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Finding TV Shows Online

More and more, you're able to find the TV show you're looking for on the Internet when you miss an episode or want to catch some extra online content.

Until recently, tossing in a tape, setting the VCR, and hoping nothing went wrong was the only line of defense between a show's original broadcast time and your busy schedule. With TiVO, cable DVRs, and the like, it's easier than it used to be, but it still requires you to keep up with the schedule and set your device to record the shows. And what happens when you run out of hard drive space? There are a few places for you to catch up with your shows. Mostly for free.

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Both Hulu and Joost stream television shows and other programs for free, and they do so right through your browser window. You might encounter clips instead of full shows, and the lineups are always expanding and changing. Nevertheless, you stand a good chance of catching your material here, and there are also previews and sneak peeks at upcoming shows.

Check with the show and network sites as well. For example, the major networks run not only full streaming episodes but also tack on "webisodes," or Internet-only bonus content.

If you're willing to part with a little cash, iTunes sells episodes of many, many shows. You're paying up-front, but it's commercial-free. You just have to decide what your time is worth.

One video player, Miro, is consolidating a lot of video needs into one location. The great thing about Miro is that it's not just a player — it helps you manage both standard and HD video from YouTube, podcasts, and torrents (without getting into the legality of many torrent feeds, just remember to use free and legal download sources). It interfaces with Hulu, YouTube, and others, and you can install it on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. It's free, so enjoy.

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