Where You Can (And Can't) Watch Your Fave TV Shows This Year

The US non-ratings season is nearly over, which means all your favourite TV shows will soon be returning to television screens. However, whether you'll actually get to watch them depends on the entertainment services you subscribe to. With that in mind, here are five of the most popular shows in Australia -- as voted by our readers -- along with the only places you can (legally) access them.

During last year's Lifehacker Awards, we asked you to vote for your favourite TV Shows of 2014. In no particular order, the top five included Game Of Thrones, Silicon Valley, House of Cards, The Walking Dead and Doctor Who. Unfortunately, the majority of these programs will not be available on free-to-air television. If you refuse to pirate, here's where you'll need to go to watch them during their maiden run.

Game Of Thrones: April 12, Foxtel

In 2014, Game Of Thrones was Foxtel's most popular download on its new BoxSets service. It therefore comes as no surprise that it will be holding onto its cash cow for this year. In a blow to non-Foxtel owners, the Australian Pay TV juggernaut has extended its exclusivity deal with HBO. In other words, Foxtel is the only place where you can legally access the show during its initial run. Boo!

Silicon Valley: April 12, Foxel

Mike Judge's latest comedy has swiftly become a cult favourite among computer geeks and technology fans; which explains its high placing in our Lifehacker poll. The second season is set to premiere on HBO this April. It will shortly follow on Foxtel's Comedy Channel.

House Of Cards: February 27, Netflix

This one is interesting. For the past two years, Netflix's popular political drama has aired on Foxtel's Showcase channel. This year, Netflix is finally launching in Australia -- and House Of Cards is coming with it. The show will be made available to US Netflix users on February 27. However, the local version of the service won't be launching until sometime in March.

The Walking Dead: February 8, Foxtel

The second half of The Walking Dead Season Five will screen on Foxtel's FX channel in early February; within an hour of its US debut. Like Game Of Thrones, non-Foxtel owners will just have to wait until the show appears on iTunes or Blu-ray. (Unless they pirate, of course.)

Doctor Who: Mid-year, ABC

As the only free-to-air program in our top five, Doctor Who is easily the most obtainable show on the list. Season 9 (or 34 if you prefer) of the long-running sci-fi series will kick off on ABC 1 sometime mid-year. You will also be able to access the show via ABC iView.

Lifehacker's weekly Streaming column looks at how technology is keeping us entertained.

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Comments

    With respect to "The Walking Dead", the wait for it to appear on iTunes is one whole day after the US broadcast - not exactly a deal-breaker (unless they changed something since the mid-season hiatus).

      As someone who owns no apple devices, there is literally no reason I'd ever want iTunes on my computer. Unless they've gone and made them some transferable non locked down filetype so I can watch them when I want where I want without joining the apple army while I wasn't looking?

        Pretty much this. Restricting distribution to one pay TV company and one VOD service still isn't cricket.

          I'm pretty sure most of the copies of TV shows and movies I "acquire" are originally iTunes rips. Obviously converted into something much more user-friendly.

    Fair enough, I was just pointing out that the article didn't really convey the true situation. Also, my understanding is that "The Walking Dead" is also available on GooglePlay if Android is more your thing. :-)

    As always, every single one is available for torrenting.

    Lift your game, legal tv show suppliers, you're being badly beaten by illegal suppliers.

      Well, except Doctor Who.

      It appears on iView as soon as it has aired in the UK, and last year they showed it on TV at the same time as the UK (at 4:00 in the morning), and then again at 7:00 at night.

      Which means that if you miss the 4:00 screening, but want to watch it before the 7:00 screening, you can simply go online to iView (which is available on all platforms) and stream it. I did that twice last season, and the quality wasn't too bad either.

      There's no reason to torrent Doctor Who, since it's available to stream for free as soon as it's aired thanks to iView.

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