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Friday, December 7, 2007

Asynchronous Television at Hulu

NBC Universal and News Corp. (Fox) joined forces earlier this year to create a rival video-on-demand service to Google's VOD empire (YouTube, Google Video, Blogger Video, etc.) - called Hulu. Right now it's in beta testing, and I've been fortunate enough to be selected relatively late in the game as a beta tester. Truthfully, though, Hulu beta and YouTube are different animals. Hulu currently just offers industry-official broadcast media, whereas YouTube contains user-created media and copyright-infringing media.

I don't know if you'll be able to see this video, but here's a full episode of The Office, with limited commercial interruption:



You gotta love this satire of the 9-to-5, hierarchical, bureaucratic, climb-the-ladder microcosm of civilization. Anyhow...

Instead of paying various monthly subscriptions to digital satellite, digital cable, and/or TiVo, you can just pay for (extremely) high speed Internet, buy a media PC (not for creating or productivity, just for receiving - har, har), buy a large flat panel hi-def TV, and buy a good surround sound system. Put those all together, along with next generation video game consoles, and you'll have a sweet entertainment center. Use free VOD services like Hulu whenever possible; otherwise pay for movies and episodes on Amazon.com or iTunes as you go.

How's that for being a cheap geek? Anyway, sign up for Hulu, and you might get into their beta test; otherwise, wait until the site goes public. From what I've seen, it's very convenient. I'll give some props to these industry dinosaurs for trying to adapt in this new media age.

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