# # The Media Industry doesn't get it
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Will they ever get it?

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© March 2008 Anthony Lawrence

A chirpily enthusiastic blurb on the morning news convinced me to go take a look at Hulu, which in turn cheerfully promises:


Watch your favorites. Anytime. For free.

Hulu offers U.S. consumers a vast selection of premium video content, on demand, free and ad-supported: full episodes of TV shows, both current and classic, full-length movies, thousands of clips, and much more.

Except they don't. They offer a few episodes of popular shows, a few clips from new movies, and not much else. I won't be going back..

If they really had everything - and I mean EVERYTHING, because disk space is dirt cheap - this would be something worth paying for. Of course I want the same thing from my FIOS "on demand" service - I don't want to choose from what they want to offer this month - I want to watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it, on TV or at my computer.

Speaking of that, when are the content providers like Comcast and Verizon going to attach the Internet to my TV and give me a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to control it all with? I WANT the Internet in a PIP window so that I can look up things while watching TV and ideally I'd like to send my own computer's screen to it. Tell me how hard this would be for Verizon or Comcast: everything goes through the same router already: all it needs is an open VNC connection to my machine and the aforementioned disk farm.. there's absolutely NOTHING technically difficult here!

Do that, and I'll happily pay for it, either on an "as viewed" basis or by some "content bundle" pricing. But if they want me to willingly part with more money, they need to give me EVERYTHING..

Well, maybe someday..

See also Hulu Plus Review - why I canceled almost instantly.


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Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of Automating Your Mac

Take Control of Preview

Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal, Second Edition

Are Your Bits Flipped?

Sierra: A Take Control Crash Course





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Sun Mar 30 02:01:30 2008: 3919   drag


They'll figure it out eventually.

All they have to do is provide video as a service along with your ISP. A optional service that you pay a few bucks extra a month. If you have the ISP cache content locally and use multicast techniques combined with scheduling broadcasts (say any movie you want you have to wait up to a _maximum_ of 15 minutes) so to make multicast more effective then you can pretty much deliver what anybody wants at any time. with vastly reduced bandwidth costs.

Of course most ISPs nowadays are also cable providers and such so that makes it more difficult of a sell. I doubt they would be happy to see people drop 50 dollar a month cable bill to replace it with with per-channel subscription and on-demand services for a fraction of that price.

On a side note a interesting application that is kinda fun to play around with is called 'Miro'. Used to be called 'Democracy TV', but people mistakenly thought it was some political thing. Miro is a lovely cross-platform python application that uses a combination of RSS feeds and bittorrent to subscribe and download free television content over the internet. Includes a browser for searching through it's thousands of subscription feeds and supports things like searching and downloading videos from Google video or Youtube (among others) and also acting as a traditional bittorrent client.

I've been using it to watch old cartoons, news broadcasts and some tech tv shows. Ironicly it has more 'High Def' content then most cable companies offer. They support Windows, OS X, and Linux. I installed my copy through apt-get through the normal distro repositories.

I don't know how well it runs on other platforms.. it starts up a bit slow on Linux.. being a python app and such, but otherwise it is quite usable and playback and downloads are quite fast. It's much improved since the last time I tried it out when it was still called 'Democracy TV'

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