Ten years ago, I you had told me that I would be watching TV on my computer, I would have said that you were crazy. However, over the past couple of weeks, that’s exactly what Robin and I have been doing. Instead of watching the typical stuff on regular TV, we’ve been choosing our own content by watching programs on demand on the Internet. Isn’t that crazy? Okay, we’ve actually only been watching one show — LOST. We’re two-thirds of the way through Season 3 and are trying to get caught up so that we can talk about it with our family members who are big fans.
The thing I like about legal online TV is that although you have to watch a few commercials, it’s usually only one commercial during the typical commercial break. The thing I like even more about it is that you can choose when you want to watch it and exactly which episode you want to watch. New technologies and broadband connections have made the loading time very short and the quality of the visual experience comparable to the TV. The only thing I don’t like is having to prop up my laptop on the coffee table and listen to the show through those wimpy speakers.
I am intrigued by the whole online entertainment movement. I recently read about a partnership with NBC and NewsCorp (FOX) that launched a new site yesterday call Hulu. Here’s an excerpt from the LA Times article I read:
“The online video service, which has been in test mode since October, launches with more than 250 television series, including current shows such as “The Office” and “The Simpsons” and classics such as “Arrested Development” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Hulu also provides 100 free, feature-length films, including “The Big Lebowski,” “Me, Myself & Irene” and “Some Like It Hot,” along with short video clips from 150 television series including “Saturday Night Live” and “In Living Color.”
Hulu seeks to satiate the growing appetite for online video. More than half of all Americans — and about four out of five U.S. Internet users — watch online video at least once a month, according to a February report from research firm EMarketer Inc. One in four had viewed full-length television episodes within the last three months, according to Nielsen Media Research.”
If you want to take a look, just go to http://www.hulu.com/.
It will be interesting to see how this and other technologies changes how we consume entertainment and media. I already get most of my news and information from the Internet. I admit that I rarely watch the local or national TV news, and even more rarely do I pick up a newspaper. I can get most, if not all, of the same content on the web. When I got home from my mission 12 years ago, I had never even heard of the World Wide Web or email. Now it’s a ubiquitous part of my life. If I had to choose between my satellite TV and broadband Internet, I think I would choose the latter. It’s just so incredibly useful. And yet, it can be incredibly destructive if not used properly.