How to Watch TV on Your Computer

Remember the days of dad on the roof adjusting the aerial antennae and putting aluminum foil on the rabbit ears? Television broadcasting has come a long way since its humble beginnings. It’s now in color, comes standard with Dolby Digital Surround Sound and widescreen formats, and appears on more channels than ever before. It’s also more portable than ever, as it is available on every wireless device imaginable.

Here’s a look at some great ways to watch TV on your computer.

DirecTV Plus HD DVR

One of the great modern inventions is the Digital Video Recorder, or DVR. It long ago supplanted the VCR as the de facto recording device found in millions of home theaters around the country, and satellite and cable television providers prominently use the features, advantages, and benefits of the DVR in their marketing materials to new and existing subscribers.

DirecTV has taken the inevitable step in digital recording technology with its DirecTV Plus HD DVR receiver. By simply connecting the DVR to the internet and downloading the free DIRECTV2PC application, subscribers can now view their HD DVR content on the laptops or desktop computers connected to their home networks.

The application is a breeze to install, and gives viewers complete access to the content already recorded in their HD DVR. Viewers can watch the same content in HD, have access to the same menus and screen interface, and even watch two programs at once.

The possibilities are endless with this new service from DirecTV, particularly if there are more people in your home than televisions. Everyone can watch what they want, when they want, and best of all won’t have to sacrifice quality along the way.

Also Read: Here comes The TV For Humans, Ubuntu TV


The original DVD-to-mail company is now one of the leaders in streaming video technology and content, and as a result has compiled an impressive library of television programs, both old and new. Unlike watching regular television, Netflix streams pre-existing content from DVD, which means that something that aired last night on Fox Television won’t be available for some time—if ever—at Netflix.

Still, for anyone looking for something different, or to catch up on previous seasons of an existing series, the library of choices at Netflix is deep and impressive, and can be streamed to any number of your devices including smartphones, tablets, and of course laptop and desktop computers.


One of the problems a company like Netflix faces is they don’t own the content they stream. They have to make licensing deals with those who do own the content. This is where a premium television channel like HBO has an advantage, and as a result can offer all of their shows and specials—even just moments after it airs—by way of their proprietary service, HBO GO.

On your desktop or laptop computer, simply visit the HBO website to get started. You will have to verify that you are a current HBO subscriber through one of its partner satellite or cable television companies, but that’s as easy as providing an email address and password.

For premium television content, HBO GO offers plenty to computer users seeking a television experience on their laptop or desktop.


The Hulu service is a blend of everything mentioned above. With licensing deals in place with an impressive list of content owners, Hulu is able to offer streaming content shortly after it has aired for the first time. Because they don’t own the content they’re not able to stream every show on television, but they still have an impressive library of both old and new television offerings.


If you’re interested in watching streaming television content on your laptop or desktop computers, there are several ways to achieve this. No method will mirror the experience of watching television on your television, but there are many great creative approaches that are evolving on a daily basis. With a little time and energy, you’ll find the best solution for your situation.

How do you watch television shows?

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  • AR

    It’s awesome that there are so many different ways to watch TV these days. I know for a TV buff like myself, it’s really quite beneficial. I haven’t tried any of the options you’ve mentioned, but they do sound like excellent options. The only problem is that it sounds like I wouldn’t be able to get all of my favorite shows live with these alternatives outside of my home, so that’s why I prefer to use Dish Remote Access. With that app and my Sling Adapter at home, I’m able to watch all of my shows, live or recorded, anywhere I go in the world. I’m not limited to certain content or my home Wi-Fi, so it’s proven to be the best, especially when I’m away on business for my job at Dish. It can be quite stressful and boring waiting around in airports and such, so DRA has defintiely proven to be the best way to watch my favorite shows on my computer or mobile device while on the go. :)