Hulu – It’s got potential

I got up early this morning so that I could go to volunteer all day today; it involved taping pieces of paper to plastic boxes for some upcoming events the group I volunteer for have coming up. Anyway, as I was in the shower, a discussion came up about the “new kid” on the video scene – Hulu. I’d heard about it a while back, when it was in closed beta, and to be honest, I didn’t think it would have much potential.

However, I gotta say that I’ve been converted to what they’re doing by another site out there – Veoh, which has full episodes of CBS programs like The Price is Right and others. They have small breaks; in an episode of Price, for example, there are 3 30-second breaks in the show.

The big part of the discussion was that on Hulu, there is a wide breadth of programs available. If you have a look at the list of TV shows by network, there are tons of shows available. The most awesome thing, at least to me, is that if a show was originally broadcast in HD – Prison Break, for example – it is shown in the proper format on Hulu (i.e. widescreen). If you don’t already know this about me – I’m a stickler for taking advantage of a widescreen monitor, so someone showing a 4:3 program on an HDTV in 16:9 stretch bugs me. πŸ˜‰

One of the coolest videos that I’ve found on there is a video from the NBC News Time Capsule – the parts of the first episode of “Today” that were preserved on film, along with clips from the 25th anniversary of the program. It’s a fascinating look back, especially when you consider that those news scrolls you see on the bottom of the news channels are definitely not a new thing! πŸ˜‰

Also, be on the lookout for the technical glitches along the way. It may be innovative, but it sure wasn’t perfect. πŸ™‚

Just a note – if you’re not in the US, you likely will not be able to view the videos on there, as it is designed for American viewers – much like the ABC’s forthcoming Playback program and the BBC’s iPlayer are only available to Australia and the UK respectively.

The thing to note is that this can only be a good thing for the networks – while it might sound like buying into “the man’s” plans – I think it’s great that the networks are actually embracing the technology that is available to them in order to provide something that they know (thanks to YouTube and other sites) that viewers are interested in viewing. The best part of it all is that it is free.

Somehow, I don’t mind seeing a 30-second commercial every ten minutes or so; or, on a longer video, watching a longer ad and being able to watch the whole program ad-free. πŸ™‚