I just discovered a new site today called sidereel. As far as I can tell they don’t archive videos they just archive links to videos. Every (popular) TV show you can think of is there, along with links to every episode. The more popular the show the more links they’ll have, and the more versions of the particular episodes. They have all the shows from today (Lost, Jericho, Firefly etc) but what I found most impressive was their collection of old shows such as The Muppets. They also have links to movies but I have yet to try those out yet.
Some of the links are dead, others link to videos with foreign sub titles. In some instances they link to the particular networks version, but often that requires you to watch some advertisements and install some proprietary video software. This is an evolving (beta) service though so I can only imagine it will improve over time.
This just made me think about the current state of television and video entertainment in general. With services like this emerging and even better ones (Hulu comes to mind) yet to come we’re getting closer and closer to the streaming world. All that is left is to hook the current internet video sites into your TV and the battle between Blueray and HD-DVD becomes moot. With the ability to watch (stream) any show or movie you want at your fingertips who would want to own a limited library of tangible objects?
A big argument against streaming media has always been that people want to own something tangible. While I can see that argument for the older generations even mine, that need is ending. Todays generations are growing up owning videos and mp3s downloaded in iTunes and Zune. Once they become the buyers in the market the tangible need will disappear. This day is coming sooner and sooner and the market needs to wake up to it.