March 16, 2008 8:23 PM

TV, online & legal

About five years ago, I thought to myself: why don't networks stream their shows online? Don't they want more viewers? It took them a while, but they're doing it now. Most stations, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, have started to offer their content online with ads. One site that has episodes and movies from multiple studios is Hulu.com, which just recently finished its beta testing and is open to the public. Netflix.com, also offers online viewing. If you or your parents use Netflix, you can log-on and watch some TV and movies online ad-free. Their content isn't as great as Hulu or content providers' sites, but the video quality is top-notch. In my mind there's no need to download illegal torrents / files from p2p apps and risk getting 'the letter' when there's a free and legal alternative...

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After working to death, I find myself needing rest. Not partying, clubbing, or going out. Just lounging around and being a couch potato. Or a bed potato, since I don't have a couch in my room :)

When I first started attending Berkeley, a lot of little things started to change in my life. Back at home, I used to watch the West Wing every week with my family and the Daily Show almost every night -- no matter the course load. Once I got to Cal, I didn't have a TV and never got around to watching much TV or movies. I bought Slingbox that streams TV over the internet and connected it to my parent's TIVO. $120 later, nothing changed. I could watch ANY show I wanted at ANY time at ANY location. For some reason, I never use it. Patrick Riley, an ex-housemate and entrepreneurial PhD student at the iSchool, has developed 3rd-party software (www.mreplay.com) for the Slingbox that automatically locates replays in a sports video feed. It's pretty cool, but I'm not a huge sports fan.

I discovered Joost, about a year ago. It's another application, like Slingbox, but its free for everyone. Their content isn't that great, and the video quality was quite lame last I checked. Still, they have Top Gear which is the most awesome car show ever!!! I watched about 3 episodes before retreating from TV.

This January, however, I was invited to the beta for Hulu.com. It's another on-demand video niche for TV and movies, The difference? Real content, commercial breaks (15-30sec. for each break), and flash-based delivery that works in Firefox. AWESOME ;) It went live to the public recently, so check it out. After being busy seemingly non-stop, I've decided to take a break every week and watch some bad TV on Sunday. Depending upon how it goes, it may even become a religious habit.


Tay Feder | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (1)

Comments (1)

mReplay has a really nice web-based Slingbox recorder that allows full time recording, plus "back in team" recording that allows you to save the last 30 or 60 seconds of whatever you just watched. www.mreplay.com/live -J


Posted by Jacob Sorensen | 2008-03-29

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