Saturday, November 24, 2007

NBC, FOX and the update on Hulu (and the writers strike)

Earlier this week I did a quick review of the NBC / FOX online joint video venture called HULU. Being admittedly a little brain dead this week, I thought I had been locked-out because of my mention of the writers' strike, but the fact is, I lost the new password. Yikes.

No politics here? Every rule is meant to be broken. The gang at the Writers Guild (a quick Hi to all of you on Twitter!) definitely have something to be concerned about. Hulu is the best example I've seen to date.

If they grow Hulu faster, keep the servers at HD quality, and keep it in it's current subdued ( and just great) format, I'd be a little worried if I was a writer too. I'd also be more worried about Letterman who really doesn't seem to care at all, and knows that CBS has more to lose (financially) than anyone else in this mess. Anyone catch the LIVE Thanksgiving show?
Payback to Les Moonves. You bet.

Back to Hulu ...

Hulu is still in private beta, and despite moderate early reviews, they've been adding more content and as mentioned before, the absolutely stellar video at reasonable PC screen sizes is excellent.

While I still prefer to watch TV .. ugh ... on a TV with a few friends, I really like what I'm seeing so far from Hulu. No blaring ads, easy mouse over navigation, a pop out feature so you can watch TV in the monitor corner, and more.

Although the roll-out appears slow (adding 30 or 40 shows at a time), I was easily able to find stuff I like and actually watched a little TV on my PC.

24, House, Bones, 30 Rock, Leno, Las Vegas, The Office, Heroes, and more. There's a large list, along with many shows from the NBC and FOX archives (too long to list). We suppose Fox could be reading Fox because, yes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is there too?

To date: Hulu's content partners are Bravo, E!, Fox Movie Channel, IGN, NBC Universal, SCI FI, FX, Sundance Channel, Sony, Fox Television Classics, USA, Universal Pictures, Comedy Time, MGM, Fight Networks, Ford Models, Fuel TV, Fox, G4, Gamespot, Golf Channel, Moveiola, World Wrestling Entertainment, National Geographic, Oxygen, Speed Channel, TVG,, TV Guide, Versus, X17,, Rehearsals and Reveille.

Definitely a wide cross-section of demographics (all of whom seem to be favoring the Simpsons?) are being hit at once to see 'what plays'...

Hulu's distribution partners include 'a varied mix' too, and include AOL, Comcast, MSN, MySpace, and Yahoo. This could turn out to be one of the most interesting chapters for us 'search engine geeks'.

Here we go again. So far, my largest disappointment was to see 24 not marked with the 'still on the air' button. I must be living in a cave. Did they cancel Jack Bauer?. Are they nuts? Do they want hundreds of thousands of Peanuts at Fox HQ? Somebody tell me what the deal is here before the withdrawals start!

We'll do more on Hulu and the other video 'players' (with screenshots next time). I honestly don't know what the other reviewers are watching but this guy is hoping they don't mess it up with lots of RED buttons and promos ... and keep it just the way it is.

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