The number of U.S. households watching TV through the computer is growing every day. But sometimes finding the content you want can be a challenge.
Hooking your computer up to a newer HDTV is a simple process. If your computer has a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port -- and your TV has an HDMI input -- just run an HDMI cord of the correct length between the computer and the TV.
Older TV? Don't fret just yet!
What can you do if you have an older television? Unfortunately, that process has many variables. We've tried to explain some of the most common configurations below. If you need additional help, see the free video below and the additional resources directly beneath the video.
If your computer has only a single video output -- and it will not be used solely with the television -- purchasing a new video card is advisable. Buy one with a Digital Visual Interface (DVI) or an HDMI output, and install it in an available slot, as per the instructions that come with it.
You'll need a special converter if you want to use the Video Graphics Array (VGA) output on a single-output or dual-output card to drive the HDMI display. The converter actually costs about the same price as an entry-level video card that will be easier to use with your TV. So you might want to upgrade the card instead in order to obtain a DVI or HDMI port.
However, if your chosen output port is a DVI, an inexpensive DVI-to-HDMI cable can be purchased to convert your computer's output into the proper HDMI input for your TV.
Need further info on the hookup process? Here are some additional resources:
Find online programming
Now that you're ready to get your computer and TV hooked up, where can you actually point your browser to view free TV and movie content? Here's a few suggestions to get you started:
Hulu (free and pay options)
Netflix (pay service)
AmazonPrime (pay service)
Sling (pay service)
Sony PlayStation Vue (pay service)
CBS All Access (pay service)
HBO Now (pay service)
Showtime (pay service)
ESPN360.com (only available if your high-speed Internet provider participates)
OVGuide.com (warning: may contain adult content)
Here are some other ways to find the content you want
Two of the better listing guides for current material are FindInternettv.com and OVGuide.com. Both list movies, recent network and cable TV shows, old reruns, livestream guides and more. A Google search for “Internet TV Guide” will bring up many other sites.
Vintage: Free Classic movies in the public domain (From 1899-present)
Free Classic TV shows in the public domain:
25 Great Sitcoms You Can Watch Right Now on YouTube
And finally, here’s a really fascinating archive of Classic TV shows, historical news clips & fun vintage TV commercials: