Online TV – Which Network Does it Right?

Don’t you hate it when your favorite show gets interrupted by local or national news events?  This is especially true when using a DVR and you might not realize your show was preempted until a week later.

Enter the streaming features just about all of the major networks are using as another avenue to get their programming (and advertisements) in front of you.  Not all of these networks treat online video the same though.  Some sites tease you with clips and previews instead of making the entire show available.  Other sites only show 1-2 recent episodes and leaving the older shows to collect dust until summer re-runs (or syndication).

Some sites such as Hulu have a great selection but put all of the good content behind a subscription fence.  Another site (I’m not sure how legal this is) called justin.tv allows users to stream their TV to the web.  This is really helpful when local games are blacked out or delayed (i.e. Indy 500).  As of this writing Justin.tv had 2,606 live channels on their site.

I’ve thought about dropping cable TV all together and relying on online content and Netflix but with all of the existing restrictions imposed by the networks it’s just easier to keep things they way they are.  Bit Torrent, legal or not, has the content (so I hear) but automating the entire process and making it available when you want it is something that’s just not there yet.  Not to mention the legal aspects of downloading copyrighted content.

I remember hearing the president of NetFlix saying something about not shipping DVD’s in 5-10 years.  Maybe then the content will be easier to package and deliver digitally through the Internet.  Can the Internet itself handle this increased traffic load?  Is Bit Torrent and peer-to-peer technology the answer?  This is going to be an interesting issue to follow.

How do you get your entertainment content?  TV, Internet, DVD, other?  Where do you see content delivery changing in the upcoming years?

 

2,606 live channels

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