Having to live by a TV's schedule, following what comes on at what time, can be nearly impossible, especially with a busy schedule. Sometimes it is just not efficient to watch shows when they first premier, and on occasion you may not even be around a TV. The alternative to watching television on a traditional set is to do so online. As long as you have a DSL or broadband connection, watching online TV is quick and easy.
Many websites include free online TV services on their sites just as a courtesy to users. As opposed to charging people for access, which results in a lower user base, they gain more conversions by not requiring that visitors pay anything. This means that they can charge more for advertising, and thus outmatch any revenue generated from making users pay a fee. Also, once a website becomes big enough, they may be able to expand by then beginning to charge money.
There are two main types of ways of viewing television on your computer. You can watch shows via your browser, or you can download a piece of software, which runs outside of the browser. While utilizing the browser is easier and often cheaper, there are not as many choices as with a program. However, software costs money, sometimes in the hundreds of dollars. Many developers offer a free version of their item with severely limited channel options, so potential clients can get a feel for the product and decide whether they like it or not. For some people, the free software is enough, and they do not ever feel the need to make an upgrade. In fact, trial software does come with most of the major networks, like NBC and Fox.
If you are willing to search on a per show basis, you can find nearly anything for free online. Major video sharing websites like YouTube have entire episodes or clips from nearly one hundred percent of shows on television. The problems with taking this route include the fact that it can be difficult and time consuming trying to find the exact thing you are looking...