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Hulu Offers Online Television Programs

Updated on April 4, 2011

Hulu Now Offering NFL Network!

Can Hulu Help Tame a Budget-Gobbling Cable or Satellite Bill?

Are you still feeding a monster of a bill called either cable or dish for all their channels? Well you are not alone. It sounds like you could "Hulu-mize" that bill via www.hulu.com. While cable service and dish providers do deliver much of the television viewing pleasure most would ever want, the cost has certainly continued to climb with everything else in this economy. However, with today's need for fat-trimming exercises on our budgets, cable will likely take some hits. Even if cable is not cut completely, many may opt for fewer selections, making it more affordable. How have some people been able to cut it completely. Ugh!That feels like a blow to the gut for sports lovers who just cannot seem to live without live coverage of their favorite games. Could Hulu become a fix for the sports addicts and the movie junkies, or those who cannot let a day go by without visiting 'The Office'? Can the budget-busting beast of a bill be kept in check? Netflix is supplementing a steady movie diet to its subscribers. It offers 1 movie at a time for $9 and 2 movies at a time for $15 per month, plus any available instant movies to watch online for no additional charge.

How does that compare to Hulu. Well this is where Hulu comes into the picture...the bigger picture of economizing for many! Hulu is an online service that offers television programming and some movie viewing choices at no charge. Yes I did say its free! Of course, you will not have all the options of cable or a dish. But for those taking a second look at expenses, the main dish seems to the one that holds the food, which is also costing more and more! But that's another subject. Right now we are talking TV and movies.There are other online providers of sorts, including BlipTV for independent programming, and Fancast with popular programs, and even the heavy-hitting networks themselves, like NBC, CBS, and ABC are providing favorite clips, movie trailers , TV programs, full-length movies, some episodes and full seasons online. Hulu seems to offer a fair variety on its menu. None of them are giving away the store! There is still paid TV, but things are changing so quickly. So I guess we just need to keep our eyes open to see if anybody gives up any of the major sports, NFL, NBA, or PGA, etc., allowing them to stream online. It would take some heavyweight ads to take up the slack from TV viewership as we've known it. But never say never! We need only look at our own collection of antiquated technology stuffs to remember how quickly the latest and greatest can become outdated. Hey, a person can wish can't they? Oh, that was yesterday! Today I just went to Hulu to capture a photo for this article, and what do you know? They now have an NFL Network! It has classic footage and shows like 'Hard Knocks' and 'America's Game'. I don't know about you, but my expectations just went way up regarding what might be next!

Hulu's content includes some of the following hit shows in full episodes like 30 Rock, The Office, The Daily show, Today Show, SNL, and The View.

Here are a few of the movies being shown on Hulu now: True Heart, The Saint, Jersey Girl, Adios Sabata, and What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

The networks have had plenty of practice learning how to play up to the crowds, rally the ads, maintain stability, and succeed on all fronts. That is why this article directs attention mostly to Hulu because it's a newcomer in this massive media game alongside the networks. It will be interesting to see what the trade-offs are and how the consumers will benefit. Even though Hulu has some partnership with the networks for what it offers, how much will that be a factor in the long run? So it really comes down to what is available? How easy is it to use? Can it really save people money? It seems inevitable that these services will impact cable and dish dollars at least to some extent. Would some people give up cable or dish subscriptions altogether, if their budget was taking a beat down? Now there is a thought to make some folks cringe. What if people just cut back on the amount they are shelling out to the monsterous bill like you would high-calorie foods when trying to reduce your waistline? For those who are really serious about savings, cable may be a prime target to strike, and sources like Hulu can help lessen the blow by providing some nice options to supplement stripped down or absent cable or dish services.

Recently I watched a movie on Hulu--Mansfield Park, a movie based on a Jane Austen novel. There were several 30-second commercials that ran during the movie--not excessive. While Netflix has no commercials; of course, the networks run ads on their online programming as well. Yet how could I complain? I wasn't paying anything to watch this movie on Hulu, which means the ads are paying for that privilege. Somebody's got to pay!

We've Had to Jump Online for Several Other Services We Enjoy.

Anyway, there seems to be a definite trend toward online anything and everything, including weather, billing, banking, chatting, shopping, and blogging, so why not TV viewing and watching movies? If you have S-video or purchase a VGA cable device, you can even bring the shows through your television for family viewing, and not just view only from a PC. Some people hate the thought of not having cable in all it's glory but, in an effort to go after those savings, cable may be offered up as a sacrifice or least have the fat trimmed to basic by many consumers. This slicing and dicing is becoming a common trend, as people try to make their dollars do back flips. For some, any services seen as duplicated, excessive, or unnecessary are being ditched. Even landlines are being dumped by some in favor of "all-inclusive" cell phone plans to realize savings. No doubt, as consumers seek to find ways to spend more wisely, there will definitely be an eye towards simplifying and eliminating in order to keep more cash in the wallet. While kicking and screaming, some cable and dish subscriptions may go on the altar of the thrift-seekers.

Now there is plenty of positive feedback regarding online programming and to what it might lead. Surely, complaints are leveled against what are seen as limitations of such services too. Did anyone say progress please? We will have to wait and see whether this media format bites the dust or lights up the sky in its own bright future. Now the demographics for this statement ends at my front door, so for whatever it's worth; I have to say I am impressed with the setup at Hulu, and it seems it should grow in content and value. I especially like how it is designed to use the video content as tools in other projects you might choose besides just viewing. It is not surprising that even Yahoo! News is now  embedding Hulu clips for content on its pages for our pleasure. 

There were two impressive Yahoo! videos indicating two very different opinions regarding Hulu that you may want to consider. In particular, they were chosen for their great content on this subject, and I am much obliged to both of these gentleman for a job well done! In one, a pro perspective is featured by Matt Dickman and, in the other one con points are made by Paul Colligan. Share what you think.

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