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How to watch free TV & movies online

According to a July 2009 USA Today article, Netflix is growing by leaps and bounds while overall DVD sales have shrunk by 8 per cent since 2008. The Internet is also becoming premier source for media entertainment. With a tough economy, people are on the lookout for free movies and TV online. The key to a successful online viewing experience is locating the sites that offer the most diverse, free, streaming content. Have no fear. There are a variety of reputable, popular sites where you can watch to your heart's content, all for free.

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  1. Crackle.net Watch free movies and old television shows on Crackle. The site features both full and mini episodes from daytime soaps and classic TV series. Click on the "browse television" link and find a description of all available shows. If you are a pop culture whizz, then test your acumen with Crackle's Cinemactive game. Pick a "pod" of interest and answer questions while watching selected movie and television clips.

  2. Hulu.com/tv Hulu has a diverse selection of old films and rebroadcasts episodes of current shows from network television online for free. On the home page, click on "channels." This immediately pulls up categories that include Horror/Suspense, Science Fiction, Reality TV and Drama. Find a smorgasbord of free, popular films such as Basic Instinct to full episodes of cable TV programs and soap operas. For webmasters, Hulu offers a flexible distribution program. Just click on the "distribution" link at the bottom of the page. Check out the Hulu lab on the home page. The lab enhances the online streaming experience.

  3. Fear.net If horror is your niche, check out Fear.net. From the home page, click on free movies. This category provides an overview of available horror flicks. Also, take advantage of the free original programming available on the site.

  4. YouTube.com It's not only the place to broadcast yourself, it's also the place to watch movies and TV shows. From the home page, click on movies and discover a litany of genres. Movies are categorised by studio companies (i.e., MGM/Lionsgate Pictures) that are alphabetised for an easier browser experience. If you don't have a lot of time to watch a full episode of a TV show, try a mini-episode from the Minisode Network on YouTube. Type in "Minisode Network" in the search box to access the channel. Enjoy clips from popular CBS shows or get daily recaps of "The Young and The Restless" from the CBS channel on the site.

  5. NBC.com/ABC.com/CBS.com/ (TNT) tnt.tv/ (FX) fxnetworks.com Watch rebroadcasts of favourite network shows online for free. On the home page, click on "video or video library." This provides a listing of all network programming available to watch online. You can even find shows that were broadcast 15-25 years ago. Downloadable wallpapers and interview clips with popular cast members makes it a real treat. Showtime offers viewers a chance to preview complete episodes before making the decision to subscribe. Extended scenes available for viewing as well.

  6. IMDb-Internet Movie Database IMDb provides updated information on actors, movies, directors, new movie releases and TV shows. What many people don't know is that IMDb has full episodes of new and classic television series and movies to watch for free. If you are looking for a hard-to-find movie or TV show, IMDb might just have it. On the home page, scroll to the title "watch it!" and browse by movies, TV and indie/shorts. It's really a great resource for checking out film trailers and old shows.

  7. Public Domain Movies For really old movies, give publicdomainflicks.com a try. The site has movies that you can download for free. Peruse new editions from the home page or search for a specific movie by navigating to the top leftcorner of the page. The site provides the release year and run time for each film. Some of these cinematic gems go back to the 1930s.

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Things You'll Need

  • An Internet connection

About the Author

Sandra Campbell is a writer, actor and corporate language trainer. She has taught ESL courses for adults and children and was honored with language trainer of the year in 2006. Campbell self-published “A Practical Guide to Learning American English” in 2010. She also writes screenplays, articles and poetry and has performed in film and theater productions.

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