Thursday, April 1, 2010 user review -- with all that free TV, who needs Comcast?

With the widespread acceptance of broadband internet, companies have continued to expand the offerings available online as internet speed becomes increasingly faster.  Computers themselves have become increasingly more advanced as well.  The screen where I am now typing my blog is a 25" HDMI wide screen monitor.  Where not more than 1-year ago this LCD screen would have been a decent sized TV, now it is bundled with an economical computer package from Costco.

Like Beta vs. VHS, and HD vs. Blue Ray, there seems to always be two competing services offered to users.  Ultimately, one will always win out, but because the internet is a vast place, there may be a chance that both media properties will continue to prosper.  My favorite part of this service includes both the obvious reasons as well as the not so obvious, and I think this is actually a very smart decision for the advertisers as well.

The obvious reason why I love is because it is free and readily available.  You can watch recent shows from home, the office, or anywhere in between.  This compared to one watching the same show while paying $50-100/month to your local cable provider, which for me is Comcast.

There is an one day delay so shows that aired tonight would not be available to watch on until the next day. In addition, for a lot of the shows they show targeted commercials within the program that you cannot fast forward or omit from.  That is probably one of the smart reason why advertisers should advertise more online with these services.  With regular TV, and the propagation of Tivo and DVR, it is very easy for an individual to pre-record a show and skip the commercials.  Not so with and

The unseen benefit is they have a massive archive of old shows and movies.  I have begun rediscovering the original "Battlestar Galactica" and other classic movies.  To be honest with you the last time I saw the show "Battlestar Galactica" was when I was 5-years old, and on one of the rides for Universal Studios back in the late 1980s!

The two services are Fancast and Hulu.  Personally, I enjoy Hulu for the broad offerings they have.  They also have PBS shows that has the added benefit of having no commercial in between.  One thing that is annoying with is they show numerous "clips".  These clips from the Table of Contents look like actual full programs, until you click on it and realize it's only 30-seconds long.  Pretty disappointing.

A show I do miss is Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations".  I truly wish they feature more shows from the Travel Channel.  Currently, I have resorted to trying to find it from other less reputable sources.  Personally, I wouldn't mind watching an online commercial or two for the privilege and convenience of being able to see it streaming from

The next stage of TV programming would be networks turning away from cable providers completely and going direct to consumers via the internet.  Networks will enjoy the freedom of showing what they wish without having to pay huge royalties to cable networks. With data they collect on their registered users, they would be able to have much better targeted (read, higher ROI) advertisement.

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