Wednesday, October 21, 2009

TV on PC

As part of the budget cuts following the job loss we turned off cable TV.  Time Warner used to say that you could not get RoadRunner without also subscribing to a minimum cable TV plan.  Not any more.

Because of the digital conversion, the old antannea I still had doesn't pick up any channels.  We'll have to buy a converter box in order to pick up anything.  Those are $50 to $60, and I'm hoping to avoid that expense on a temporary solution.

So I'm making a list of where we can watch the shows we care about online, to help us survive this transition period.

General websites with lots of shows

Hulu has a tremendous number of other shows. Just browse around and find something you like.

Fancast has lots of random shows, including some older ones like the Smurfs and Woody Woodpecker. I did get some errors. Some shows looked like they were simply hotlinked (maybe licensed, or whatever) from Hulu. has almost 100 episodes of various shows posted.

ACB posts lots of full episodes, but only of the night-time fare. The entire series Lost seems to be available. Kids shows are missing.

Disney Channel has some full episodes of their big kids shows, but their interface is horrible. The list of clips available to watch auto-rotates and you can't control it. You have to watch the list instead of whatever is playing, in order to find anything.

Local (Austin) news

Fox Austin streams their newscasts live. It streams quickly. And you can click through to any of the various departments to see specific clips.

KXAN streams their latest news cast, but you have to go to the main page and click the link. They also let you skip right to the parts you care about, like weather or sports. Streams pretty slowly, so pause it and let it buffer quite a bit before you start watching.

KVUe only posts their news cast in individual segments. Streams pretty well for me. They have a full-screen mode that makes the weathermap easier to see.

Family favorite shows

* Monk
Hulu has the latest 3 episodes of Monk. But they only show up 8 days after they air.

* Extreme Home Makover
Episodes are available on hulu for 35 days after they air. Older episodes disappear. Full screen seems to work well, with limited commercials.

* Wipeout
The last full episode is about to expire. After that we will have to wait until Summer 2010 to see if it returns.

Christy's shows

* Psych
Hulu has the latest 3 episodes of Psych. But they only show up 8 days after they air.

* Duggars
Duggars are hiding over at Fancast. Looks like they only keep the last 4 episodes up. When I tried it all of the videos came up with an error that the video files were not available. All of the other HGTV-based shows were giving this error, too; so it is probably a temporary network problem.

There are several house hunting and design shows available on hulu. Each has it's own schedule.
HGTV also has full episodes available on their website.

Randy's shows

* NFL Football
Lots of short videos and highlights, but not complete games on NFL Network's video page.
If I want to watch the whole games it's going to cost me $24.99 for the season.

* College Football
ESPN 360, but it is not available to Time Warner subscribers.
Longhorns video bits on ESPN.
Longhorn video bits on UT's website.

* Stargate SG-1
The whole series is available on hulu through mid-May, 2010.

* Stargate Atlantis
Hulu is showing blocks of 10 episodes at a time for 3 months.

* Stargate Universe
All of the episodes are up now, with no word on how quickly they might come down.

* Jon Stewart
Hulu looks to be showing the last 14 episodes of The Daily Show.

Max & Jet shows

* iCarly
Nick has quite a few recent iCarly full episodes posted. Click on the 'Full Episodes' tab. I can't figure out what they are missing, or what their rules are on when they post. But the video quality is good and seems to work well in full screen mode.

* Hulu's Family and Kids
Hulu has a large number of kids' shows, beyond the ones listed below. They have a few full-length movies, too.

* Hot Wheels Battle Force Five
Cartoon Network has the several episodes posted. Full screen mode works well here, too. You have to navigate the 'ALL VIDEO' menu on the lower-right to find the show you want, and then choose the option for 'Full episodes' on the left of the video list.

* Bakugan
This site has all of the Bakugan episodes. They are each broken down into several separate YouTube clips, so the quality is not the greatest.

* Pokemon
There are several sites that have every original Pokemon show episode ever posted. This one seemed to work best, especially in full-screen mode.
And Cartoon Network has the new series and newest episodes posted. Full screen mode works well here, too. You have to navigate the 'ALL VIDEO' menu on the lower-right to find the show you want, and then choose the option for 'Full episodes' on the left of the video list.

* Star Wars Clone Wars
Found some clips, but no full episodes on Fancast.

* SpongeBob
On the Nick page they have 3 episodes posted. Looks like the last three, so it probably rotates or something.

Georgia & Lincoln shows

* Special Agent Oso, Mickey Mouse, Handy Manny, and Little Einsteins
Disney seems to have a few of the early episodes of each series posted. You have to select the show you want from the purple menu on the right. No full-screen option, but there is a 'Bigger' button just below the video.

* Dora, BackYardagains, Diego, and other NickJr shows
All of the Nick Jr. shows are in their own propietary interface. Click on the show icon on the left, in the green menu. The number of episodes seems to be random for each show. But many are full episodes and play in full screen just fine.

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