Saturday, January 26, 2008

More TV/Internet convergence: Hulu.com

I don't know why, but I just received an invitation to beta hulu.com and they look good! Hulu.com has a very nicely done web interface - playlist management looks especially good. Many, many online TV shows with few and short commercials. I have been using Joost for almost a year, so I am definitely into "watch TV shows and other videos anytime you want".

I am a different kind of consumer than my Dad and older brother: between them, they own 4 high definition TVs, 3 Blue Ray players, and 2 HDDVD players. While they favor high definition (which is great!), I favor convenience - I like to take short breaks from work, exercise, and reading to watch movies and some TV. I find that being able to watch 10 or 20 minutes at a time, bookmark what I am in the middle of, etc. is just right for short breaks. For watching movies with my wife and friends, I am sold on Netflicks. I have yet to buy a Blue Ray or HDDVD player for our high def TV, but progressive scan DVDs are good enough for now. If Blue Ray really wins the format war, then I will get a player sooner rather than later. Netflicks provides a great service at modest cost (and I very much like their web portal for ordering movies, etc. - really, a brilliant piece of work)

For me, the loser in the video/movie media competition is cable and satellite TV. We spend a small fortune on cable TV and I definitely do not feel like we get our money's worth - I would cancel all but basic service if my wife would let me. I plan on switching to satellite service just to see if there is a difference and to get some high def channels - I might change my opinion :-) A lot of our friends really like using DVRs with cable or satellite TV, but for me, the rented DVD (soon to be Blue Ray disk?) is better. Unlike my brother who owns 1500+ Blue Ray/HDDVD/DVD disks, I don't want to own media - life is simpler renting what I want and not clutter up our small and very tidy home with stored physical media.

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