In this day and age, it is quite amazing how easily one can access the Dharma and Dharma teachers, Dharma events, etc.
Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche, and other lamas, are creating circumstances whereby people all over the world can connect with Dharma and engage in virtuous activity. the internet contains a host of information (for instance, this site!) where people can learn BuddhaDharma and can connect with other Buddhists. There's a wide variety of resources, events, and ways to participate.
The Lamas who created these conditions do so to benefit us. However, it is possible to become confused, or to have questions that can't be readily answered. That's okay, and no cause for alarm. There's a lot of good advice here on this thread, regarding not becoming dismayed, and ensuring that one views all this activity with a good perspective.
Now, here's where I think people may disagree with me, but I am going to say this anyway, because I feel increasingly that it needs to be said...
There is no substitute for personal, live, in-the-flesh contact with a qualified teacher. If one is seriously going to practice the Dharma, in a sustained, intensive way, we as students need to make the sacrifices, and endure the hardships, that entail, in order to make personal contact with the teacher. I'm not trying to take anything away from these webcasts, etc., but I'd venture to say that anyone who has done a fair amount of practice "in person" with a teacher or group, and also has some experience with webcast-based practice, will agree that webcast practices and empowerments are best as an adjunct method.
Ideally, we'd all live near our teachers, or near enough to see them a couple times a year, perhaps, to clarify concerns, recieve blessings, get instruction, etc. I know this is not the case for most of us, though.....but I'd also bet that most of us do have the opportunity to travel, at least annually, and I really, really want to encourage people who have not done so, to make the effort to attend, say, Garchen Rinpoche's retreats in Arizona, or Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's events in person, or...any Lama or lineage figure one feels connected with.
As beginners, there's nothing wrong with searching, examining, and participating in web-based broadcasts, doing research, etc. But at some point, there will come a time when one commits to some practice or practices in a serious way, if one is serious about one's practice. When that happens, the need to obtain every empowerment given via the internet, or live, will naturally subside, and one will have confidence in one's path and one's ability to carry on one's daily practice. In my opinion, that is the most important thing--maintaining a daily practice, and deepening one's experience and exposure to that practice, or group of practices, through repeated exposure to the teachings, empowerments, and to the company others who follow the same methods. It's appropriate and proper to respect all traditions, and all methods, but at some point one must choose, as it's impossible to gain traction if we spread ourselves too thin.
"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")