“Hulu may offer the best-looking, most watchable Web video to date, rivaling the standard-definition content of regular TV. A well-financed joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corporation, Hulu is ultimately a one-stop on-demand repository for high-quality programming–the holy grail of online video.
Back in the 80’s and 90’s video rental stores charged annual membership fees. It was like joining an exclusive club, occasionally you would sneak a friend in and rent a movie for him/her. On top of the annual fee, you also paid for each rental. If you were lucky, you watched your video at home on a “huge” 27 inch TV. The video quality was scratchy at best, but it was entertainment for you and the family.
Enter the 2000’s – The last VHS movie to be released in North America was “A History of Violence” in 2006. VHS videos are now obsolete and DVD’s have become the newest and greatest media standard. In addition to local video rental stores, you have online options such as;
Netflix – You pay a flat monthly fee and receive movies via mail. The more expensive the plan, the more movies you can have out at once. I personally have the “two at a time” plan. A few years ago I had the “three at a time” plan, but found that I was watching more movies than Ebert and Roeper.
Netflix has no late fees and you do not pay for postage. In addition, you can download movies on demand and watch them immediately on your computer. On a scale from 1-10, I give Netflix a 10.
Blockbuster – Blockbuster is very similar to Nexflix, but Blockbuster touts 80,000 titles, while Netflix has over 100,000. One benefit to Blockbuster is that you can combine your online membership with an in-store membership.
You can return and exchange movies at your local Blockbuster instead of waiting a few days via regular mail. I have not tried Blockbuster, but have heard nothing negative about its service.
If you’re bordering nerdiness like myself, I encourage you to visit www.hulu.com. Hulu was rated “The Number 1 Product of the Year” by PC World. Below is a short excerpt.
Imagine paying $50 a month to get a few TV channels you want, amongst hundreds you don’t, just to view a few programs that interest you; all at a set time you have no control over.
This has become the norm for watching TV, but things are changing. There are various internet products which are challenging cable TV and how we view content. The methods may differ, but these internet products and services provide consumers with an alternative viewing experience.
Services like Google TV, Hulu (which just recent unveiled its Plus service), and Netflix on Demand allow consumers to choose from a wide selection of content options, to view online programs on every increasing larger TV screens, or go mobile with various mobile devices.
Services like Google TV, Hulu
They allow you to view content when it suits you and not have to rely on TV recordings. And with the case of Google TV you can take advantage of great interactive features and functions.
Hulu Plus, is a $10 per month plan which provides several options for on demand viewing. It has a larger selection of TV shows, mostly from its three corporate partners ABC, Fox and NBC. But it is no longer just recent TV shows and clips, you have whole series both past and present to choose from.
This will not only be available on your computer. Gone are the days of trying to connect your computer to your Television. Hulu will have software running on Samsung TVs, a number of Blu-ray Players and soon gaming consoles such as PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. If you want Hulu to be mobile, it will appear via an app on iPhone and the iPad.
Netflix is another $10 per month streaming service which can be found on most new Blu-ray Players. It is just one of the many pay per view movie services that will allow you to stream HD new releases directly to your TV for a rental fee per showing.
Others include Vudu, Blockbuster on Demand and Amazon Video on Demand. By streaming content directly to your TV with these services you are effectively removing your cable box from your home viewing experience.
And then there is Google TV. It is different from other internet TV services, in that it incorporates the whole of the Internet.
Based on an open platform, the Google’s Android operating System; Google TV devices will allow consumers to search the internet to find video, music and other related content. You will not be confined to just cable programming. It has a large set of interactive features such as Picture-in-Picture.
Allowing you to look up statistics while watching the World Series, chat to other viewers from all over the world, or even to shop online.
Cable companies and Cable TV will not be disappearing anytime soon. They to are trying to evolve and adapt to the latest trends. Adding more content on their Web Sites and trying to bring TV content to different devices.
Only time will tell if this strategy will work. But more and more people are saying goodbye to cable and relying totally on online services.
According to an April report by Convergence Consulting Group, 800,000 U.S. households got rid of their Cable TV service. Many predict this number will rise even more in the coming years.
Seems consumers want to view their shows without any constraints; not having to rely on schedules or a cable box in their Entertainment Theater. They want their shows on their phones, pads, gaming consoles, Blu-ray Players, and on demand.
See Also – Echo Show Hulu