The Hulu Chronicles

Online TV site Hulu will go live today. Most of what I’ve read about the launch is positive, although Mike at TechCrunch warned of excessive Hulu mania, and Om had to correct his implication that Hulu is Ready For The World (it’s ready for exactly one of the world’s many countries).

My favorite overview is Daniel Langendorf’s account of The Good, The Bad, The Achilles Heel. The good includes range of content. The bad includes the absence of content from ABC and from CBS (although Mashable Paul considers these networks likely to submit to Hulu partnerships of their own in short order).

The Achilles heel that Daniel describes is my own least favorite feature of Hulu. It’s that the content is patchy and unpredictable. For example, as soon as I signed up for the Hulu beta, I watched an episode of The Simpsons. I then used a handy feature of the Hulu player to make a clip from the show, in order to post the clip to a blog.

The clip is no longer available, because that episode is no longer available at Hulu. So I won’t be making and posting any more “hey, check this out” type clips.

Having said that, I think that Hulu will do well. The player is easy to use, and the ads don’t get in the way nearly as much as I feared they would. I watched and enjoyed all nine episodes of the Terminator show on Hulu (and will be posting my thoughts soon).

Terminator Starts

I’m currently catching up with Fox’s Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. The first episode was broadcast on Sunday, the second on Monday. Both are online at Fox on Demand, but not yet at Hulu.

Apparently the first episode did well with those who have the quaint habit of watching TV shows on TV. Summer Glau, who played River in Firefly/Serenity, shines.

More soon…

Catching Up With Lost

Interested in Lost, but never had time to watch it? That was my sorry plight, but about 8 minutes of online video fixed that.

Thanks to Taylor for the link. Credit to those involved in making the recap video, including the woman who does the narration.

The really amazing thing about the recap is that it’s official. Is ABC a real media company? Shouldn’t it wait for fans to do things like this, then sue them?

Hooked by Hulu

I remember reading about the online video service Hulu. I didn’t pay much attention to it until today, when several of the blogs to which I subscribe announced that they had invites to the private beta. I succumbed to what I think was the third such announcement: the one on ReadWriteWeb. It includes the word unimpressive, but it also includes Simpsons.

The first episode I watched was the most recent return of Sideshow Bob. Hulu allows you to embed a video, either in part or in the form of a clip you can define yourself. I clipped a minute or so toward the start of the show. The Simpsons have a Tivo, Marge has just been guilted into watching the ads rather than skipping over them, and then the main plotline of the episode gets under way.

Hulu includes ads, so my ad-related clip seems like an appropriate first selection. I’ve found the ads tolerable so far.

Due to WordPress.com policy, I can’t embed the clip in this post. By the way, the Hulu support/FAQ page explicitly addresses this aspect of WordPress.com, although it makes it sound as though the limitation applies to all WordPress blogs.

So I embedded it in a post at another blog. I’ve been meaning for a while to set up an annex to house embeds and other animals forbidden by the landlords of this blog. I just got round to it, in the form of Widget Way at Tumblr.

There are several limits on Hulu. One relates to what you can watch; for example, the current season of The Simpsons is there, but there’s nothing from previous seasons. Another limit relates to who can watch. The site is currently invite-only and US-only – but there are ways round that.

All in all, I’m glad to have bitten on the Hulu hook, although I wouldn’t say that I was hooked on Hulu.