It’s not my TV anymore. It’s my Macbook laptop. I’ve found recently that it is turning more into what TV executives fear (at least non-forward thinking ones): a world where there is no difference between watching TV on TV or watching TV on your computer. What they need to realize is that the ultimate goal should be, is to gain viewership in any way or fashion. This starts with good television shows, then accessibility. With an innovative business model, you should be able to generously supplement your commercial income from broadcast TV with ad sales from internet broadcasts. Nothing bad can happen from more people watching your show. So, make it more accessible for more people.
My first steps into internet TV started off a little shaky with Joost, and has been rejuvenated (for me), by sites like Hulu.com, or actual network sites that stream full length, high quality shows after they’ve aired for free. Each of these solutions integrate limited commercials into the show, but are still considerably less intrusive than watching it live.
Between Joost and Hulu.com, I prefer Hulu. Joost for some reason went with mandatory downloadable application that you need to run to access the programming, where Hulu, very wisely, just has a web interface with no install. The interface for Joost is not very user friendly. I realize that they’re trying to emulate old-school TV with their gimmicky TV fade out when you “shut off” Joost, and auto-play when you start it up, but I find that annoying. Just play what I want, when I want – please. Hulu.com is much more simple, requires no install and in my non-technical eyeball tests, has better video quality than Joost. Not to mention available programming. Hulu has real TV shows, while Joost has some real shows that I want to watch, but is mostly made up of a bunch of fake channels. This is definitely where Internet TV should be moving, but I just haven’t found the quality of the shows to be very high. [Edit, don’t have an invite to Hulu? Go to OpenHulu.com]
Finally, there is Vimeo. I post videos there semi-regularly whenever I have time to edit, but there is a bevy of original, entertaining, and high quality (production & video) videos posted there regularly. It is YouTube, but done with class. Vimeo was the first major video sharing site that streams your videos in full HD. If you have been stuck hurting your eyes watching YouTube, Vimeo will feel like freakin’ Lasik for your eyes.
So there you have it, you can see why I’ve been watching my Macbook more often that I’ve been watching my 40″ LCD TV. The convenience, quality, accessibility and availability have really been stepped up in the Internet video arena. Have any of you started to make the switch to Internet broadcast TV?