RARA-AVIS: Web TV (was "Terriers")

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 09 Oct 2010

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    Sonny wrote:

    > all those things kevin mentioned cost, right?

    Nope. Hulu and Fancast (and there are others) are free. Most shows come on about a week after they're broadcast, but they're then available for weeks or sometimes years. Several of the networks also offer their shows on more or less the same basis.

    As Mark (whose emaill address is webtv.net) pointed out, there are ads on Hulu and Fancast, but they're certainly far less frequent (and shorter) than regular broadcast TV. A small price (time only) to pay for the convenience of watching shows when you want, and being able to pause or stop and resume them later.

    Netflix streams unlimited movies and some TV shows for nine bucks a month, and Amazon and iTunes sell TV episodes for a buck or two. Movies can be rented or purchased for about four to ten clams, respectively.

    Netflix is the best deal, though, for movies. Even at the lowest subscription rate, assuming you watch the DVDs the moment they arrive and you put them back in the mail immediately and you live where mail delivery is good, you can probably get about 6-10 movies a month delivered to your door. And all the streaming you want while you're waiting for the next flick to arrive.

    The Apple and Roku boxes do cost, but they're not necessary. To tell the truth, I sorta like the dark intimacy of watching this stuff on my Mac in my little office late at night. When I want to get really into it, I even use headphones. High def and mega screens are great for pretty pictures and special effects, but ultimately good stories don't need that crap.

    I watch so much stuff on my computer now that I'm not even sure what days they're normally broadcast on television anymore. I know THE SIMPSONS is on Sunday, but now that I can't get Fox, I'll probably watch that on Hulu too.

    Oh, and Sonny, I have DSL. Generally, I don't have many problems. Mind you, I do a lot of watching in the wee wee hours (I'll sleep when I'm dead...).

    And of course, for those of you who don't mind stealing, there are plenty of file sharing and torrent places where you can download bootleg and pirated episodes of copyrighted TV shows and films.

    (I notice the guys who always spout about how everything -- movies, books, TV shows, etc. -- should be free on the internet never show up at my front door to offer to mow my lawn for free.)


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