Streams of popular TV Series

Martin Brinkmann
May 21, 2006
Updated • May 5, 2013
Music and Video, tv

Am I the only one who is seeing a massive increase in websites that offer TV episode streams for free? I'm not sure about the legality and to be honest: I don't really want to find out. If they want to offer free TV episodes of popular series like 24, Prison Break or Desperate Housewives - so be it, especially if the shows do not air in my country, or if they air, do so years after they have aired in other countries.

A week ago I introduced Peekvid (now defunct) which offered lots of TV series as streams on the Internet. Today Channelbreak emerged which seems to be using the same source that peekvid is using. Both are streaming videos that are hosted by Guba. And Guba is more or less a Usenet provider that is making available files uploaded to the Usenet on its website.

The funny thing is that I'm not able to find out how they finance their service. There seems to be no paid service whatsoever. You have to register at Guba but that registration seems to be free. I tested it out and was able to register without problems. There is no sign of  subscription fees, the faq and the terms of service do speak of fees for premium content for example but there are no traces of premium features or sign-up options available anywhere on the site.

I'm still very cautious about this service, my advise would be not to sign up for it as it looks questionable at best.

Update: Peekvid, Channelbreak and Guba are all not accessibly anymore. Some return a 404 not found error, while others an unrelated site that has nothing to do with what had been offered before on the sites.

If you are looking for an alternative, I suggest you try out Channel Chooser which has been around for a very long time as well. You find TV streams on the site that you can directly watch without the need to install plugins or register an account.

You can also check out Can I Stream It which helps you find out if a show or movie you are interested in is available on a site on the Internet, the browser extension Media Hint which provides you with access to media sites that may be blocked in your country and out guide that covers the best streaming TV and movies sites of 2012.


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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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