How to Watch Classic Television for Free

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Option #1:

Watch online. Watching television on your computer might seem odd at first, but over the Internet is where you’ll find a treasure trove of classics. Many of these programs currently aren’t available anywhere else. Simply visit a search engine such as Google or Yahoo! and type in “watch classic TV online” or “free classic TV” without the quotation marks, or visit the links at the end of this How To.

Although it’s generally possible to watch programs on your computer with dial-up, a high-speed Internet connection is highly recommended. A high-speed connection will enable you to enjoy a program instantly while dial-up will require you to load the entire episode first, and then watch. If you choose not to load the entire episode, the program is going to be stopping and starting repeatedly because of the slow speed of dial-up. This eats up almost as much time as the actual length of the program, if not more, and it makes for an unpleasant viewing experience.

You may need to download a certain video player, plug-in, or program before you can watch programs off a particular website. Some web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox will inform you that you need to download something before you can proceed and offer you a direct link. Otherwise, a link can usually be found on the website directing you to the place where you can download the program. This usually only applies to people with older computers or people that generally don’t perform regular updates. The downloads are generally free as long as you don’t want the premium or professional version of the player or program.

Option #2:

Visit the library. The library has DVD and VHS releases of numerous classic television shows. It’s free to take them out, but of course remember to check the due dates so you aren’t charged with late fees. If you don’t have a library card, they are free and easy to get at your local library.

Visit the website for the libraries located in your county and perform a search for the classic programs you’re looking for. Look on the website for the word “catalog” and click on the link or type what you’re looking for in the Catalog Search field. This will give you a larger selection to choose from because you’ll have access to several libraries as opposed to just one. You can also have programs transferred from one library to the library closest to you for easy pick-up and return as long as you have a library card.

Generally, you can renew items from your own computer a couple of times by going to your county’s library website and logging-in to your account. There should be an option to renew items, and once you do, the return date will change to a later day. This isn’t always possible, but if you are able to, you’ll have more time to enjoy the programs.  

You may need to place a hold on a particular program if all the copies are currently checked out. Once a copy is returned, it will then go to the person that is on top of the hold list. Depending on the number of copies available and the number of people that placed holds ahead of you, it may be a short time or a long time before a copy is ready for you to pick-up.

Remember,  take good care of any item you borrow from the library. Others will want to enjoy the programs too, and clumsy or improper handling of such things as DVDs can cause problems for those that try to view the contents of the DVDs at a later date. You may even be charged by the library if you return something that is no longer playable because of something you did.  

Where to watch Classic TV on the web:

In2TV – AOL Television

Like Television – Only Better!

Classic – TV

The Museum of Broadcast Communications


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