Oscars 2012: How to Watch Online

Jeremy Cabalona

Billy Crystal will host the 84th Academy Awards tonight on ABC. The Oscars begin at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT, with red carpet festivities beginning at 7 p.m. ET. With the Oscars 2012 online experience, your night can involve more than simply watching a TV screen.

Mashable will hold an Oscars live blog. To join, visit Mashable at 7:30 p.m. EST.

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The big question is: "Can I watch the Oscars online?" Unfortunately, unlike this year's Super Bowl -- which was available to stream free online -- the Oscars will not offer a complete online stream.

However, ABC is offering an official Oscars Back Stage iOS app for iPhone and iPad. This app will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the ceremony, including access to the control room, views from multiple cameras and interviews with the winners. Last year, the Oscars offered an all-access online experience for $4.99. This year, the experience-enhancing app will be available free. Even though the Oscars Back Stage experience won't offer the actual broadcast, it is a nice companion to enrich your television-viewing experience.

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Android users don't have to miss out on the action. E!'s Live From the Red Carpet app is available for free from the Android Marketplace.

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You can also follow the Red Carpet festivities live online from AP and Livestream. Starting at 5 p.m. EST, the stream will offer interviews with nominees and a view of the red carpet.  And, make sure to follow the official Oscars website for interviews, live streams, and up-to-date information about the winners.

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Don't forget to enter our Oscars contest for your chance to win the exclusive Special Edition "Red Carpet" Droid Razr Maxx.

A complete schedule of Oscars events can be found here.

How will you be watching the Oscars? Does social TV add to your viewing experience?

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, EdStock

This story originally published on Mashable here.