Growing older I find myself watching a lot less television than I used to, however I still enjoy a few shows here and there that I try to keep up with. Being that I don’t live and die by the TV and am more often out at the park with the dog or with friends, it becomes somewhat challenging to watch certain shows that come on at certain times. Additionally, I don’t pay the bloated price for premium channels like HBO, but they have some shows I’d still like to watch.
What are my options?
- Wait until the full season comes out on DVD, hopefully
- Use an old school VHS player to tape the shows
- Buy a newer DVD recorder which is expensive and I’d have to remember to set it and buy blank disks
- Build a home media computer (DVR, digital video recorder), can be done cheaply but I’m not ready for that leap yet
- Get a Tivo or similar service, yet another monthly bill I don’t want to deal with.
What if there was another, cheaper option? One that let you see the shows you wanted the day after they were on air, and for free? There is. tvRSS.net is the solution.
The site scrapes data from bittorrent websites and sorts the shows by name, making it extremely easy to find whatever you are looking for. There are never duplicates and nearly every show is in HD. To top it off, network shows on basic cable usually have all commercials clipped out of them!
Ok so downloading shows via bittorrent is nothing new, there are hundred of sites out there you could search and find the same info, what makes this special? For me, super easy to use, always quality torrents and subscription via RSS feed.
Yes, you can subscribe to any TV Show via RSS into your favorite reader, like iGoogle, Google Reader, NetVibes, Thunderbird, whatever. Get updated as soon as the new episodes come online. No more worrying about what day and time the show comes on, look for it in your RSS feeds.
There are a few downsides you need to accept in order to do this.
- You won’t be watching in real-time
- This may or may not be legal
- Unless your DVD player or TV has a USB port that will accept playback of movies (usually AVI) that are feeding it from a flash drive or external hard drive, you will need to burn a CD-R or DVD-R for each show to play in your DVD player.
For me, I now have the ability to enjoy the shows when and where I want, even on my video iPod.
There are ways to automate this process and have your torrent client parse the RSS feed and start downloading as soon as it is available, but I have not yet arrived at that step. When I do, I’ll work on putting a tutorial together. Until then, start enjoying your favorite TV shows on your terms, not the networks.