Do you want to know where or how to watch TV shows online for free? Well you’ve stumbled on the right site! This is the only guide you’ll ever need to the best free TV streaming sites for 2012!
First, why watch TV online?
Ok, so to begin with, do we really need to ask this question? The economy’s down, jobs are hard to come by, and, well, Cable TV’s not only expensive, but you don’t actually need it any more… You can now buy a streaming TV box that connects wirelessly to your TV and streams any TV show you want to watch directly onto your television!
It’s called the Roku LT Streaming Media Box, and it streams tv shows and movies from online sources like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant, Pandora, HBO Go, Crackle, Disney, NHL Gamecenter, among many others. And it only costs $50, which is a helluva lot cheaper than a Cable TV subscription!
Second, where are the best sites to watch TV shows online?
Well, this is what you came for, right? Enjoy the list, share it if you like what you see, and then get watching!
If you’re going for the TV online option, your first port of call should be the All My Faves Watch TV Online Homepage. We’ve got all the top TV shows – with links to the best sites to watch them online – listed by their logos in one tab; and all the top TV sites you’re about to discover in another tab. It’s all one page, mobile/tablet friendly, and very simple to use – bookmark it as a reference!
Note: the rest of this list is linked to on the TV Online homepage, under the ‘Top TV Sites’ tab – find the best TV streaming sites of 2012 there!
The Top Dogs
Hulu is basically the king of free online TV in the US. You can catch most shows on there, and the ones you can’t are probably on Hulu Plus – the paid version that gives you more HD shows in particular.
Netflix would have something to say about Hulu proclaiming itself the king of online TV for sure! It’s everybody’s favorite subscription service for renting TV shows and movies, and more recently streaming them online, with a huge library to choose from. Unless you ask any of the 800,000 users who joined an exodus away from it after a price increase last September that is…
Well of course Amazon would wade into this battle. They’ve cornered the online shopping market, so the next step of course would be shopping for the TV shows or movies you’re about to watch! They’ve created Amazon Video On Demand – a service that lets you instantly stream any TV show or movie you find in their ever-growing library. It’s definitely a good option if you want to go down the safe, paid route – and is still very much cheaper as a pay-as-you-watch option than a full cable subscription.
Xfinity TV is a beautifully presented Hulu rival made by Comcast. If you’re a paid-up Comcast subscriber, and you want things to stay that way, then you can pretty much stream all their TV content from your computer, if you so wish. Although this kind of goes against my theory that you don’t need a cable subscription, it really is a great service for those cable addicts among you who want to spice things up a little!
Pretty much all the major TV networks in the US and the UK have streaming services that let you watch their TV shows online, all for free. We’ve got them all listed in the homepage, so check ’em out. Reliable, good quality and reasonably fast loading, these definitely are highly recommended if you know which network the show you want to watch is on. You may have to put up with ads, but then it’s meant to replicate watching TV on your actual TV, so you can’t complain too much 🙂
7. TV Links
TV Links is the first of the TV streaming sites in this list that doesn’t actually directly stream TV shows or movies, but instead links you to a wide variety of hosting sites that actually play your show. I ranked it as possibly the best of the TV show link aggregators online: It’s got links to a massive collection of shows – the in-site, predictive search engine works brilliantly, and the links usually work! In terms of reliability, consistency and user experience, TV Links does it for me!
Not far behind TV Links is Cucirca. They’ve gone for quality over quantity with the number of TV shows they link you too – although there’s a smaller number of shows, the quality is usually good, and all the shows are popular. For the TV shows the guys behind Cucirca decide to link you to, Cucirca really does do the TV streaming business.
A new entrant into the TV online market, Coke & Popcorn has broken into our 2012 list thanks largely to the choices it’s made in bringing you the most popular TV shows and movies. First, you can stream the shows on-site, which means less clicking, fewer pop up ads, more time spent enjoying the online TV! Even better, there’s a great option to reduce the quality of some videos, which is perfect if your Internet connection is a bit slow: The shows are less likely to be interrupted by annoying buffering that way.
One-TV is another less well known option that makes our 2012 list of TV streaming sites. It’s a worthy entrant due to a slick, simple, easy-to-navigate design and its option to filter which TV show streaming partner sites are listed (some are quicker to load videos than others, you’ll find). There’s a good library of shows to choose from too at One-TV. Worth a look for sure!
Probably the most well known of the TV show link aggregators, SideReel is just outside the top 10 because in its attempts to go all mainstream, and become a general entertainment hub, I would argue the site’s lost focus on what made it truly popular. There’s too much ‘latest news’ and ‘TV show gossip’ – including TV show-specific news videos that – annoyingly – play automatically. It’s also a real hassle trying to find the best links. Having said that, SideReel still makes our list, because for an all-round entertainment hub it offers everything you need – including the streaming links (if you search hard enough…).
Final tip: We’re all for freedom of choice on the Internet, and we’ve told you about the whole spectrum of TV streaming sites online. While we’re offering links to all the sites – in good faith that they’re posting only legal content – we certainly recommend that if you choose the less mainstream options, you both protect yourself with an ad blocker, and understand that we have absolutely no responsibility for any content posted on any site we link to. So as long as that’s clear… go watch some TV online!