There are a right way and a wrong way to watch movies, TV shows, and sports online. Do it the right way, and you’ll be able to enjoy the programming you want to see when you want to see it. You’ll have the convenience of watching on your television set, your computer or your mobile device. You’ll be in complete control of your television entertainment.
If you do it the wrong way, however, you’re taking some serious chances. You’re putting yourself at risk of having your IP address tracked by rights holders and being the target of a civil lawsuit. Even worse you’re almost certain to end up with some spyware, malware or viruses on your computer. These can mess up your operating system and be a headache to fix. They can also steal your personal and financial information that can then be bought and sold on the black market. Sure, you may save a few bucks but at the risk of costing yourself much more.
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THE RIGHT WAY TO ENJOY ONLINE TV PROGRAMMING:
At one point, it was hard to blame people for seeking out ‘third party’ sources for online TV, movie, and sports streaming. The broadcast industry was by their own admission ‘late to the party’ and didn’t respond as quickly as they should have to the change in consumer viewing habits. During this era, there was a lot of viewer interest for live streaming options, and many content providers were ‘tone deaf’ to the seismic technological shifts going on around them.
Things are completely different now, and there’s a variety of ways to watch TV shows online with more becoming available every week. The official websites of many TV networks including Comedy Central and NBC post weekly programs almost immediately after they air on television. Cable and satellite companies offer ‘on demand’ access to many shows and some entire networks. Services like Hulu and Sling TV allow viewers to watch their favorite programs without the need for a television.
THE RIGHT WAY TO WATCH MOVIES AND SPORTS:
The movie industry is finally catching up and realizing that the days of making viewers wait a year for a film’s DVD release is over for good. Films end up available on Netflix and similar services much quicker than in the past. There’s also a greater variety of lower-profile independent films, foreign films and other titles of ‘niche interest’. There’s a growing trend toward ‘simultaneous release’ of new films making them available in theaters and on services like Netflix or iTunes at the same time. The film industry is lagging behind television but catching up quickly in giving viewers the content they want in their preferred format.
Sports programming may have the best options for online viewing. Networks like ESPN make their entire programming schedule available online via their ESPN3 digital channel and the WatchESPN mobile platform. ESPN provides online access to everything they show on the network as well as ‘digital exclusive’ content. The individual sports leagues also make games available online and offer subscriptions where rabid fans can watch every game in a sport all season long.
THE WRONG WAY TO WATCH TV, MOVIES, AND SPORTS:
The ‘free streaming’ sites are still available on the Internet’s seamy underbelly. The content you want may or may not be there, but there are more risks than ever. Cybercriminals are growing more and more sophisticated and using the promise of free content as bait. This scam allows them to target the unsuspecting visitor and plant spyware, viruses, and trojans on unprotected computers. With this in place, they can hijack a computer to spew out spam in large quantities or serve a flood of pop-up advertising.
Viruses, botnets, and adware are bad enough, but some malware is sophisticated enough to access personal information–bank accounts, credit card accounts, passwords, etc. Once the crooks have this information, there’s no shortage of things they can do–clean out your bank account, charge up your credit cards or full-blown identity theft. They can do this themselves or, more often, sell the information on the black market making it even more difficult to track down the perpetrators.
GET THE CONTENT YOU WANT AND STAY SAFE ONLINE:
Most of the safe and legal streaming options have little or no additional cost to cable and satellite subscribers. The ones that charge a subscription fee offer exclusive programming options available nowhere else. Most importantly, they deliver the highest quality video available and without the risks found when you watch online content ‘the wrong way