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Internet tv
Aren't the web-based channel sites just as good? Stuff like the below. Don't they do the same thing the loaded software channel providers do without being hassled by invites, or registration, or having to load bloat, or worry about secret stuff that might be loaded with the package? (I'm thinking Miivi)

Channels

http://www.lordoftv.com/

http://www.viewmy.tv/view-online-tv.aspx#viewmytv

http://www.free2see.co.nr/

http://www.channelchooser.com/

http://www.chooseandwatch.com/

http://www.tubezoom.com/go/Movies/

http://www.bedroommedia.com/

http://www.cbs.com/innertube/

http://dynamic.abc.go.com/streaming/landing

http://www.fox.com/fod/

http://www.cwtv.com/cw-video

http://www.adultswim.com/index2.html

http://television.aol.com/in2tv

http://divxlive.com/channel-2

Then, what about TV and Movie linking sites. I prefer them to internet channel providers, myself.
Useful software for XP
SideSlide http://www.northglide.com/sideslide.html
Easy Video Downloader http://www.videodownloader.fdrlab.com/

http://support.skype.com/index.php?_a=knowledgebase&_j=questiondetails&_i=148

I can't connect to Skype from work or due to a restrictive firewall. Which ports need to be opened in order to use Skype?

If you aren't familiar with firewalls or ports, it may be a good idea to ask a system administrator or tech-savvy friend to help you. The minimum requirement is that Skype needs unrestricted outgoing TCP access to all destination ports above 1024 or to ports 80 and 443 (the former is better, however). If you don't allow either of those, Skype will not work reliably at all. Voice quality and some other aspects of Skype functionality will be greatly improved if you also open up outgoing UDP traffic to all ports above 1024, and allow UDP replies to come back in.

In the quest for even better voice quality, it is also advisable to open up incoming TCP and/or UDP to the specific port you see in Skype Options. This port is chosen randomly when you install Skype. In the case of firewalls, this should be easy to arrange. In some routers, however, you cannot configure incoming UDP at all (but you still can configure incoming TCP port forwarding, which you could/should do).

The randomness in port selection is to improve NAT traversal for cases where several users are behind the same NAT; if they all used same ports, many NATs would behave in a way that would reduce Skype voice quality.

Also make sure that you have the latest version installed. You can do it by clicking Check for Update in Help menu in Skype or just go to the download page where you can always download the latest version.

Skype supports authenticating HTTPS/SSL and SOCKS5 proxies.

Skype and Firewalls - http://www.skype.com/help/guides/firewall.html

Some Skype users might experience problems connecting to Skype network due to installed firewall on their computer (Skype error #1102). Skype should work with any firewall and router hardware/software.
Skype needs unrestricted outgoing TCP connections to some TCP ports. If you fail to connect to Skype network, it is likely that your firewall is blocking these and you need to open up some outgoing TCP connections. Note that this is about outgoing connections, not incoming connections. In most firewalls, you have to specify a destination port or port range to open. There are four options for Skype to work:
  • Ideally, outgoing TCP connections to all ports (1..65535) should be opened. This option results in Skype working most reliably. This is only necessary for your Skype to be able to connect to the Skype network and will not make your network any less secure.
  • If the above is not possible, open up outgoing TCP connections to port 443. This will only work if you are using Skype version 0.97 or later.
  • If the above is not possible, open up outgoing TCP connections to port 80. Some firewalls restrict traffic to port 80 to HTTP protocol, and in this case Skype can not use it since Skype does not use HTTP. In some firewalls it is possible to open up all traffic to port 80, not just HTTP, and in this case Skype will work.
  • If the above is not possible, Skype versions 0.97 or later can use a HTTPS/SSL proxy. In order to do that, you have to configure the proxy address in Internet Explorer options. Then Skype will be able to use it as well.
  • Please use our problem reporting form to report in details all the instances when you have experienced a problem with Skype and a firewall.