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Tentative Review of Hulu

NBC broke away from iTunes to offer its shows through Amazon (which only works on a Windows PC— no iPods etc) and through their new venture Hulu. It is a flash based video offering meant to compete with YouTube (event though YouTube was never meant to compete with NBC). The folks at MacRumors offered a glimpse of the new service, which is still in private beta. You can watch (sort of) an episode of The Office from there, as well as a few other shows like Airwolf.

At first glance there will be plenty of commercial breaks (indicated by dots along the video’s timeline), something I’m not interested in. But more importantly, the video stutters to the point that it is not watchable.

So far it looks as if NBC has shoved away iTunes and YouTube for crap. Viewers don’t want to be hassled with shoddy services and they don’t like having to go to many different places to find those services. This move is bound to push more folks to the legal use of DVR and the (likely) illegal use of bit torrents. Apple offered NBC a revenue stream, free promotion, free bandwidth and an attractive and simple delivery package— it is hard to see how spending hundreds of millions of dollars to try and feebly push customers back into an old business model will work out well.

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