Friday, May 16, 2008

Online TV/Radio making Serious Headway

I want to take a minute and share the love I have for Hulu and Pandora. I realize neither are new on the scene and I realize that they both have some very strong competitors doing similar things; however, these are the two I use and therefore will focus on them as my examples. I see the future of internet TV and internet Radio causing serious problems for both TV and Radio as we know it. No longer are we going to wait for a radio station to play something we like while we drive, we will be able to pick what we listen to. And no longer are we going to have to rely on TV schedules or even TiVo for that matter, we will just be able to watch what we want, when we want to.

Lets start with radio. Pandora at its core is an online radio station. The cool thing about it though is how it is setup. Lets say you like the band "Strokes" (yeah, me too)... all you do is add a Station for that band and Pandora will play music from the Strokes AND music that it thinks is similar to the Strokes, so maybe the Killers might come up. If you don't like what it plays you give it the thumbs down and it won't show up again. If you enjoy it, you give it the thumbs up and more songs like it will appear more often. I leave Pandora on all the time now and I can't wait till someone finds a way to bring it into the car. That is when radio as we currently know it will be officially dead in my humble opinion.

Now onto TV. Everyone knows about TiVo and how it is changing the TV scene. But Hulu is taking it to the next level. It allows you complete freedom to watch any random show without forcing you have to schedule a recording. For example, lets say you would like to to reminisce some funny episode of Seinfeld from season 4. That is where Hulu shines. Using Hulu you can browse old episodes of TV shows, random video clips, and even full movies. Just last night I watched part of the Big Labowski. I didn't have to pay a cent and only had to sit through a 30 second commercial every half hour or so. The quality of Hulu isn't going to match the latest and greatest HD out there at this point, however I have no problem plugging my laptop into my TV and watching videos full screen at a very decent quality. As Hulu expands, why would I have cable? Why would I have Tivo? Why would I have netflix/onDemand?

Its crazy to see how close we are to having the internet merge into the tv/radio. It will be interesting to see how everyone adjusts to keep on top.

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