching Online Movies and TV Series

National TV

Just about the best option for watching TV online is to simply visit the website of the TV companies in your area. These days you will find that many programs are carried live, and often for several days after the event, by the TV companies themselves. There are far to many TV companies in the world to list here, but Google will find them all quite easily!

If you were after a ‘one-stop-shop’ for your online TV viewing then you might like to try these three sites, which all have shows in English:

  • Hulu – Offering thousands of hours of Prime time US TV
  • TV Catchup – Showing all the UK Free To Air channels
  • Zattoo – Showing most of the European (including UK) Free To Air Channels

Now there is a catch, of course, as you will find these sites only work if you are living in the country they broadcast from, you can’t for instance watch Hulu if you live in the UK or TV Catchup if you live in the US. Like all catches there is a way around this problem, through the use of IP Cloaking software, it costs under 7 Euros a month and allows you to see Canadian, Dutch, French, German, Swedish, UK and US TV from any country in the world.

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This I consider to be one of the biggest bargains there is to watching TV through Internet, as you get literally thousands of hours and hundreds of TV channels to choose from and they are all top quality national TV companies!

Probably the most commonly requested TV channel of them all is the BBC from the UK, and since 2007 it has been possible to view almost all of there content by using BBC iPlayer, which works outside the UK using the same software as above.

The picture quality of live TV on the web is extremely good, many companies now broadcast HD quality pictures through their sites, while others offer services which at least equal standard TV quality.

Premium Live TV On Your Phone

If you want to see premium channels then you are going to need to pay quite a bit more than the 7 Euros a month needed to view the channels above! However if you are an expat living abroad you may well decide its well worth it, I know I certainly did!

You best option here is to sign up with a company offering Slingbox hosting. The best of these are in the US, where you can get access to the entire 250+ channels from DirecTV streamed to you in HD anywhere in the world. Costs start from under $80 a month, but to get all the features you want you will more likely be looking at $150 a month. This does of course include your subscription costs to DirecTV as well as dedicated bandwidth, special video proxies and 24/7 support.

I used this exact service for over a year in Moscow Russia and it was both extremely reliable and of the highest quality, if you are looking for a long term solution to see television on your phone or laptop then it is well worth considering.

Read: How to Connect Phone & Tablet to TV

“Sat TV On Your PC”

I promised to tell you what this really was, and so I will. These packages represent an easy way to finding online TV that is generally free. There are thousands of TV channels broadcasting online, in many languages, and finding them is often the hardest part! What these packages offer is a nice front end so you simply select your genre and language and they will present you with a list of relevant TV channels.

When picking such a package be sure to select one which offers regular updates, as the lists of channels will go stale very quickly without updating.

The better packages will also give you integrated software to view television on computer, that is it will include a program guide, time shifting function and even the ability to burn shows directly to DVD.

The actual channels that these packages offer are all 99% identical from one package to another, so base any choice on quality of the software and levels of support given.

Watch TV On Laptop

So I have shown you several ways to see TV online, so tell me what are you doing still reading when you could be watching TV on your laptop right now!

If you want to know more you can see all the above methods, and a few more, along with video demonstrations of them in action over at GetTVabroad. Or just leave me a comment/question below and I will get back to you ASAP.

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I'm a technology geek and the founder of Raja Laptop. I love reading books, listening to music and travelling.

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