Friday, December 14, 2007

Hulu = TV 2.0

ok, so you know I've been having trouble with comcast lately. I won't rehash that. But a few days ago, out of the blue, I get an email from I don't even remember where I heard about hulu, or what made me sign up, but I did. I read somewhere that there is a new web 2.0 site coming out called In a nutshell, it's putting TV programs on the internet - think youtube but for network TV shows. I had tried Joost and Democracy TV (which has changed names and is now called Miro). Joost looked pretty, but I found the interface confusing. Joost also required a large download, a custom install, and worst of all, when it finally started working, the video was so jumpy that it became unwatchable on my DSL connection. I gave up. Democracy TV, was a similar experience. You basically download a ginormous video file to your hard drive, and watch it after it finishes downloading, this solved the jumpy bit, but it still took forever to download the show. And then after investing all that time, the file becomes unwatchable after a few days (some sort of copyright protection). Again, I found the interface confusing. (I didn't even bother trying the new version of Miro, perhaps some of these items have been fixed.)
Along comes hulu...
Sign-up for the "private beta" was as simple as putting my name, email and password and birthday in (you can fake your birthday obviously and name). Completely web based, in that there was no extra files or plugins to download, or install. Right on the main page there were TV shows there for me to choose from. All of them were shows I'd heard of before. I just finished watching my first show Kitchen Nightmares with Chef Ramsey. I had missed this show when it aired on TV so it was nice to get a second chance to see it. Unfortunately It did not start with episode 1, I had to start on episode 6, no big deal I guess, hopefully they'll add the other shows later. But the experience was flawless. One small hiccup in the stream, but barely noticeable. There were limited commercials (I think there were 5), but (maybe this will change in the future) they only have ONE sponsor ( So after the 3rd time of watching these esurance commercials, I swore I'd never purchase esurance again.
One other side note... is a joint venture between NBC and News Corp. Ugh... News Corp is who owns/runs Faux News, and is run by Rupert Murdoch (not exactly my favorite person). But I gotta give credit where it's due... I'm impressed with Hulu and look forward to more content (and more sponsors). I HOPE this does not become a subscription based service.
I encourage you to go enter your email, and try to get in on this "private beta", or just wait around til they get all the bugs worked out and release it to everyone to try out.

No comments: