I have written before about my feeling that the future of video entertainment is not cable, dish, or Netflix, but streamed video from the internet which gets connected to your high def TV. I have become a regular user of Hulu.com, which has a constantly growing collection of old and new tv shows, plus a variety of other content to view. The Economist writes this week about Hulu's success.
There are a few great things about Hulu. First, of course, is you can watch stuff for free when you want to watch it. I often enjoy an old Bob Newhart or Mary Tyler Moore while having lunch, or even a newer show like Bones, which I have taken a liking to.
Second, while there are ads, they are only 20 seconds long, so that an hour long show on TV plays in less than 45 minutes on Hulu. Interestingly, I have found that, because there is only one short ad, I watch it, instead of going to the bathroom, taking out the garbage, or flipping channels as I do when ads come on TV. I wonder if advertisers might find their ads more effective in such an environment.
Finally, it looks great. I haven't sprung for the HDTV yet, so newer stuff looks better on my laptop than on my TV, where I notice now that the sides are getting cropped.
I wrote this a while ago, and I'll repeat it: If I weren't a sports fan, I'd dump the DISH and watch all my video entertainment on line.
Oh, and one more thing. On shows that are mostly lame, like SNL, but may have one really good bit, you can just catch the good bit, like this clip that one of my former students sent me. Enjoy the future.