February 14th, 2009

laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Some Saturday Linkage

It's TeeVee on the Internets! Although it's been around for almost a year, I only just heard about Hulu, an ad-supported Internet television web site jointly owned by NBC Universal and News Corporation (parent of Fox) which streams full episodes of TV shows, entire movies, clips of both, and trailers for recent releases. You can watch without registering, but registered users appear to get extra perks such as being able to embed clips into their weblogs. The movie selection is still pretty limited (a bit over 200 features), and heavy with action-adventure stuff.

There are many full episodes of TV shows available, with NBC and Fox shows predominating, of course, but with a considerable number of shows from various cable channels. They have both old and new shows (27 episodes of the Bob Newhart Show, for example,) but there are a lot of names I don't recognize but which sound like more recent stuff— especially reality shows. They also have loads shows from the Home & Garden Channel, so if you're a Man Caves fan (or just have the hots for Jason Cameron or ((shudder)) Tony Siragusa) you're in luck.

Some of their content is stuff you can get on other web sites, like recent episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report that you can also watch on Comedy Central's own site, but some of it appears to be available only here.

I haven't watched anything long there, given my budget-speed Internet access, so I don't know how the whole advertising thing is done with feature films and full episodes of TV shows, but the few brief clips I've watched are usually preceded by a short ad for a recent DVD release, and sometimes a text ad will pop up at the bottom of the screen, but without any interruption of the video.

Hulu is fairly easy to navigate, and you can get concise text lists of what's available in each category by clicking on the "Browse" link at the top of the pages.

If I were a football fan, I'd probably have found out about Hulu earlier, because they ran an ad during the Superbowl this year. Interestingly enough, you can now watch the ad (featuring the ever-grottier Alec Baldwin) on YouTube. It's a very stupid ad. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if it eventually got tagged to the Badvertising section of The Consumerist web site.

And come to think of it, unless you're seriously jonesing for some old TV or a cheesy movie, you might want to skip Hulu and spend the time with The Consumerist. Then you won't have to hate yourself in the morning for having wasted hours of your life watching old episodes of Fantasy Island or Jackass.

Rain dissolving snow all day. Still an all-wet five day forecast, but it's going to be getting warmer. I expect the snow will be all washed away by Monday or Tuesday. It's not pretty anymore, anyway, pocked as it is.