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 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:


    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

  • 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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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.