By: TV-aholics Anonymous with Tim
The Beginning of the End?
There’s little doubt that our lives are increasingly becoming more dependant on the internet. It’s branched out from our computers, to our mobile phones, to our video games, etc. It’s even in our home appliances, just look at the refrigerator that connects to the internet to order groceries for you online automatically!
The internet has all but taken over the world of entertainment; with iTunes, YouTube, Netflix… I could go on and on. Within the past year, TV studios and Networks have started expirimenting with new ways to distribute TV. I guess they saw the popularity of TiVo and wondered, “If people want to watch TV on their own time, why not let them do it on the go?” Hence the launch of the video iPod and TV downloads, Verizon Wireless’ VCast TV and inventions like the SlingBox. Lately, however, the big push has been into streaming video online. Full length TV shows online and ready to be watched anytime the day after the episode airs on TV.
The newest of these sites is Hulu, it’s a joint deal between NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox. All your favorite NBC and Fox shows, not to mention their Cable sister networks like Sci-Fi Channel, FX, USA and Bravo. It’s an impressive lineup, especially compared with the full-episode players CBS and ABC feature on their websites, which only features shows on its main networks.
There’s no doubt about it, these sites are clearly evil.
Is the coast clear? Any WGA members still reading? No? Good.
Pssst…! Don’t tell anyone but Hulu is, in fact, very cool.
I’m just kidding the WGA, by the way. I totally support what they’re doing and hope they get every penny (or 4 pennies, whatever) that they deserve. The site may be the most awesome thing in the world, but you wouldn’t believe the guilt I feel for liking it. That’s got to mean something, right?
Anyway, back to Hulu. The site has all the features you’d expect from a streaming video site like this. Expansive library, full-screen option, chapter skips, etc. It’s all ad supported, so you’ll still need to sit through a 30-60 second ad every 10 minutes or so, but it won’t kill you so don’t worry about it. No such thing as a free lunch, eh?
Hmm? Um, no… ‘torrents’ don’t count, sorry.
Probably the coolest feature that I’ve discovered so far is the “Pop-Out” feature that pops the video out of the browser into it’s own little window, letting you watch your favorite shows while looking up other pages, chatting over IM or even pretending to “work.”
Overall, I’d say Hulu is the way streaming TV should be. You know, as long as they pay their writers and actors residuals, that is.