Monday, March 16, 2009

More TV Moving to the Web

Last week we discussed the increasing number of options that many of us have to watch TV programs. Gone are the days when we had to make a pilgrimage to the living room to watch our favorite show. Now more and more we are choosing to watch TV on our home computer.

The number of programs and videos available on the internet is mind boggling and makes the inventory at even the largest video store seem puny. A recent unrelated event in my life highlights this explosion in video content that is only a mouse click away.

One of my interests is music and I play a few instruments and enjoy learning new ones. Over the last few months I had been eyeing a cello that was for sale at the Music Shoppe and a week or so ago I bought it. I figured it was just a bigger version of the violin, another instrument I picked up about 10 years ago. Since I needed to learn some basics, i.e., how to hold it, fingering patterns etc., I went to the internet.

Along with a ton of printed instructions I found a number of video lessons on YouTube and other video websites. One began with the basics of tuning the cello and advanced through some difficult techniques. All were free and available on demand. Now, for sure these instructional videos are not going to make me Harrison’s Yo-Yo Ma (just ask my violin teacher, Connie Kopp) they do provide some good basic information.

It is not just instructional videos that are available. Many us place family videos on YouTube so we can share events like birthdays or vacations with family members spread all over the world. And most TV stations like have hundreds of local videos for viewing. But there is much more.

Take a look at This site has a many of your favorite network TV programs along with many cable offerings. From Saturday Night Live to the Colbert Report, Hulu offers on demand full length TV programs. All you need is a computer and a broadband internet connection. In order to have access to all the programs you must register and answer a few questions.

Unlike using a Tivo or other personal video recorder (PVR) where you can delete the commercials, Hulu requires you to watch the commercials but in some cases allows you to choose between watching a longer 3 minute version of all the commercials or watching the commercials embedded in the program just as they would be on broadcast TV. This is a nice touch.

Hulu’s growth has been impressive. In an average month they have more than 6 million unique viewers. Not bad for a service that did not exist until 2007. While YouTube still is the leader in online video with some 40% of all video traffic, look for more services like Hulu to emerge satisfying our increasing appetite for watching TV programs when and were we want to.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home