Get PlayOn For $19.99

PlayOnWe’ve been using PlayOn for a few months now.  It’s made a nice addition to our Media Center, Netflix & Xbox 360 (media center extender) Television viewing.  Having access to Hulu through PlayOn has pretty much made the DVR unnecessary.  I’m not sure what the future holds for Hulu access given their (vague) pricing announcement, but assuming it’s not too crazy I highly recommend PlayOn.

Right now they’re running a promotion to give the gift of PlayOn so if you’re interested just let me know.  $19.99 isn’t too bad a deal either, remember it’s a one-time-only cost unlike your Cable bill.  I’m not buying though, so you’ll have to pony up the 20 bucks.

Giants & Kina Win

In case you live under a rock the Giants won the Superbowl tonight in what could be called the greatest Superbowl of all time. An 83 yard drive to win it in the last 3 minutes of the fourth quarter. A few (12) Phenomenal plays by Eli Manning brought him home to mamma as the second brother in as many years with the trophy and the MVP award. Mamma must be proud, the Giants fans sure are. Final Score 17 to 14 Giants. Way to ruin a perfect 18 in 0 season Patriots.

If you tuned out during the commercials this year, or were hitting the keg, don’t worry you didn’t miss much. Well, except this little gem by Doritos:

http://www.hulu.com/embed/u-JoydCJbqS8Uuh2WnDxyQ

For those of you who have been following Kina Grannis (or any of the other contestants) in the Crash The SuperBowl contest, She Won! I’m happy for her. From unknown to household name in only a few weeks thanks to her Two Weeks for Kina campaign. Her Superbowl spot is below:

http://www.hulu.com/embed/nRA_YqhwrSEPB-Rp_G_wCA

Goodmorning from Hulu

I finally got into the Beta at Hulu last week. I am very excited about the service which, if you’re not aware, is a new web video service that offers network video content over the internet. It’s free of charge, developed by the big networks and is ad supported just like regular network television. The reason I’m excited about this service is that it’s one step closer to the video entertainment of tomorrow.

The future of TV will be an on demand service. You watch what you want to watch when you want to watch it. Some people might say we’re already there with DVR’s. I say no, a DVR is nothing more than a carry over from old video tape technology and thought process. Sooner or later all your television will be streamed over the internet directly to your TV and that means you can select the specific show and episodes you want to watch (or even categories or tags if you so desire) rather than channels which sometimes have shows you want to watch on but mostly just have garbage.

Removing the need for a person to know what they want to watch before they watch it is a huge benefit of streaming. You can go back weeks, months or even years to get back to the beginning and watch all the episodes of a particular show. It also opens up the door to a feed system similar to RSS in which you get notified when a new episode is available so you can have a list of shows in your queue. Another benefit is the space limitation is now gone you stream the video when you want to watch it as opposed to watching it from your own local copy.

I can’t wait for the day that all movies are available online on demand. I’d love to have a paid premium service that removes the ads. I’m hoping that Hulu will add a premium service eventually that removes the ads all together for a nominal fee. If they were to do that and build the content into Media Center or some other interface that is easily adapted to the television then I would immediately switch over to paying for the service and drop Cable all together.

Thus far my only complaints for the Hulu service deal with their interface. The idea is solid but their UI needs a little bit of work. For starters I’d like to see playlists that contain entire seasons of episodes. I’d also like to see feeds that contain only the episodes of the subscribed show not video clips.

One really neat and brand new feature built into Hulu is the ability to select portions of a video to share. I’ve selected a fitting section of the latest Family Guy to demonstrate below:

http://www.hulu.com/embed/ItwmCm9zM1JbyFheEsAehUCwRB8IH2-v

All in all I think the cable and satellite companies have some new competition and if they don’t adapt quickly they might be in trouble. If I were Time Warner I’d be working on ways to getting online versions of the same content to my subscribers as quickly as possible.

SideReel

sidereel logoI 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.