Poll: how do you watch or procure TV shows?

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It used to be so simple, to watch TV you flicked on a, well, TV. Maybe if you knew you weren't going to be home, or two must-watch shows were on at once, you'd use a VCR. Simple. Oh so simple.

How do you watch TV?

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But here in the year that will, supposedly, be our last as custodians of planet Earth, there are so many more ways to obtain televised material.

Of course, there are still those tried-and-true methods above, but we've also got streaming catch-up TV services offered by the networks themselves, like ABC's iView, SBS On Demand, the Seven Network's Plus7 and the Nine Network's FixPlay.

Alternatively, you could opt for a box set on DVD or Blu-ray, or download individual episodes or entire seasons from iTunes, the Sony Entertainment Network or other similar services. Additionally, Optus mobile customers can, controversially, stream near-live TV to their phones, while the ABC's News 24 channel is not only a free-to-air broadcast, but streamed live online, too.

And that's before we even mention the digital elephant in the room, BitTorrent.

So, the question we're asking you, our dear readers, is: how do you get your TV fix? Specifically programs prepared for broadcast by free-to-air and subscription networks. This includes everything from news, current affairs, live sports and panel shows to comedy, drama and documentaries. Please note that we're not talking about movies or made-for-web productions.

Feel free to vote for every method that you use on a regular basis — unfortunately you'll have to refresh the page to access the options again after voting. As far as I'm concerned, I've placed a vote besides Live on TV, recorded on a VCR/PVR, streaming from a catch-up TV service and live streaming for the reasons listed below.

I'm only likely to watch live-to-air television at exceptional moments of boredom or when there's breaking news or sport on. I could easily waste a Sunday afternoon watching AFL, but my real passion is football of the round variety. Unfortunately, I can't justify an AU$6000 per month Foxtel subscription, so I've opted for a Fox Sports Premier League season pass that offers four live matches a week, as well as extended highlights, streamed online.

There are a few things that I record, for example, Millionaire and Jeopardy, but I'm just as reliant on catch-up TV services. Watching Offsiders, Four Corners or Santo, Sam and Ed's Sports Fever online are a great way of making Monday and Tuesday lunchtimes pass by just that little bit quicker. Add on to that, Network Ten reception is a bit flaky at my place, so I'm just as likely to watch Masterchef online, on live-to-air or on my PVR.

Vote in our poll above and let us know how you get your fix of TV goodness in the comments section below.

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JacobH posted a comment   

Anyone Reading CNET should be ticking "From an illegal source". If you really know your way around the internet its almost inevitable. Downloading an entire series, no adverts ruining the episodes, watching them when I want on any device I like. How can cable TV compete? Even if you remove the cost factor its an inferior experience to internet downloads.

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