Six great websites for news, internet videos and TV programs

Ask people to describe their favourite website and generally speaking, the most common responses you’ll hear are “Apple,” “Netflix,” “Amazon,” and “the big news portal.” Are there other websites that have popped up to rival these giants? Yes. But can they act as the go-to source for a user that doesn’t want to deal with a particular brand? Surprisingly, yes.

Whether you’re in need of fast access to a resource on Apple news, a range of documentaries from British channel History of World War I or all of HBO’s original series, check out some of the best free sites for accessing these services.

The Culture channel

Historians in the UK may not have gotten the Oscar-winning HBO series The Night Of, but they were able to catch on and watch the series on History of World War I before it aired in the UK, thanks to the BBC’s other arts channel, The Culture. The website offers the original DVD episodes of each episode, and offers access to a free archive of documentaries, especially documentaries on Europe. In fact, you can watch everything the channel has produced from 1973 onwards for free, which includes, among other movies, Margaret Thatcher’s affair with a French diplomat. This content doesn’t seem to be available in other countries.

Apple news and RSS feeds combines Twitter and Google News to create “a professional curated news destination for iPhone users” in a few succinct steps. Since most of Apple’s news comes via other news aggregators like Al-Jazeera or Techradar, this site fills in the gaps in the coverage, and at the same time it serves as a clearinghouse for users of Apple news to ask questions about a topic. But if you’re just looking for an introductory primer on iOS 9, this is probably not the place for you. Check out iBuyingHere, on iPhone, for those curious about mobile-first development.

At a glance

Historias morales

Historias morales (or recreations of morales for Spanish speakers) are not the right term for this incredible sort of news site. But it is the epitome of the style, with its short, headline-driven stories, high-quality photography, and editorial focus on strong, compelling stories that the headline can’t capture. The content on this site includes informative, accessible pieces on consumer affairs, culture, the world and science; you can also find “Biographical profiles of world leaders, songs from Woody Guthrie and Steve Harvey” and “school closings on the first day of school.”

Black Mirrors

Black Mirrors might be a handy tool for science fiction fans, but it is equally popular for fantasy or fantasy fans, with a focus on everything The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Game of Thrones and The Harry Potter franchise, from all the way back to J.R.R. Tolkien’s childhood. You can watch interviews with Peter Jackson and star of the series Elijah Wood, there are detailed interviews with fictional beings such as The White Queen and Daenerys Targaryen, and read original reviews from “Who’s Who in…Comics & Legends” where fantasy films, series and books get their facts straight. Black Mirrors is a great reference site to find anything from supplementary guide books to detailed arts analysis.

BBC for TV and radio

BBC iPlayer is not a news channel, but even if it were, iPlayer is an incredible resource for watching all of the BBC’s award-winning programs that are not broadcast on TV. iPlayer covers the entire range of TV and radio content the BBC has to offer, including the top shows and interviews of the year, presenters you need to know, and more. You’ll be in a good place before you leave the house, and you won’t have to worry about running out of steam before you get home, with ample on-demand programming and catch-up for shows you missed.

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