Say goodbye to free TV, on August 8th Hulu became a purely subscription-based streaming service. Two plans now exist, one with commercials ($7.99/month) and one without ($11.99/month). I can’t say I’m surprised by the move, bummed yes, but this has been a long time coming.
When the new Star Trek series debuts exclusively on CBS All Access in January 2017, you won’t be able to binge watch it all in one sitting, well not at first anyways. CBS will treat it like any other broadcast show and release just one new episode a week.
Fall TV is winding down, which means several weeks of Holiday specials, reruns, sports, and the occasional burn-off of a failed freshman series is upon us. You could use this time to catch up with family and friends, or to watch all those movies you missed throughout the year, or maybe even go outside if where you live isn’t currently covered with snow — or you can watch even more TV.
With only a handful of weeks before winter premiers there’s no need to go crazy, so here’s some TV series to check out – all with 30 episodes or fewer.
I’m busy, my friends are busy (and some even live in different time zones), but we enjoy many of the same TV shows and it would be nice if we could occasionally watch them together, on our own time. However, if you aren’t watching TV live, it’s next to impossible to sync up online. Believe me, I’ve tried.
Wouldn’t it be nice if sites like Hulu or Netflix allowed you to invite friends to watch with you. Obviously your friend or friends would also need to be a user or have an account, but then ideally it would be as simple as sending them a link to the episode you intend to watch.
Then the ‘admin’ of the viewing party could handle hitting play or pause thereby creating a synchronous viewing experience. Also, a chat box would be part of the viewing interface so that you could, you know, chat while watching.
It could look something like this:
So what do you think fellow TV fans? Would it be more fun to turn online viewing into a group thing? Does this already exist? If so, let me know.
If you’ve watched an episode of Modern Family, Saturday Night Live, or Scandal on Hulu recently you might have noticed some Pop Up Video-like tidbits appearing on the screen while the episode was playing.
Apparently Hulu is experimenting with a new feature they call ‘Enhanced Viewing’, which “…showcases quotes and memes that capture funny moments, pieces of trivia, and tweets from fans and actors alike that reflect the moment you just watched.” They can also be shared on Facebook, Twitter, or simply “Liked”.
Given that I’m the kind of TV nerd who follows showrunners, writers, and actors on Twitter and also buys TV on DVD for the special features and the episode commentary, the Enhanced Viewing feature is the kind of thing I find intriguing. But right now I’m not so much a fan of its execution.
While it can be simply turned off, just click on the video setting gear icon to disable the feature, I find it annoying to have the actual information displayed on the same screen as the episode I am watching.
Have you experience the Enhanced Viewing feature yet? What do you think about it? Are any of the extra tidbits worth the interruption?
Although CBS isn’t typically associated with having an Internet savvy audience, CBS’s viewers are the oldest among the broadcast networks with a median age of 58.2, they’ve already introduced a similar feature to their own online video player. (If you hadn’t already noticed, CBS’s current content is not available on Hulu.com, which is realistically the only reason I even noticed.)
Dubbed ‘CBS Sync’, it works much the same way that Hulu’s Enhanced Viewing feature works – by displaying behind the scenes information, trivia, polls, exclusive photos, video and more, all timed exactly to what’s happening. However, the CBS Sync feature is relegated to an easy-to-hide sidebar that updates with new tidbits without ever interfering with the episode.
Plus, if you do choose to click on one of these bonus things, the episode will automatically pause as a pop-up window appears. And when you close the CBS Sync window, the video will likewise automatically resume for a seamless viewing experience. Pretty nifty.
Besides being far less annoying, I also find the bonus content to be more interesting on CBS.com. For example, while watching an episode of CSI, evidence stills are displayed if you’d like to take a closer look and callbacks to older episodes and crime scenes are explained.
Now of course I am comparing a long running crime drama to an episode of Modern Family, which is a bit unfair, but it still begs the question as to where Hulu.com is getting the bonus material from.
How much buy-in do they have to have from the broadcast networks / production companies? I have to imagine that CBS has the advantage of having easier access to this kind of stuff.
Bottom line, I’m all for enhancing the online viewing experience but I think Hulu.com could learn something from CSB.com when it comes to this specific kind of feature. And that is something I never thought I’d say.
The TV season is nearly year-round these days… But since I don’t expect you to watch TV live, I mean we’ve all got places to be and commercials to avoid, here’s a handy guide of where and when to find new episodes from your favorite TV shows. Scroll down for network-by-network information. [Updated: February 2016]