Hulu and the Future of TV

Via TechCrunch I scored an invite to the closed beta of Hulu, NBC‘s new online video service. I’d heard a lot about it over the past few weeks and even sampled a bit at OPENhulu but I wanted to check out the real thing.

After spending a few minutes testing it, everything seems to work as advertised on both my flaky Windows Vista box and Macbook. I can sample clips from SNL and 30 Rock I missed and they even let me embed videos here. The pre and post roll ads are seamless and not very disruptive, a good trade for the free content (some shows have no ads, like the example below). This is close to what the future of TV will be like; random access and watch on demand. I just think it will not be streaming but downloaded and consumed on mobile devices. The monetization will be via advertising and merchandise sales.

So I think Hulu is pretty good for sampling shows but not so nice for watching full episodes. That’s because I want to watch TV, well, on my TV and not my computer. But my kids will love this stuff as they see little difference between a laptop and a television.

Here’s one of my favorites from their collection (good thing I bought this on Amazon Unbox and it’s on my TiVo):

 

  • http://catavino.net/ ryan

    I see little difference between a laptop and a tv, since they are both the same in our house! I also just received an invite and I have to say that it’s a big failure! No content availble here in Spain! When will be media realize the internet has no borders. The only way for me to get the majority of the shows they offer is through torrents, which I’m sure they are not happy with but they leave us no choice! Talk about failing to take advantage of a great opprotunity….

  • http://catavino.net/ ryan

    BTW the clip above doesn’t even play for me

  • http://catavino.net ryan

    I see little difference between a laptop and a tv, since they are both the same in our house! I also just received an invite and I have to say that it’s a big failure! No content availble here in Spain! When will be media realize the internet has no borders. The only way for me to get the majority of the shows they offer is through torrents, which I’m sure they are not happy with but they leave us no choice! Talk about failing to take advantage of a great opprotunity….

  • http://catavino.net ryan

    BTW the clip above doesn’t even play for me

  • http://timelliott.us/ Tim

    Sorry to hear that you are blocked from the content in Spain, Ryan. Knowing that you are pretty technical, I’m sure you can figure out how to get a U.S. proxy server setup working for you ;-)

  • http://timelliott.us Tim

    Sorry to hear that you are blocked from the content in Spain, Ryan. Knowing that you are pretty technical, I’m sure you can figure out how to get a U.S. proxy server setup working for you ;-)

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  • http://catavino.net/ ryan

    I’m working on it right now, but what a silly way to have to do it! Thanks for the link!

  • http://catavino.net ryan

    I’m working on it right now, but what a silly way to have to do it! Thanks for the link!