I haven’t had cable or satellite since 2003 – over 4 years. Just a DVD player and computer connected to my TV. And i think its great – easier and better suited to my lifestyle. Everybody knows how to rent a DVD from the local video store or get’em in the mail from Netflix, so today i’m just gonna discuss watching from your computer (I connect my macbook pro to my HDTV and watch it on that).
So what to watch? Well, some people really like Tivo to get shows – it saves stuff for you as it comes on TV, makes it easy to skip passed commercials, etc. I prefer to download an entire season of a TV show at once, like LOST, Heroes Season 1, or my favorite, The Wire. But sometimes you need more recent shows, like The Colbert Report. You can also get classic movies like caddyshack or browse the latest comedies or latest action movies.
Note – the system is not perfect – if something is not popular, its hard to download. Thats why i always tell people to sort the results by number of seeders (people sharing), and only download ones that are easy to get (like 10 seeders minimum, 50+ seeders is best).
On the techie side, you’re just downloading a small torrent file from the links above, which just tells your torrent client where to get the rest of the data. Kinda like google search results tells your browser (firefox) where to get the thing you’re looking for. Once you have the torrent file, you wait anywhere from a day (new movies are popular) to over a week (Heroes season 1 is 4 GB) while your torrent client does all the downloading. What torrent client should you get? I like Azureus for Windows and Transmission for Mac OS X.
Disclaimer: Don’t download any movies you don’t already own – thats illegal.