Will televisions sets become a thing of the past now that we can watch our favorite shows on our laptops? Probably not – we’ll always have a use for both options. There’s nothing quite like relaxing in front of the tube with friends or family on the couch, but being able to watch television while you’re out and about can make traveling, commuting and other activities that call you away from home that much more enjoyable.
How to Watch TV on Your
Laptop No. 1: Slingbox
Sling Media has a few Slingbox products that you can choose from to watch television on your laptop. I recommend Slingbox Pro, which runs around $129. Slingbox Pro will let you watch and control up to four video sources when you use HD connect from anywhere in the world. When you use Slingbox, you virtually take your home theater with you. You can control your digital cable, DVR, satellite receiver and DVD player, even if you’re on the other side of the United States. Slingbox Pro even has a built-in TV tuner so that you can have access to your basic cable line up without changing your set up on your television at home. There is no monthly fee to use your Slingbox software.
How to Watch TV on Your Laptop No. 2: MobiTV
Currently, you can get MobiTV through AT T; Broadband TV. This allows you to watch television on any PC. This service is only available in the U.S. System requirements are a computer system with Windows XP, Internet Explorer 6+, Flash 8+ and Windows Media Player 9+. They advertise it as live television without the TV, plus you don’t have to buy any hardware to work with your existing laptop. You simply watch live television through AT T; and get your choice of more than 30 channels. With MobiTV, there is a monthly fee but you can get a 14-day free trial to see if it’s the right fit for your lifestyle. The only downside is that not all channels may be available to you during your free trial. Package prices start at $9.99 and go up.
How to Watch TV on Your Laptop No. 3: Beyond TV 4.7
Beyond TV 4.7 offers the option to watch and record television with your PC. With Beyond TV 47 you can skip commercials or parts of a show you don’t want to watch. There is never a subscription fee. If you get the additional DVD Burning and H.264 Plug-In, you can burn your favorite television shows. The cost to get Beyond TV 47 is high (around $180) but since you’ll never have to pay a subscription fee like MobiTV, it might be well worth the one time price.
How to Watch TV on your Laptop No. 4: Sony’s LocationFree TV
With Sony’s LocationFree TV, you can connect wirelessly to your own home network and watch television on your laptop. Watching television away from home is super easy. You are able to log in and instantly watch live TV, change channels and more. There is an onscreen remote that is easy to use. The LocationFree Wireless Base Station from Sony runs for around $200 with no monthly fees.
How to Watch TV on Your Laptop No. 5: TivoToGo
TivoToGo is accessible if you have a series two or later TiVo video recorder with home networking. After you’ve downloaded the TivoToGo software on your laptop, you can access shows that you’ve recorded on your TiVo box. The only monthly fee is what you already pay for your Tivo, although you may need to buy other hardware if you don’t have the series two video recorder.
In my opinion, Slingbox is the best deal. You get better selection since it’s through your own cable service and you only have to pay the one time fee to get the hardware. So if you want to watch television on your laptop, consider Slingbox first and weigh the pros and cons of each service to see which one will truly fit your lifestyle.