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DVR Alternative

There was a time if you didn't tape (or TiVo) your favorite TV shows, you would have to wait for the re-runs or even syndication to catch that episode you missed. Today, there's an abundance of free websites providing recent and older episodes of your favorite TV shows. Some of these sites offer movies, but most are older flicks. So, pull up a chair and your laptop to check out some TV…on the Internet.

IMDB, the film and TV database famous for its profiles and backgrounds on just about every movie ever made, now provides TV shows and full-length movies.

Amazon is now in the video-on-demand business, with a large library of TV shows and movies available for streaming directly to your computer, all commercial-free.

Did you miss last night's season opener of Heros? Maybe you haven't caught the hilarious viral hit of Tina Fey as Sarah Palin from SNL. Check these out along with all the upcoming season premieres on NBC.com. There are even online previews that are currently available, a week before the shows are broadcast. Plus. Rosario Dawson stars in NBC's first online series, a scifi thriller called Gemini Division.

For a little bit of everything, there is Crackle. The TV shows and movies here are on the old side, but the hook is that the site also delivers web-only programming such as Dating Brad Garrett, starring—who else?—Brad Garrett of Everybody Loves Raymond fame; Penn Says, a show with Penn Gillette (sans Teller); and Coma, an action, adventure series with Michael Madsen.

And finally, offering TV shows from a variety of networks and a wide selection of movies is Hulu.com. Aggregating content from other sites, including YouTube, is Surfthechannel.com.

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