So you want to know how to do free TV watching on the Internet? Yes, it's a dream come true for many people since they can finally ditch the cable bill.
Unfortunately, while much of the material is there, it is still a geek's world when it comes to watching TV this way. So what are your options? Well there is of course Hulu, which allows you to see pre-recorded shows, but believe it or not, there are numerous other options out there as well. For example, in 2007, Joost, a venture of Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, two founders of Skype decided to try their hand at the business of TV over the 'net.
They used a similar peer to peer sharing system like they had used for making the wildly successful Skype and they tried to get people to load up a software program which would then connect itself to the Internet through a proprietary system.
The program was elegant looking and popular early on, especially when compared to it's main competitor, Hulu. The trouble was that people who wanted to do free TV watching on the Internet really didn't want to have to load up a new program on their computers. Instead, they simply wanted to surf to a site, pick something and start watching.
In 2008, realizing their mistake, Zennstrom and Friis decided to try to mimic Hulu, by offering their material online at a flash based website. The trouble was that by then Hulu had already come to dominate the scene and there was no way for the duo to overcome that advantage.
Joost is still around and the dynamic duo who created it still insist it can succeed, but the future does seem to be doubtful. The one saving grace they have for their site is that they offer some content (albeit very little of it) to people overseas (Hulu very famously is only available in the United States, causing all kinds of people to look for creative ways to get around their protections).
Ironically, even though the people at Joost came up with the idea of a software program which would make the experience of watching Internet TV more graphical and less text based, they dropped their graphical software and switched entirely to a web based experience while Hulu recently began flirting with a new interface which would use a desktop program to allow for free watching of TV on the Internet.