Review: I’ve just looked at FOX’s new “on demand” website. Go here. I really wonder how this beta FOX site will exist alongside FOX’s joint video project with NBC, www.hulu.com. That part is not yet clear. To access FOX’s new beta site, you may have to download a plug-in to start watching. But once you do, it’s well worth it. The menu starts out with this cool spin wheel, like on the Price is Right.
And then once you watch a show, the picture is in high def (at least for The Sarah Connor Chronicles). It’s breathtaking.
I only hope that FOX puts American Idol on the Internet.
News: NBC Universal and News Corp. have combined to create Hulu, the so-called “YouTube killer.” The site provides “premium” content from TV shows on NBC and Fox, including the Simpsons, the Office, Heroes, and 30 Rock. The site is still in beta stage, so you need to get an invite to watch videos on the site (unless the backdoor is still working).
Analysis: I’ve just started my tour of Hulu, but I have to say that I really love it. The design of the site is clean, simple, and easy to navigate. And the video quality is absolutely fantastic (near high def, if not high def), much better than YouTube’s. The key difference is that Hulu doesn’t allow amateur or user-generated videos like YouTube does. So it seems doubtful that Hulu will steal away YouTube’s audience, many of whom probably prefer to watch at least some amateur videos or “non-premium” content.
News: While Hulu (the premium content site provided by NBC Universal and Fox) is in beta and open only to those invited, a site called BuzzFeed has found a way for everyone to look at the new Hulu site. Just go to BuzzFeed for the so-called “backdoor” to Hulu.
Analysis: The video quality — meaning the definition and clarity of the picture — is fantastic. Great job, NBC and Fox!! As I said several times before, this marks the beginning of the end of TV as we know it. The Internet will be taking over, soon. (And no FCC regulations there.)
News: NBC Universal and Fox have teamed up to develop a video site called “Hulu” that will deliver “premium” content of their own TV shows, like The Office and Prison Break. Users can’t upload anything, sorry. Wired gives the beta version of Hulu a favorable review. (I’ve signed up for the beta, but am still waiting on my invite.)
Analysis: So will Hulu be the “YouTube killer” it was touted by some to be? I think Wired has the right answer: basically, no. (“[W]ith the lack of user-generated content, it falls short of the end-all be-all site for online video. Viewers are still going to go to YouTube and still click their ads — but in terms of piracy a minor rebellion may have been quelled.”) But here’s what Hulu will help to kill: the DVR industry and the primacy of network television. As I’ve been saying all along, this is the beginning of the end of television as we know it.