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If you're a Netflix subscriber and have their streaming service, you can download their free iPad app and watch tons of TV shows & movies from Netflix on your iPad. Video streams perfectly, the quality is crisp and clear. If you're not a Netflix member, you should sign up. Every iPad needs this app!
If you have a Hulu Plus subscription, you can get the free Hulu Plus app for your iPad and stream episodes from hundreds of TV shows to your iPad. Once you subscribe (it's $8/mo), you can also stream TV shows directly to your TV and computer.
Not all the shows from hulu.com are available for streaming on your iPad, but there's still a lot. One downside is that their content contains ads and their TV shows change often, kinda like listening to internet radio. Still, I think it's the best app for watching the latest TV shows on your iPad, especially if you're into shows like Glee, 30 Rock, Family Guy, etc. No other app gives you this wide of a selection.
If you get an EyeTV tuner for your Mac, for an extra $5 you can get the EyeTV app and watch live TV on your iPad. If you're on the road, you can even record TV shows to your Mac computer and watch them at home later.
To me, EyeTV streams much better compared to SlingPlayer, which stutters and has a horizontal split screen. I have an EyeTV250 and HDHomeRun streams are absolutely crystal clear and stutter free.
If you don't want to subscribe to hulu, you can watch all of ABC's shows for free using the ABC Player app. Watch full episodes of ABC's popular TV shows on your iPad such as Grey's Anatomy, LOST, Jimmy Kimmel, etc. The selection of shows is great along with the speed and quality of the streams. There's a few commercials here and there, but definitely reasonable given the quality of shows available and the fact that the app itself is free.
You can also watch full episodes of CBS shows by using the hack posted here:
There's a bunch of iPad apps you can get for the individual TV shows, like 60 Minutes ($5), CBS News (free). But your best bet is to buy a season pass to your favorite shows, such as the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It automatically downloads the latest episode to your iPad throughout the season. Or if you don't want to commit to an entire season, you can now rent TV episodes on the iTunes store for 99 cents. They have every show imaginable, from Gossip Girl to Glee to Desperate Housewives to Grey's Anatomy. All in HD too!
The best app I use to watch TV shows on my iPad is the TV.com app. The channels are limited but there's nothing else out there that lets you watch full episodes of your favorites TV shows at a fast streaming rate for FREE. Also it's not really an iPad app, but if you blow up the video to 2x, you can't tell the difference (ok it's a little fuzzy). Some episodes require wifi rather than 3G. You can watch full episodes of shows like NCIS, Star Trek original, CSI, Young & the Restless, and other popular CBS shows. Right now you can watch the entire Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, hello!
The new SlingPlayer app just came out and lets anyone who has a Slingbox watch TV on their iPad. It syncs with your Slingbox at home so your entire library becomes mobile. It's easy to setup and works within minutes. The picture quality is great, the app starts up quickly, and the controls are slick and unobtrusive. It's as if I'm watching my HD TV at home. Be careful though, it works only on Slingbox SOLO or PRO-HD boxes.
If you want a little international flavor, open Safari on your iPad and navigate to http://filmon.com. It's a little secret way to watch TV on my iPad where I get to watch LIVE TV streaming from stations all over the world, including BBC News, Bloomberg, CNN International, Food Network, and...shhhhh there's even some naughty stations. It's free to try, and if you like it, you can subscribe for cheap (under $10/mo).
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