When I was a kid my parents were offered a promotional deal on something called “Cable TV.” We didn’t have it for long, and my parents never subscribed again. The only standout memory I have of the experience is of the infant HBO showing one movie, The Towering Inferno, over and over.
My generation (40’s) grew up going to the theater to watch movies, and if you wanted to see it again you went back. When a movie finished its run in theaters it could be several years before it made it to TV, billed as the “Network Premier.”
A few network TV channels offered series reruns, usually during the late afternoon for school kids and again late at night for the sleepless. The networks would sign off at midnight after playing the national anthem while showing the flag blowing in the breeze.
The only thing that has not changed is most movies still premier in theaters. Entire seasons of almost every TV show can be bought. Cable & satellite TV are considered a must have by many. From the VHS to Blu-ray formats, movies have been owned by individuals for well over 25 years.
And then there is the Internet. It seems that practically anything ever commercially filmed can be found out there among the myriad of sites available. I have put together the following list of sites offering the widest range of free content I could find. I’m sure there are good ones I missed, so feel free to add your favorites to the comments.
ABC – Over 30 TV shows to choose from. You have to download and install their plug-in, but it’s all free.
Blinkx – Seems like a kind of a clearinghouse for other sites. Hundreds of TV shows offered.
CBS – Well over 40 TV shows available, and no plug-in needed as far as I could tell.
Fancast – Another clearinghouse, with different offerings.
Hulu – One of my favorites, a huge variety of…you name it.
Joost – A large selection of music, TV and movies.
MTV – Lots of music videos and reality TV shows.
NBC – Over thirty of their shows are offered here. You will need to register and download their free HD player.
TVChannelsFree – A giant directory of 3,648 online TV Channels from 60+ countries. Some of them require plugins.
Truveo – A search engine for news, sports, TV shows and music videos.
TBS – Full versions of some of their shows.
TVU – Another site featuring channels from around the world. You will need to install their player.
Tidal TV – Lots of shows here provided by channels such as Discovery, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated and The CW among dozens of others.
TV Land – Full episodes of several older shows.
wwiTV – Watch live local TV from all over the world, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
Watch Movies Links – A portal to watch what looks like a lot of bootlegged movies.