How to Watch TV Online on your PC

(Last Updated On: June 14, 2014)

If you have got a PC (note, we’re not discussing smartphones, tablets, and etc here) and you would like to watch TV online, this post will describe some of the best places to go to find what you’re looking for.

Firstly, a few things should be mentioned: We are based in the UK, so a lot of this advice is related to people in the United Kingdom and may not apply in other countries. Secondly, there are different ways to consume “television” online, broadly speaking, however, you can choose from a) Live streaming and b) TV (video) on demand.

Live Streaming TV on your PC

When it comes to live streaming TV, you’ve got your options, from free live streams to paid live TV.

Free Live Streaming TV

Most of the usual free-to-air channels offer live streams of their channels, though it should be noted that most of them claim that it is necessary to have a television licence to watch live streams of TV shows “as they are being shown on TV.” This point seems just nuanced enough that it might not apply to a live stream which is delayed from the television broadcast, but we will leave this discussion for another time. Get a TV licence to be sure!

The following will take you to fee live TV sources from the British free-to-air TV channels.

  • BBC
  • ITV
  • Channel 4
  • Channel 5

There are also other, non TV, live streaming services available, such as and YouTube’s live streams, though this cannot quite be described as “TV” as it is not available on a non-internet television. The lines are becoming blurred, however!

Paid Live TV Streaming

Sky TV also allows you to watch some of their channels on the move, using Sky Go. This is a paid service, but it is included with some Sky TV packages as standard, so you could, for instance, watch Sky TV on your PC in another room if someone else is watching the sport / movies on your main television.

TV On Demand

Most of the services above also offer television on demand. This means, you choose when to watch the programme you’d like. In essence, for a series of shows, this is the easiest way to watch TV.

Free Services

Services providing this for free (ad supported) include all those channels mentioned above, but also the best known online video service, YouTube.

Paid Services

You can also get TV (and movies) on demand from:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Amazon Prime

There are other services too – feel free to leave a comment below with your favourite.

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