These days there is a plethora of choices when it comes to catching up with your favorite TV shows online. There are plenty of video-on-demand (VOD) services available to for consumers.
The problem is that not everyone wants to sit in front of their computer to watch TV shows. Nor do they want to put a big, noisy PC in their living room so that they can watch their favorite shows on their big screen TV.
But fear not, there are several other ways to take advantage of these services from the comfort of your sofa without too much of a financial overhead to you.
Get a low-power PC
Ok, so if you have decided not to put a large, noisy PC next to your TV, then you can look at some compact and silent PCs available in the market. Connect one of these bad boys up to your HD TV and you’ve got a great way to catch up on all the TV you’ve missed.
Some of these personal computers even come with mounts that allow you to attach them to the back of your TV, keeping them completely out of sight.
PCs like the one above are more than powerful enough to play back HD content on your TV with ease, and you’ve got the added bonus of having a full Windows (or Linux if you’re on the cheap) PC at your disposal.
Buy a Smart TV
Be wary that this isn’t the cheapest option available. But if you’re looking at buying a new TV anyway, the additional cost of a Smart TV isn’t that great.
For those who don’t know, a Smart TV is one which allows you to view content from online sources such as YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Netflix or even from your PC or smartphone.
The only downside to Smart TV’s is that manufacturers are not great at providing continued support for older models. So if a new catch up service becomes available it may not be supported on your nearly new TV.
Get a freeview box
Most TV’s sold today will come with a built in digital TV tuner, but getting yourself a decent freeview box could help you get access to the latest services available for a reasonable price.
Yes, it means you’ll use up an HDMI port replicating some services that your TV can handle on its own. But you also end up with a whole bunch of new on-demand services.
Buy a freeview box from a well known manufacturer and you also stand a decent chance of receiving software updates when new services become available.
We love the Raspberry Pi, we’re not going to be shy about it.
This ultra-cheap ARM computer is more than powerful enough to playback HD video content with the right software installed.
It’s a bit more involved than the other options mentioned here, you’ll need to arrange a case, power supply and SD card for storage. But if you’re not scared of doing a bit of research online then you could end up with a pretty capable media player for less than £50.
We’ll give you a hint, Google “Raspberry Pi XBMC”.