Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hulu!!! Internet Browers get ready!

Okay, okay, okay - I admit it - I'm a TV-aholic. Give me a solid TV series in a DVD box set and I'll devour through with it an insatiable appetite. First there was the Sopranos, then 24, The Office, Arrested Development, Entourage, Family Guy, (Ughk, err a brief rendez-vous with Grey's Anatomy), The OC, and lately House and Heroes. I've even found myself scraping through looking for clips, browsing through to find out when the next episodes are going to air. I'm A TV JUNKIE!!

Alright, so where am I going with this?? TV, it's viral, it's addictive, its entertaining, intense, it gives you that oh so good point of momentary escape from reality. There's no doubt that TV is a popular thing, for me, its really easy to see why. Well, what happens when you bring it to the Internet?? Look at shows like, they're viral, easy to access, and instantly available! No wonder all the telco's and cable companies want in on the action. However, on demand content is not without challenges its fair share of challenges. Distribution means, Distribution rights, which all have to be scalable - how do you supply a large population with on-demand content??

Joost has their innovative p2p solution which helps to solve the distribution problem (I mean, look at Skype and Kazaa) - why not use the technology that's used to help people "obtain" content, to distribute legitimate content. Sorry, I love your interface Joost, however, your severely missing content, there are only so many hours of music videos and Robot Chicken I can take.

Then there's Comcast on demand, Amazon + Tivo, Apple TV, oh the list goes on and on and on... however, I think there's a diamond in the rough, awaiting a nice cut and polish.. wait for it.. HULU! Quite simply, it's badass!

1) Content
2) CONtent
4) Search-able CONTENT
5) Reasonably frequently updated with CONTENT
6) User friendly interface, no install, nice presentation and all the things we've grown to love about

How did they do this?? We'll a quick look at trusty 'ol wikipedia tells that those generous studios and networks have been stepping in with the funding to get this puppy up and running.

Well, what does this mean to me?? It means - I never sleep! There's so much to catch up on! Simpson's, Family Guy, JourneyMan, Heroes!, House! Hulu's even nice enough to help index shows from other networks in their search engine - like CBS' Jericho, ABC's According to Jim and Clips of Extras!

OKAY! I'm hooked - "wait a minute.. it's a closed beta... how did you get access??" Well it's all about being one of the first few to public beta invites - luckily a buddy of mine help direct one in my direction via GigaOM's open 2500 invites.

Now.. it isn't perfect - what do you need.. hd content, less intrusive ads (overlaid like Joost, and cut the commercials), personalization! We need more factors like "What did my friends watch?" "How do i rave about the last epi??" "What's going to happen to Dr. Jack Sheppard??" - yayayaya... there are those "add user review" buttons, and ya, I can create a profile etc - but it's really missing the whole community thing - more importantly, a community with my friends.

Otherwise... I'm soooooooo close to saying good-bye to cable. Hulu, keep it coming :)

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