The first--and still the best--mainstream way to watch TV programs online is through iTunes, a free program that lets you catch up with episodes you missed or savor those you enjoyed. Download and watch shows on your Mac or PC or, if you don't mind Coneheads that are a millimeter tall, on your Video iPod.
Top shows: Lost, Desperate Housewives, Saturday Night Live
Best feature: Clean, viewer-friendly design
Cost: $2 an episode
Unveiled just two weeks ago, Google Video boasts a variety of content, including episodes of the highbrow Charlie Rose show and such lower-brow fare as Star Trek: Voyager. Inexplicably, the site also offers a bizarre assortment of homemade videos begging for quality control.
Top shows: CSI, I Love Lucy, The Brady Bunch, The Twilight Zone
Best feature: Wide range of classic TV and sports content
Cost: Free to $4 a video
If your cable provider leaves you panting for even more reruns, take a look at AOL's new online-TV network, In2TV. Starting in February, it will offer some 4,800 episodes of 100 old TV series--3,400 hours of programming in all, delivered over six virtual channels. Each 30-minute episode will include one to two minutes of advertising.
Top shows: Alice, Welcome Back Kotter, V, Kung Fu, Growing Pains
Best feature: Few ads
Cost: Free (with ads)
Yahoo! is still playing catch-up in the online-TV game. Its best offerings are its enterprising news reports from journalist Kevin Sites and some 10,000 music videos. For those not Trumped out, there are Apprentice outtakes.
Top shows: Limited viewings of Two and a Half Men, Supernatural, How I Met Your Mother
Best feature: Webcasts of NASA shuttle launches