What do you look for in Online TV?

Dec 26, 2007
Updated • Dec 15, 2012
Music and Video

Whether you have a cable subscription, Tivo, or other means of getting your daily dose of TV shows, most of you will have tried viewing shows online at least once. If you have a broadband connection, it’s a breeze. Still, what do you look for in selecting a service?

If you live in the United States, most of the networks offer their TV streams for free. Most of the content is in High-definition format. As long as your connection is fast enough to handle the content, you should have no problems whatsoever.

If you happen to live anywhere else, you will have to look for other routes to get your TV fix. Luckily, there are plenty of people who post shows on different video sharing sites. This is where a lot of the dilemmas come in. Do you just watch the first link that’s posted and get it over with?

The second concern is regarding quality. If a file is available in both ‘flv’ and ‘divx’ format, which one would you prefer. For me, it depends. I don’t have a fast connection so I avoid ‘divx’ links as far as possible. However, this also depends on the quality of the other file. I can deal with minor sync issues by adjusting my media player but bad color and picture quality drives me crazy. On the other hand, a problem with divx files is that most of the sites hosting them do not support resuming downloads.

I spoke to some people about their preferences and realized it’s a matter of personal choice. Those people with limited time and slower connections preferred lower quality files. But I’d like to know what you think about it. Do you think the current choices are good enough to convince you to stop paying for cable?


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  1. rumswums said on December 28, 2007 at 4:48 am

    i´m going for divx, because the quality and compatibility is far better.

    though i like xbmc and youtube-script

  2. Basel said on December 27, 2007 at 8:41 am

    Now about live streams like Joost for example. It’s great but it’s not reliable and even if it is, the shows are by no means better than TV.

    For prerecorded shows, DivX rules being the best quality. But again the shows available in DivX and even in FLV are in no way a replacement for TV. There are some great shows online but they’re not the best compared to regular shows.

    On the other hand, if you want to cross the legal border. Not only you can cancel your cable subscription, but you can sell your TV too. If you don’t care, torrents are literally TV heaven.

    Lately I’ve been seeing shows which are available free from the source. Shows like Comics Unleashed, and The Chaser’s War. I’d really love to see more shows be put up online for free. I think everybody would.

  3. JC said on December 26, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I’ve found it difficult to maintain a steady stream while trying to surf and watch television streams. I have an ATI TV Wonder card which allows me to do both and not worry about buffering. But if I miss an episode of course I can catch many of them on the web – ‘House’ is great. I’d prefer FLV personally.

  4. Landon said on December 26, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    DIVX all the way when available. For the most part the people that post DIVX videos are in the best quality. Color quality and sound is what I’m looking for.

    There’s different sites, like 66stag(dot)com for movies, that quality is very good and another one (don’t have link with me) that is very good for Flash tv shows.

    But again, DIVX when possible.

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