Why Pay for Cable TV When You Have Hulu?

HuluDisney today announced that they are joining NBC Universal, News Corp and Providence Equity Partners as a joint partner in Hulu, and subsequently in streaming premium video content on the site. Why is this exciting? Because watching Lost on the ABC.com player sucks. Plus you have all your video in one place. Hulu has a simple UI and is fast.

With free premium content from “150 leading companies, including FOX, NBC Universal, Comedy Central, Lionsgate, MGM, MTV Networks, National Geographic, Paramount, PBS, Sony Pictures Television, and Warner Bros. Television Group”, what more could one ask for? Why pay for cable tv now?

Ok, well truth is I may need to continue paying for cable, for now. The shows I watch the most – 24, Prison Break, Lost, Office, Family Guy.. – are now all on Hulu; however, ESPN hasn’t made it there yet (despite the fact that it’s part of Disney!) which is kind of sad. CBS too. So no big changes yet.

I don’t mind the ads, though it would be great if I could figure how to get it to give me the option to watch all the ads at once in a 2-min span, as it sometimes does (anyone?). I use Hulu when traveling and its awesome when you can get some decent WiFi – it beats the funny channels at Holiday Inn and you can get Jack Bauer on-demand. Hulu is my “DVR” :). You can also view Hulu from overseas which is neat, although I couldn’t really attest to the viewing experience because there are a bunch of other dependent variables – location, speed etc..

Full release below: Continue reading

Hulu: How to Handle a “Royal Screw-Up”

Hulu

Leaders in business and government should definitely take a cue from this.

From Hulu:

[snip]

This note, however, is not about the fact that episodes of ”It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” were taken down. Rather, this note is to communicate to our users that we screwed up royally with regards to _how_ we handled this specific content removal and to apologize for our lack of strong execution. We gave effectively no notice to our users that these ”Sunny” episodes would be coming off the service. We handled this in precisely the opposite way that we should have. We believe that our users deserve the decency of a reasonable warning before content is taken down from the Hulu service. Please accept our apologies.

[snip]

Given the very reasonable user feedback that we have received on this topic (we read every twitter, email and post), we have just re-posted all of the episodes that we had previously removed.

[snip]

The team at Hulu is doing our best to make lemonade out of lemons on this one, but it’s not easy given how poorly we executed here. Please know that we will do our best to learn from this mistake such that the Hulu user experience benefits in other ways down the road.

Sometimes that’s just the best response.

24: Redemption, in South Africa

There are a few films and shows that, to me, are worth watching. The Godfather is one, the Bourne trilogy is another and then there’s 24.

Naturally I was a bit distraught last year, the aficionado that I am, with the Writer’s strike occurring right about the time Season 7 was about to premier. So the inevitable happened and the Season was postponed to commence on January 11, 2009.

Redemption

Not one to disappoint, Fox announced a two-hour film shot in June and to run in late November to serve as a preamble to the next Season. I think they also did it to make peace with some unhappy campers 🙂 . The locations featured are in Los Angeles, CA and a fictional African nation, Sangala. The latter was actually shot in Cape Town, South Africa at the Okavango School.

This does make for good entertainment. I’ll refrain from giving away the storyline, only to say it serves mostly as a way to put things back in context for viewers of previous seasons (after such a long hiatus) and also to amp the hype for the premier, which I think it does well.

Watch 24: Redemption on (the really cool) Hulu. If you’re not in the US, see how you can use a proxy server to view current US TV shows and movies from Hulu. Enjoy!

Update:

Unfortunately, 24:Redemption is now expired on Hulu, but you can probably download the torrent from Pirate Bay. Yar!