Top 5 Ways to Watch TV Online (Legally)

Image Gallery: Evolution of TV Whether you want to watch TV on the go or just catch up on your favorite shows, there are many ways -- both paid and free -- to watch TV online. See more pictures of TV's evolution.

According to digital media analysts, there are only two ways to watch a television show online: You can watch it for free, or you can pay for it.

If you're just trying to catch up on a show, you can find many old episodes available online for free. But if you absolutely must know the latest details of your favorite show before going in to work, or if you want to watch a game live, then chances are you'll have to pay, and there are many options available. The challenge is finding which one is right for you.

You could buy a TiVo box with a Netflix button, only to find that Netflix doesn't have all the shows you want. Or you could subscribe to Time-Warner cable and use the company's app to watch shows on a tablet. If you like, you can buy Apple TV and pay fees for shows directly to Apple. But with Apple TV, you can't buy the shows to keep. You can only rent them.

And don't confuse Apple TV's offerings with the Apple iTunes store. On iTunes, individual episodes of TV shows can cost around $2.99.

The world of online TV can be confusing, but if you know where to look, you should be able to find what you want. Let's take a look at some of the ways in which you can watch TV online -- legally, of course!