BY SEBASTIAN HUMBERT // FEB. 23, 2012 //

I don’t watch a lot of TV. It’s not necessarily because my roommate and I have never gotten around to hooking the cable up, or because I’m taking more credits than I know what to do with. At the end of it all, it’s just easier to watch the shows I want to watch from the ease of my laptop.

I want to watch what I want to watch, when I want to watch it and without restrictions or payments. I want to be able to pause a show or a sports game and then go back to it. I want to watch indi flicks, and sometimes crave a dose of b-movies. But none of this is possible through the Curry cable plan or on most student-budget television sets anywhere.

While most people have a site they rely on for popular movies-on-demand—and feel free to tout the one you use, below in the comments section—a good, reliable source is Movie2k.to. Based out of the tiny island nation of Tonga, the massive database of TV shows and flicks old and new, popular and clandestine, is completely free and totally legal.

But if you feel more comfortable exchanging money for goods, then there are sites for old-fashioned Internet explorers. Netflix.com is the classic, and at this point in the semester, you could stream movies and shows legally for the rest of the year for a little more than $20. I have access to an account here, but I’m not too happy with it. Netflix doesn’t update access to the new seasons of all the TV series I want, and they still don’t have access to any Criterion Collection film…the last straw for me. Hulu Plus, an online streaming service like Netflix, but better, is better. They have all the popular films plus Criterion Collection films. Like Netflix, it is $7.99 a month.

But if you crave the live-TV feel of cable, and still want the laptop convenience, then hit up Veetle.com. The online service works more like cable or satellite than an online streaming service. The site relies on users to stream live feeds of networks like ESPN and CNN, as well as their own content. So, if you crave watching the Tennis Channel, and then want to take a break and watch back-to-back “Two and a Half Men” or “Friends” re-runs, you can. Users also provide themed movie channels, like the Action Movies, 2011 movies or the Horror channel.

We’re all busy, and most of us are living on student budgets. Watching video online is the easiest way for me to get the content I want while still being able to spend my money on the things I really need.

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