More Hulu Voodoo and News from NBC

Mari Silbey —  December 11, 2007

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More news came out today on both Hulu and NBC. First, Last100 picked up on a new site called OPENhulu which allows anyone to access Hulu content. No beta invite required. Read all the details on the Last100 post, or just go straight to the site and start watching shows. Only some of the Hulu content is up so far, but it’s a good start, and genius Matt Schlicht promises to keep adding. (Please don’t sue him, Hulu…)

Meanwhile, while NBC’s joint Hulu venture with News Corp is going well, other aspects of NBC’s business are not. Word has it that NBC is writing refund checks to its advertisers for missing ratings guarantees. Ouch. Remember when NBC was must-see TV? Dave and I compared notes and he says he’s still watching 30 Rock and Journeyman on the network, while I’m hanging on to Chuck and Scrubs. I guess there’s not a whole lot else on NBC worth watching. I was going to try out Heroes, but after hearing that season two hasn’t been that great, I’m not sure I’m willing to invest the effort.

Finally, back in the good news column, several folks wrote today about NBC starting to offer content through SanDisk’s Fanfare service as of this January. The content will be DRM-protected of course, but you’ll be able to watch it on a PC or using one of SanDisk’s TakeTV USB gadgets.

Two good news items and one bad for NBC? We’ll call it a good day.

(Thanks, Todd!)

16 responses to More Hulu Voodoo and News from NBC

  1. There are a number of very good shows on NBC networks, including:

    – 30 Rock, which is just killer
    – Chuck, which is okay
    – Friday Night Lights, still great
    – Life, which is really great, but I assume nobody is watching, so this may go the way of Smith
    – The Office, still great
    – Burn Notice of course on USA
    – Battlestar Galactica on SciFi

    I may dislike NBCs decision to leave iTunes, but hulu is nice and some of their shows are fine…

  2. Dave,

    Looks like Journeyman just got cancelled…

  3. So no one is going to speculate that DVR commercial skipping, shows available on websites, Halo ( plus the upcoming Metal Gear Solid 3 ) are all combining to dilute teh ratings? Ok I will!

    Can you say “tipping point”?

  4. Glenn, I knew Journeyman was in trouble (NBC hadn’t ordered more episodes) but not dead yet. But I see now E! Online says it’s canceled. I’d actually been bored the last 2-3 shows and I’d be OK if they really cancel it. Though I do enjoy the main actors and hope they find homes elsewhere.

    We still haven’t seen Friday Night Lights. Probably need to add it to our Netflix queue.

    Todd, television viewship has been fragmenting for years… So many television channels these days and non-scripted shows (sports, reality tv). I don’t think Xbox/PS3 or Internet video are significantly diluting viewership yet. I think the larger problem is crappy content. And studios giving up on good properties before they’ve had time to attract a following. Built it and they will come.

  5. Just got my Hulu Beta access…gotta give it a try. Maybe I will be able to see the final two Journeyman episodes if NBC pulls them…stupid network.

  6. You can also watch the hulu content on partner sites like fancast.

    http://www.fancast.com/videos

  7. Just got my beta invite. Been playing around with it. Still, for me, the biggest issue is the non-portability of the media.

  8. Todd,

    I do you think you have a point. While the RIAA rails about file sharing killing music, it seems like the main immpact may be from all the time people are spending doing other things like surfing the net, playing games, etc. Likely a study examining the impact of such things on TV ratings and music consumption would find a significant correlation…

  9. @Gilbert
    When did you sign up because I’m still waiting for my invite.

  10. I wonder if there is any case that can be made for mandatory licensing like there is for music and radio. It seems strange that NBC can license to other services like Take TV for the same pricing they said was too low on iTunes.

  11. Looks like you can in fact capture Hulu vids using a program like Replay Media Catcher. Just tried the demo version, and only on a short clip, but kinda surprised the standard flash stuff worked. Suggests that there’ll soon be a raft of ways to capture and store the hulu videos out there…

  12. Any way to replay these on an actual TV?

  13. SlingCatcher! ;) Early 2008. (I may be biased as a Sling Media employee.)

  14. Kevin–

    1) Use a Media Center PC, hook to TV.
    2) Wait for Sansa’s USB drive store to start hosting NBC shows, download to thumb drive, hook up to TV
    3) Use Replay Media Catcher to capture the show (in real time). Save. Use Replay software to convert to something else like AVI. Drop in Tivo folder. Watch on TV using Tivo.
    4) Convert from Flash, burn to DVD, watch on TV using DVD player

    Etc.

  15. Has anyone tried playback via the Wii? (We almost hooked the Mac laptop up to the TV last night to watch Burn Notice. Too much effort, though and no remote.)

  16. Just got the Hulu invite.