Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Technology Tuesday: IPTV / PS3 / Wii / VOD

Instead of paying for a cable or satellite subscription - and a TiVo subscription on top of that - you can buy a media center PC and hook it up to your living room's TV. With this setup, you can connect to the Internet and watch some videos, either using VOD pay-to-download services (iTunes and Amazon.com) or free-to-stream websites (Hulu for TV shows, YouTube for independent video, etc.). Theoretically, you can get as fancy as you want with technology (and money) and let your media PC's hard drive do what TiVo would do.

Alternatively, you can use either a PS3 or a Wii to connect to the Internet and watch some videos. Currently, I believe that Flash version 7 (and/or below) only works on these non-mainstream computing platforms. Current-generation consoles are obviously good for video games, so it's only natural that Internet browsing is a tertiary function. Anyhow, this means that the free videos from Hulu and various TV network websites won't play on your console because these videos use up-to-date versions of Flash. YouTube and Google Video videos, on the other hand, are still good to go! So you can definitely watch Chad Vader's latest quest in between video game sessions.

Speaking of Hulu, if you're part of the beta test, then good for you! I am too! There's a function on this site to chop video clips from their collection of full episodes. For example, here's the Solvang scene that I chopped from The Simpsons episode "Little Orphan Millie":

This is the full episode:

TV photograph credit: Kurmis.

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