It started as an experiment ended up as a lifestyle change. I was curious can I enjoy the same television entertainment online that I enjoy through cable TV? Can I get everything that I love to watch on cable TV through online?
Keep in mind my computer is a HP Pavilion laptop originally I was using wireless then opted for cable modem to receive internet access.
My tastes in online entertainment are science fiction, drama, girl tv, science, and cooking shows.
I began the experiment in January 2007. I watch programming on ABC, CBS, NBC online, Hulu, Joost and will buy programming I like through ITunes.
At first it was struggle:
ABC provides the Full Episode Player. ABC recently made enhancements but did nothing to help with jerkiness and shaky access. I was watching Pushing Daisies yesterday the video was not syncing up to the sound. It would grind to a halt making the experience frustrating. HD is nice when it works but all unless you have a lot more bandwidth than the average person it’s difficult to see a complete program.
I don’t like having to click on the advertisement when it’s finished to get back to the program. What I do like about the ads is that they can be interactive.
I watch on ABC online: Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money, Ugly Betty, The Practice, Eli Stone, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, and Desperate Housewives.
I would not have the time to watch any of these programs if I had cable TV even if I saved the programming to DVR I would not have the time or patience to program it.
CBS originally had InnerTube recently changed format. The resolution and speed are an improvement. The HD version works nicely.
I watch CSI, CSI Miami and CSI NY; just saw The Mentalist and waiting to see The Eleventh Hour. On occasion I’ll watch Numb3rs.
The ads play for about 30 seconds and bring you right back to the program. There are only about 5-6 ads per 45 minute program.
NBC provides video of most of its programming but also makes it available on Hulu. I watch several NBC programs including Chuck, The Bionic Woman, Heros, Medium, and Lipstick Jungle.
The ads stream the similarly to CBS and again is 5-6 ad per 45 minute program.
Hulu provides the best experience for online entertainment as well technology. I watch my favorites like Fringe, (new) Battlestar Galactica, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Lipstick Jungle, Heros…and watch older shows like ReGenesis. So far I’m not compelled to buy a TV.
When I can’t find anything I will use Joost and IStore. Joost has some the older programs like Twin Peaks, Crusade, Moonlight and some interesting British programs including HEX. One feature I like about Joost is you can chat with your friends while you’re watching. It reminds of the very early days when Charlene Smith created Orb for Mystery Theatre 2000 for SciFi Channel. If you were a member of ECHO at the time you can chat and your posts would show up on the bottom of the TV screen.
I’ve gone the same with my mobile phone and not having a land line. TV feels constricted and I want to see programs on my time served up when I want it.