In Search of TV 2.0

One of the things they promised us in the heyday of the 1990s Internet boom was the end of television and a brave new world of high quality video online, on demand. Well, we're still waiting. Youtube is great for short clips, but not designed for the technical (or legal) challenge of serving up whole TV shows or movies.

However, things are getting better. You can pay for reasonably good entertainment, and you can even watch some things for free on network websites (not to mention the many universities and other groups putting video online). But nobody has come quite as close to the original promise as Hulu.com. This promising new site seems to strike a decent balance between commercials and content. They have entire seasons of several decent television shows and a small library of movies--all available for free. So is Hulu the future of Hollywood online? Check it out and let us know what you think.


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Comments (6)
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  • Sk says:

    Ed,

    Do you really have the patience to see 1hr 40 minute movies on your computer screen?

  • lister says:

    It’s so great, that the content is only available for US citizens.

    No, I was kidding. To hell with hulu.com.

  • ben j says:

    Joost had some promise, but a recent update they did broke it for me. I’m really eager to get it working again, but I just don’t get the feeling they’re motivated anymore.

  • Ed says:

    Sk–I have to say, there are times when I’d like to have the chance to watch things on the go. Plus, I sometimes connect my laptop to my TV. But of course it’s no substitute for the image quality of regular television.

    lister, I didn’t realize that the site is limited to the U.S., but I am not surprised. Restrictive as it is, this is leaps and bounds more lenient than most of the content we’ve seen from Hollywood moguls so far.

    And as for Joost, I’ve heard a lot of hype but haven’t tried it for myself yet. The last time I looked, a few months ago, they didn’t have anything I wanted to watch.

  • Axel says:

    Most of the content sites are restricted to the US, both the pay ones and the advertising support. Same with any video on iTunes. It’s as silly as the regions in DVDs, when will someone start understanding that culture is global?

  • Evan Plaice says:

    Get boxee with hulu. I’m part of the private testing group for the windows alpha version. It needs a little work to iron out the bugs, and I’m really hoping someone releases an AcademicEarth plugin soon but I have to say… Awesome.

    If you want a cheap HTPC to hook up to that nice 42″ LCD tv there are guides how to put boxee on an AppleTV box. Plus, MicroITX form factor computers are becoming easier to find and powerful enough to handle these types of applications.

    Note: AFIAK, fully functional versions for Mac and Linux have been out for many versions now.

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