The term “watching television” doesn’t just apply to the actual televisions in our living rooms any more Thanks to the availability of high-speed Internet access and the increasing power of computers and mobile devices, virtually anything with a display can be used to watch TV on. For one of the most popular platforms in the world, Windows, there are literally dozens of ways to go online and watch your favorite shows. All that’s required is a Windows device and an Internet connection.
In this article, we’re outlining some of our favorite methods to watch TV on Windows devices. Some are specific to Windows 8, while others will work with virtually any version of the OS – 8, 7, Vista or even XP. With that said, let’s get started!
Universal applications have become one of the easiest ways to watch content from different networks. Fox, for instance, has its own dedicated Windows 8 app. Other solutions involve using apps from some of the well-known aggregators of television programming, such as Netflix and Hulu. These apps require monthly subscriptions that are relatively low cost, but there are no other fees associated with them. You’re able to use these apps on Windows 8 for tablets and mobile phones as well as computers. The convenience of having one-click access to your favorite programs is what makes these apps must-haves for television fans.
Other companies have been slow to the app game, though, especially on a platform as new as Windows 8. If you’re running Windows 8 and a dedicated app isn’t available, or if you’re simply on an older version of Windows, then going directly to a provider’s website is the easiest way to view content. This includes the aforementioned Netflix and Hulu, but extends to virtually every major network as well. From AMC to NBC, the overwhelming majority of TV networks have begun making their programming available via their websites. In some cases there is even bonus content offered exclusively through the website. All you have to do is visit a particular network’s website via the browser on your Windows device. What really makes this method shine is that a lot of sports programming is available when you go this route. For example, ESPN3 and all March Madness games are available just by visiting the appropriate websites.
Supposing that the content you’re looking for isn’t directly available on any of these methods, another way of viewing TV on Windows that’s growing in popularity is the use of apps provided by cable carriers. Xfinity by Comcast and AT&T’s U-Verse are both among the earliest entrants to this arena. Although nothing is directly available yet, both have stated that they will soon support Windows 8 mobile devices, and content can always be accessed through their websites. If you subscribe to either service, simply log in and you’re able to access a wealth of on-demand content.
Last but not least is the TV tuner. While all of the methods mentioned so far have been part of the evolution of television and the Internet, the TV tuner is a bit more old-school. However, it’s also the most direct way to watch TV for free. Simply purchase one of the USB units and plug it in to your computer or tablet. Once installed, you’re able to watch over-the-air programming on your Windows device – you’ve literally turned your device into a television.
With so many methods available to watch programming on Windows, there’s no longer a reason to be behind on your favorite shows. Enjoy!