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Hulu

Television watching continues to evolve and we are starting to see a movement towards it becoming more social than ever before. Apps are being used as what are called “second screens”, where people can interact about a show on their iPad while they are watching it on their tv. I truly believe that over the next couple of years we will start to continue to see an even bigger change in the television set itself as well as the way we watch shows and movies on it. With the advent of the Apple TV and Airplay, you can already start to see how the TV is becoming more than just a place where we sit to watch our favorite show or play video games.

To continue some of the nostalgia of it all, how many of you are old enough to remember what the paper version of the TV Guide used to be? I remember as a kid searching that thing weekly to see when my shows were going to be on for the week. Now, it is a relic and has been replaced in a variety of ways. One of them is a web app that I am going to be reviewing today called Next Guide. It takes parts of the old and mixes it with the new and tosses in some social features.

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A few years ago, my wife and I took the plunge to “cut the cord” on cable television. We just weren’t watching enough TV to justify paying for it, and we wanted to see if we could do without it. So we decided to go the streaming route where we would get our TV shows through Hulu Plus and Netflix, and our movies through Amazon, Netflix, and iTunes. To this day, we are glad that we have made the choice to do this.

But, one of the things that we have always had a hard time with is figuring out where and when a movie or show is streaming. For example, sometimes a TV show is on Hulu Plus, but not on Netflix, or a movie is available on iTunes, but not on Amazon or Netflix. A part of me wishes that all the different services would release shows and movies at the same time, but we know that is a pipe dream.

That’d leave you with the arduous task of searching between all the services, if it weren’t for a new app: Can I Stream It?.This web app takes the headache of trying to figure out what is playing on what service, and I have really liked using it. Here’s why.

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Let’s face it, cable is expensive and it is definitely not going to be getting cheaper any time soon. About two years ago, my wife and I finally made the decision that it was time that we “cut the cord” so to speak, and get rid of our cable bill. As I look back on it, it was probably one of the best decisions that we made. I thought I would miss it, and there are times when I do, but for the most part, I have definitely learned to live without it.

I didn’t get rid of watching television all together, and I don’t think I could ever do that. But, what we did do was we took a long look at some web alternatives that would help us get our TV fix. As with any other cost cutting move, it definitely did not come without some sacrifice on our part. But, if you are every interested in making the move, then continue to read on and see if it is the right move for you.

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Those of us who live on the web love technology. We revel in the power it gives us, the control over our environment is exciting and invigorating, isn’t it? Control over our media is a particularly sacred gift. We download, organize, archive and play our massive MP3 collections. We rip, sort, and catalog our favorite DVDs, building a personal library that’s playable across all manner of devices and platforms. But there’s one area of personal entertainment that we lovers of technology can’t quite wrestle down — Television.

See, the thing with television is that it’s the content that matters, not necessarily the technology. We’ve already figured out how to deal with generic video in its digital form, that’s not the issue — gaining access to the particular programming unique to television, that’s the issue. So what’s a geek to do?

How does one get to use all the best techno-tricks — time shifting, social media, an all-you-can-watch catalog — on the content of television? Hulu, that’s how.

Today we’re going to take a look at what Hulu can do, put it through its paces, explore it’s subscription option (Hulu Plus), and decide whether or not it lets us cut the cord on our monthly cable bill.

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The short answer, of course not. The industry is, however, fighting a needlessly difficult battle in which users pay the price—literally and figuratively. So the real question is, are we, the users, fighting a losing battle? Personally I think the short answer to that is, yes.

Around every corner is another hurdle for those of us who want to enjoy our video media via internet rather than the traditional cable, satellite or physical media source. What are we to do?

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Whether you’ve admitted it yet or not, we’re going though a dramatic change in the way we consume our media thanks to the advancement of the internet, web and mobile device technologies. Yesterday’s news was the “death” of newspapers, today’s news is the “death” of traditional TV sources such as cable and satellite. But are they really taking a hit? Are people really cutting the cable and going full-on web?

In the past we’ve rounded up twenty sites with free video on demand, but, with the exception of a select few, these were nothing more than supplemental entertainment sources. Then we rounded up the top seven web-integrated media centers, which are great advancements but certainly not full-on replacements for traditional TV providers (at least for most people).

As we reviewed, Hulu Plus brought us exciting new capabilities for getting one of the most promising cable cutting services onto our mobile devices and into the living room. But, it was found to be quite disappointing. Now we have Google TV. It’s certainly promising, but is it really ready for prime time? Not really.

Personally, I “cut the cable” long ago and haven’t looked back, but then again my life does generally revolve around the computer. Which kind of consumer are you? Perhaps, like me, you only stream (or download) your media? Or maybe the thought of ditching your cable gives you nightmares.

Let us know with a quick vote in our poll and leave a comment to share your thoughts; I’d love to hear what media sources you prefer!

I’m a huge fan of Hulu. In fact, Hulu is my primary source for watching TV shows and even the occasional movie. I also don’t subscribe to cable TV as I can find almost anything I’d like to watch via resources such as Hulu or iTunes.

When Hulu Plus was announced, I was both excited and hopeful. I was among the fortunate(?) first Hulu Plus subscribers as soon as invites began rolling out. Is it worth the price? Is it ready for primetime? I answer these questions and more so read on.

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