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TMCNet:  Helpware: Free TV program is hopeless

[December 26, 2012]

Helpware: Free TV program is hopeless

Dec 26, 2012 (McClatchy-Tribune News Service - McClatchy-Tribune News Service via COMTEX) -- Living on a pension, I'm always receptive to the word "free" if it means that I will get something for my money.

For many years, I had only broadcast, or over-the-air, TV. I viewed cable and pay TV as the work of evil geniuses who had 200-odd _ mostly odd _ channels that I never would watch, and certainly wouldn't pay for. Naturally, I succumbed to cable channels long ago, and now I have a satellite dish the size of Fargo on my roof. Those 200-plus channels, covering every area of human endeavor, are still available, not that I watch any of them. But I do like the quality of the picture and some of the pay channels on my 50-inch plasma TV.

I also have invested in devices that promise to deliver high-def channels to a PC, and have been roundly disappointed in the quality of the video and the selection of channels.

So when I came across a Windows program called Free Internet TV, I was awash with hope, not only that I could finally engage a hoist and derrick to remove the satellite dish, but I could save the $60 a month it costs for satellite TV. And all the while I could watch free channels from the comfort of my PC's monitor.

If you like such channel gems as the City of San Diego's rolling promotional channel, Hope TV, the Fun Channel and hundreds of others with diabolical numbers and handles (, for example), you will not love Free Internet TV. Many of the channels display a message that they are not "activated," which means you get a blank screen. Hope TV proved to be as hopeless as scores of others that I could not connect to via my high-speed broadband. To be fair, Free Internet TV can't deliver what's not being broadcast. Still, it's hard to imagine anyone actually wanting to watch the channels that are offered.

If you click on the "more information" button, you discover that Windows Media Player is needed, but there is no way that I could figure out to link the two.

To add gall to hopelessness, the folks who offer Free Internet TV have a paid version that has some bells and whistles you probably can live without, just as you ultimately live without Hope TV, not to mention or streaming versions of the high points of San Diego, Charlotte and other cities that broadcast the same civic points of pride in an endless loop. Both the free and paid versions can be downloaded at

As for me, I'm keeping the satellite dish until something better comes along.

--- (C)2012 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services Distributed by MCT Information Services

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