Monday, November 26, 2007

SSC #46 What to watch

by Jeff Smith

    As you may or may not be aware, the Writers Guild is on strike claiming that the big media companies are not fairly compensating them for their work.  Personally I side with the Writers, but I'm not an expert on it.
    Be that as it may, today while I write this (Nov 26) the Writers Guild is purportedly meeting with the media execs to open up communications about ending the strike.  By the time this article hits print, it may be over.  Or it may not.
    If it doesn't end soon the majority of today's best TV shows will be entering re-run holding patterns indefinitely.  The TV corporations had enough shows already in production at the time of the strike to last until January, for the most part.  After that, its reruns and filler.  In other words, prepare for a non-stop parade of reality TV.  Ugh.  Just shoot me now.
     This is a big concern for the media companies because they know that a lot of viewers will turn to other activities, and without the big viewer numbers, they can't charge for advertising what they normally would.  Losing this kind of money, the media companies will eventually fold, they pretty much have to (its not like they have any creative talent themselves)... the question is how long will it take?
    A while back I wrote an article about streaming TV shows to your PC, which you can find by going to the following page  (I used to shorten the really long web address to something that wasn't so hard to type in)
    But since I'm ever on guard for things to talk to you about, dear reader, I've come up with a few more websites that weren't included in that article. 

    Miro - (Win, Lin, Mac) This is a new and open source (yay!) media player that has more content on it than any of the other net video players.  Its a little more involved to set up as you have to subscribe to some of the channels before you see all the available content, but with a little perseverance you'll find plenty of stuff to hold you over until the writers get back to working on Heroes.
    Hulu - (in browser) Hulu is the new website brought to you by joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corporation (try not to hold Fox News against them).  This site boasts high quality streams of today's top shows.  The only problem I see is that unless they also have yesterday's top shows, they're going to run out of em just like regular TV when the fallout from the Writers strike hits.  Hulu is in beta stage right now, you have to sign up and wait for them to invite you into it.

    Sidereel - (website) Sidereel is by far my favorite new TV show hotspot.  On this one site they have all the info on your favorite shows, and if they don't have it, you can add it in yourself because it is user-editable.  They also have links to stream individual episodes of your favorite shows from other websites.  They don't host the video themselves, instead they are a hub from which you can find info about cool shows you may have missed in the past week, year, or decade and then go watch them.

    While you may not be able to watch your favorite characters get into and out of precarious situations, that doesn't mean you have nothing to watch.  From the beginnings of TV to present, there is currently enough television programming out there that you could watch something different every waking moment of your life and not run out of shows.
    On second thought, thats kind of depressing.  Go ride a bike.

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