The main limitation to streaming television is that not all of the networks make their shows available to view. There are a number of good search sites that allow you to find the latest TV offerings from the US. You are able to stream episodes that haven't yet been broadcast in Australia and old favourites. There are legal concerns surrounding the use of these websites - often the people hosting the videos don't have any right to be sharing them, leaving them open for piracy damages. It isn't clear whether streaming these videos is a form of piracy or not, since you're not even saving the files, much less sharing them with anyone else.
The Online Video Guide
Contains links to streaming versions of shows and movies, often hosted on other servers (to help protect OVGuide from getting sued): www.ovguide.com/
AllUC (as in, "all you see")
A site originally created to centralise links to all Family Guy episodes from the web, this site has grown to be a major hub of links to streams of videos: www.alluc.org/alluc/
The other way to get TV is by downloading it. The benefit of downloading something is that once you've downloaded it, you can watch it again and again, even when you're not online - can anyone say long flight or train ride? - and potentially you can copy it to your iPod so you can watch it away from your computer.
Like music downloads before it, downloading TV and movie content online can be a little risky from a legal perspective. Unlike the music industry which has fought in vain against piracy without providing a legal alternative, the studios are actively trying to sell content online; unfortunately, though, most of their platforms -eg, Apple iTunes Movie Rentals - don't allow you to legally buy TV shows and movies from Australia. Currently, the providers of online downloads are pretty limited, with BigPond Movies being an Australian player.
One of the most popular ways to download TV shows and movies is via BitTorrent. This is a "peer to peer" technology, so you're effectively downloading from other people who are sharing their files with you. Files are shared across all users who have downloaded or are in the process of downloading a file - making this a quick way of downloading.
The introduction of digital television makes it easy to use a computer to record a show and quickly distribute it online meaning huge numbers of movies and TV shows are uploaded and downloaded every day. Be careful though as there are legal implications for using these websites due to Australian copyright laws.
Popular BitTorrent trackers
While BitTorrent works by downloading files from other anonymous internet users, you need a way to find who has a file you're looking for. This is where the Torrent Trackers, like search engines, come in.
If you want to know more, including what you need to start downloading via BitTorrent, check out the info help at http://computer.howstuffworks.com/bittorrent.htm/printable.
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