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Itching for a TV Fix? There Are Lots Of Ways To Watch Your Favorite Shows

January 30th, 2008 10:56am EST
LostWriters' Strike Diary, Day 85: My DVR is empty! I look forward to each weekend for new episodes of "Torchwood" on BBC America, but otherwise my TV just sits there, watching me and judging me. I'm a TV addict in need of a fix.

Fortunately, there are dealers out there willing to trade TV shows for a price. Who can viewers turn to? Where can you get the best deal? Should you venture into that cold world or search the internet? Hopefully the following guide can help you out.

Different Ways To Get That Television Fix:

DVD

Desperate HousewivesThis would be those round discs that you put into a player, and images magically appear on the television. Recommended for those who don't want to deal with the sometimes touchy nature of the internet.

Pros:
-All the episodes come in a nifty package
-No worries about computer crashes
-Extras galore, such as commentaries, behind-the-scenes material
-Watch them on your TV
-Huge selection

Cons:
-All or nothing: either you get the entire season or none of it
-Unless you have a portable DVD player or a laptop, you're stuck watching on a TV
-Vast price differences: seasons range from $20 to $100
- You have to wait for several months after the season finale to get your hands on these

iTunes

Prison BreakApple used to have a monopoly on purchasing television shows online. It was the first big store that allowed you to legally download TV shows and carry them with you wherever you went.

Pros:
-Huge selection
-Only $1.99 an episode
-Place TV Shows on iPod to watch on the train, or when your girlfriend makes you go shopping with her and you're sitting outside of a dressing room
-See current shows!

Cons:
-You have to have iTunes
-iPod is pretty much the only way you're watching these shows
-NBC jumped ship to Amazon, will others follow?

On-Demand TV

CSIIt used to be the must-have service for anyone who had a lazy Sunday to waste watching TV. Basically you select your favorite shows and pause and play them at your leisure. Think of it as a less sophisticated TiVo that won't judge you for constantly ordering episodes of "Degrassi."

Pros:
-Free!
-Current Shows are available soon after they air
-Just use your remote to order them, no hassle

Cons:
-You must have digital cable to access it
-Not all channels support this function
-Content can disappear without warning

Network Websites

Project RunwayThis is very popular if you work in an office and have headphones. Catch up on your favorite shows, without paying a penny. It's especially great to rewatch episodes of "Lost" to prepare for the new season, not that you'll understand it any better, but hey, you get an A for effort!

Pros:
-Free!
-No downloads or special programs needed
-Shows are placed there the day after they air

Cons:
-Only shows that are currently on the air are available. Sorry all you fans of "ThirtySomething"
-Commercials!
-Premium channels don't really buy into this idea

Amazon.com's Unbox

30 RockThe new guy on the block, Amazon expanded its popular retail offerings to include downloadable content such as television shows. There are some kinks that need to be worked out (such as portability issues), but NBC seems to have faith in the service.

Pros:
-NBC shows!
-$1.99 an episode
-Growing catalogue includes shows from England

Cons:
-Heavy DRM restrictions
-You're not watching these on your iPod...or Zune

Story by Dan Chruscinski
Starpulse contributing writer


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