Eugene cable and satellite options are not only lacking but expensive, making busting out cash to the few monopolies in town a painful endeavor. But the Internet provides a multitude of alternatives to watch your favorite shows and movies — legally — without going through those two options.
The first, and most obvious, is Netflix. Eight dollars a month gets you unlimited streaming on six devices, and two can stream at the same time. This means you can split the cost with a friend and not interrupt one another’s viewing. Unlike cable and satellite, Netflix can be played on a TV, computer, tablet or smartphone. And a fast enough Internet connection allows for better quality streaming. Additionally, some content is only accessible through Netflix like the new political drama “House of Cards” starring Kevin Spacey and the upcoming season of “Arrested Development.”
Another option is Hulu. As far as paid streaming goes, this provides a lot of the same content as Netflix. But it also offers free content. A quick search of your favorite current television show reveals Hulu will often have the latest episode or two free for watching with a brief commercial break.
This is true of many television network sites as well: MTV, Fox, NBC, Lifetime, ABC and other major networks air episodes of their shows online the day after a new episode airs.
Every genre of film has a website streaming free movies. In the mood for a documentary? Try out TopDocumentaryFilms.com — this site locates documentaries hosted all over the web, many from YouTube, and puts them into one place for convenient viewing.
Crackle is similar to Netflix and Hulu but with fewer options and more commercials. But again, it’s free. Crackle offers both films and TV shows, though it is generally lacking in just-released content.
If you love old movies, look no further than BNWmovies.com, where black-and-white films reside for your viewing pleasure. Films are streamed complete with a retro TV box frame.
While several power-players in the TV industry are behind in providing online content to a cableless audience (HBO’s HBO GO is only available to those with a cable or satellite HBO subscription), iTunes and Amazon provide the service of filling in the gaps to your film and TV library with content you can’t find otherwise. With the number of alternatives to channel subscriptions growing, cable and satellite are not longer a requirement to enjoy TV.