Updated For 2012

Publishished: January 25th, 2012

How To Watch Over 3000 high Def Channels
Without Paying For Cable

By, Joe Harmin
Consumers Guide

Editor: Joe Harmin

Dear Friend,

You may have heard the hype of the all the recent "Watch TV on your PC" programs. Are these services legit or are they just another attemp by internet fraudsters to rip you off? 

That's what we set to find out.  You see, there are literally dozens of different service that claim to offer you High Definition television with every channel you could possibly imagine (some with over 5000!) all for a one time payment of about 50 bucks.

Now, if you compare that to your cable bill, which, for me, runs at $80 per month.  A one time fee of fifty dollars seems too good and a little too ridiculous to be true. 

So, this is what we wanted to do:  Currently there are more than one hundred of these services.  Some of them are run by major companies, some are small organizations and some have been reported to be scams that don't really offer anything but links to video streaming sites such as YouTube.  What we wanted to find out is First: do these services work, and Second: do they offer the quality and channels that they claim or should you stay away from them all together.

To find this out we took the top 30 most popular TV to PC services and put them to the test.  Our testing was simple. All we did was sign up for each service, download the required software and than evaluated everything they had to offer.  Here's what we found:

The results:

Sadly, most of the services we tested did not live up to their claims.  Most services were only able to give channels that played very low quality shows on a small display and many of the times the channels weren’t even in English.  If you do decide to sign up for one of these services, make sure you do your research.

However, all was not lost.  Of the 30 services we tested, we did manage to find 3 that worked great.  With these 3 it really was like watching high quality Satellite Television on our Computer.  The image quality was nothing like you see on other video sites like YouTube or MetaCafe.  Most channels came in at 720P and some at 1080P.  But that's not even the best part, these services offer a LOT of channels.  When they said 3500 High Quality channels, they mean it.  We got everything you could find in a premium cable package with the premium movie channels and all the other channels that usually require add ons.  Such as Outdoors, sports and premium versions of channels you don't normally get with cable or satellite. 

So, could you really replace your cable or satellite service with one of these services?  Of course you can.  And if you hook your computer up to a big screen TV, The quality and selection of channels will be much more than any cable or satellite service could offer.

The only thing we don't understand is how these services get away with offering so much for so little. But after a little research, we found that the cable companies just offer very little for a lot of money.  So, do yourself a favor and switch over to one of these services.  Once you do it, the way you look at cable companies may never be the same. 

Consumers Guides
Top Pick 2012

Satellite Direct

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Satellite Direct

This is the best service we found.  And one of the few that actually does it right.  The amount of channels you get is overwhelming. At 3500 + It's hard to believe it until you see it. Satellite Direct TV managed to get every channel most cable companies provide plus all the ones they charge extra for.  And they come in at near perfect clarity.  Like cable, 480i is the norm for standard channels but, if it's a high def channel, than it really is a high def channel - these come in at 1080p if your monitor can handle it.

As far as replacing your cable television... This service will kill it.  Once you sign up, you’re going regret all the previous years you wasted money on a monthly fee for any other type of television service.

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Satellite To PC

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Satellite To PC


Satellite to PC is definitely a great choice and with their selection of channels and quality, they offer far more than most cable companies can, but they still don't offer as much as Satellite Direct does. So, we still recommend Satellite Direct as our top choice, but Satellite to PC definitely comes in at a close second. 

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iSoftware TV .  The third service we found.   iSoftware TV offers a lot of bang for your buck and their selection of channels and quality won't disappoint.  But, not everything we saw was up to par.  Many of the channels were for foreign and some of them seemed like they were just throw in for fill.  But, they still out performed many of the rest. However, if you were to stumble upon this service out of the hundreds offered, you definitely wouldn't regret it.

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3.5 Stars

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