Watch Prime Time Online: Find Your Favorite Shows on the Web (349)
(NewsUSA) - The average American household spends 4.5 hours a day watching TV - a quarter of every person's free time. Whether it's morning cartoons, afternoon soaps, reality shows or the evening news, one thing is clear: Americans love television.
But television programs have their limitations. Network executives decide when shows air, so life's daily obligations like children's activities or class work can prevent a viewer from watching her favorite show, whether it's "Desperate Housewives" or "Heroes." Old classics, like "The Addams Family," are even harder to come by, no matter how much you feel like watching Wednesday and Cousin It.
The Internet offers fast-paced entertainment for the viewer who wants to watch "One Tree Hill" on a whim or reruns of "Lost" time and time again. Streaming videos online lets Internet-users enjoy cartoons, soaps, reality shows and news clips at any time and on their own schedule.
A recent study from Nielson Media Research found that one in four Internet users watches streaming, full-length television episodes on their computers - and that number is increasing. When "The Office" held its season premiere in 2007, one viewing in five was on a computer rather than the television, and the episode was streamed 2.7 million times that week alone.
Major networks have taken notice. Many now place full television episodes online, allowing viewers to watch prime-time programming on their own time and with "limited commercial breaks."
Still, locating and enjoying streaming videos can be frustrating for Internet users. Broken links, pixilated videos and incomplete episodes make the experience less than ideal. Some services, however, are working to make finding high-quality, online videos easier.
One of the Web's biggest video sites, "blinkx Remote" (tv.blinkx.com), scours the Internet for full-length TV shows, then organizes them by season and episode. Users can browse through over 11,000 episodes of classic and newly popular TV shows, then watch their favorites at any time and from any location with Internet access. TV enthusiasts can search for TV episodes by season, episode, title, network or genre, and quickly find their way to happy viewing.