Friday, September 26, 2008
I started using Hulu more often recently as a way to catch up on a bunch of shows I don't' usually bother to DVR. As my exposure to the service increases my disappointment in the content providers has been generally capable of keeping pace.
As much as I appreciate the ability to simply select a show, wait a few seconds and viola it's running the lack of coherent content isn't just confusing it's down right bizarre. Many of the shows I would like to catch up on have smatterings of 'value added' content like interviews and bloopers with and very few actual episodes to watch. When they do it's generally inconsistent Bones happens to have a smattering of episodes from last season and episodes 2 through 4 of the current season. Burn Notice on the other hand has all of season 1 and only 2 episodes from season 2 (and they aren't the last two).
This seems to have taken the whole point of digital distribution and sent it sailing up river without a map (or a paddle). There are some exceptions to this however, for instance pretty much anything produced by the channel 'MOJO' is available in it's entirety to be viewed at any time. This has helped me catch up greatly with the show 'Three Sheets' which I love.
Hulu is a really solid platform that could make for enjoyable viewing on a computer monitor or smaller HDTV (via it's 480p video option). The span of shows is fairly incredible, covering many of the most popular shows out there today. It's also 'kid safe' in that no form of smut seems to have penetrated the service thus far (I'm not sure how advertising supported porn would go over...). All in all it's a solid free service for consumers with fairly limited commercial interruptions (for now).
Hulu's problems sadly aren't Hulu's fault, which is good for the company but means they probably won't be fixed anytime soon. Major content distributors are clearly still trying to feel out how best to present their media on the site and it's going to take some time for them to get used to and comfortable with the new technology. When they do the system will be far more compelling for people looking for a cheep way to watch some decent TV shows. If the resolution were bumped up a slight bit more and the audio capacity expanded to be a little deeper it would make a great target for media center PC's connected to a home TV.