Hulu vs Hulu Plus

As an Xbox owner, I’ve paid close attention to the offerings on Xbox LIVE Gold, as I’ve been a member of that since it’s inception.  My profile bears the “8” mark, which means I’ve been a member for eight years.  I was one of the people chosen from the public to test the service before it launched on Xbox 1.  Anyway, my point here is that I’m aware that they’re finally going to get Hulu Plus as a video option on XBL two days from now.  My post here is about Hulu, and not so much Xbox, it’s just the launch on Xbox made me want to ask this.

Why does Hulu Plus not allow you to watch the “regular, free” Hulu videos and episodes?   Hulu has been around for a long time, and I’ve used it several times myself, when I missed recording something, or wanted to look at some recent clip, or something along those lines.  You can view these on your computer, and in most cases stream them to other websites, too.

An updated pay version of the service has been available since last Summer, called “Hulu Plus”.  That’s a version where you pay monthly, and get access to a much larger list of shows and episodes.  In most cases, entire series are available.  However, I found the paywall content lacking in shows I’d REALLY want to watch, so I only subscribed for one month as a test.  It is currently $7.99 a month for pay access.  It was initially more expensive than that, but the price came down, amongst stories that not enough people were interested in paying.

However, what I’m writing about today is the Hulu Plus app and the free version of Hulu online.  In the Hulu Plus app, you can only access Plus material.  There is a sample of some free videos in the Plus apps, but you CANNOT access the regular free content through the Hulu app.  I’ve always felt this was a stupid move.  The last time I looked, the free/sample material in the Hulu plus app is the same as when it first launched back in the Summer of 2010.  It hasn’t changed.  The free content on the Hulu website, however, is constantly updating.

The Playstation Network has had Hulu plus for awhile now (since late last year), and Xbox is getting it in a couple of days, if reports are true.  My Blu-Ray player in the bedroom also has a Hulu plus app.  But I don’t bother with these, because there’s no compelling reason to pay for Plus, and the free content is not their “real” free content.  I’m sure it’s some stupid licensing issue, but they REALLY need to make the free desktop content available on the “free side” of the Hulu Plus apps (Xbox, PS3, iOS devices, etc)..

Won’t happen, though.  :(

I have way too many DVD’s

I discovered I have way too many DVD’s last night. My wife and I were looking at ways to rearrange our DVD rack so that Samantha couldn’t get to them. There’s a few things that we don’t really need her seeing in there. It’s not like we have porn DVD’s or anything, but something like say Jason X has some images she doesn’t need to see. Right now, the DVD rack is blocked by her Pack & Play which has turned into a giant toybox. But she’s getting to the age where she can pull it out of the way and start pulling DVD’s off the rack should she choose to do so.
So we started looking at other DVD racks. I found one I thought was really nice – it would fit nicely where we had it going, and it had a few nice benefits. It “closed”, so the DVD’s weren’t always on display. But the selling point was that this one locks, so we could keep the rack locked up. That was great. The price wasn’t exactly dirt cheap, but it seemed to be not as stupid expensive as some of this furniture could be like in pricing it.
So I decided to check my current rack – it occurred to me that I should make sure the collection FITS before buying it. These DVD racks always say they hold “X” number of DVD’s, but that always assumes they’re the same standard size DVD case. It doesn’t take into account sets like “The Alien Quadrilogy” or “The Ultimate Matrix Collection” (that have like over a dozen or more DVD’s in the set), or even just larger size boxes. So in counting, I had to count things like Alien Quadrilogy as “four”, and not just one due to the size of the packaging. Turns out my collection was already over the stated limit of the new case by 25 without even buying anything else. Oh well, so much for that idea – no point in spending the $ for a new case if your collection is already larger than it! Blech.
I still like the idea of a locking DVD rack, but with such a huge collection, we’re probably gonna have to buy something REALLY large that will cost more. Darnit.

Johnny Carson

When I sat down at the computer this evening to start reading about my Eagles getting to the Super Bowl, I saw the headline that Johnny Carson had died. That kind of bummed me out.
I’ll be 40 in August, and when Carson had retired, I was 27, I had been watching him for awhile at that point (probably about 10-12 or so, I really don’t remember for sure now). Carson was supposed to be for my parent’s generation. Wasn’t supposed to be somebody that a youngster like myself was into. But I thought he was hysterical. He’s one of the few late night folks who I liked to watch the interviews with. Never much liked Dave Letterman and his interviews, Jay Leno I’m “eh” with (on interviews only, I love Leno otherwise). But Carson seemed to have the interview side of things down too. Plus his shtick worked for me. Don’t know any other way to say it. He made me laugh.
But I liked most about Carson was that he left when he was still wildly popular (much to my chagrin), and when he quit, he QUIT. He stayed out of the public eye. He retired and went away. He kept to himself, unlike most celebrities. Good for him. He deserved it.
I think one of the few times he came out of retirement was to voice himself on an Episode of the Simpsons in 1993.
Johnny Carson Simpsons

The death of TechTV

A couple of years ago, I loved the TechTV channel. It was a good channel for people who knew computers, and weren’t mental zeroes when it comes to operating theirs. They had a few fluff pieces, but overall, it was a good channel. It was founded by Paul Allen, one of the founders of Microsoft. I loved this channel. There were plenty of good shows. The Screen Savers, Tech Live, Extended Play (later named XPlay), Fresh Gear (Come back Sumi Das!), Cybercrime, Unscrewed (mostly for Laura Swisher, not Martin). There were lots of individual people there I liked. Leo Laporte, Megan Morrone, Sumi Das, Cat Schwartz, Morgan Webb, Adam Sessler, Becky Worley, Chris Leary, Laura Swisher, Stephanie Siemiller.. There’s a ton more, this is all I can think of right now.
Anyway, a year or so ago, Comacast bought the network, and merged it with their own game network, G4. It’s now G4/TechTV, and has been for some time now. The problem is that since the merger, all the good programs and hosts have been slowly bleeding away. Most of the stuff from the G4 side of things I never watched, there really was only one show I thought was worthwhile from G4, and that’s Icons. But other than that, the only shows brought over from TechTV that I watched were Screen Savers, XPlay, & Fresh Gear. Screen Savers immediately took a dive into the toilet. It’s a shell of what it used to be. It’s not very good anymore.
Xplay is mostly the same as it used to be, the only difference being that it’s got a new set. But it’s still watchable, probably because it was a game oriented show before the merger. Fresh Gear is still on, but they haven’t made any new episodes in about a year, it seems. So Xplay & Icons are really the only shows there I watch, which is a shame, as I used to love TechTV. I hate G4/TechTV – they might as well drop the old name, I doubt there’s anyone from the TechTV days who watches a lot of G4 crap.
That brings me to my point for this entry. I ran across this blog entry from a former G4/TechTV employee. It’s quite amazing what it’s like now over there. Makes me even more sad at what TechTV used to be. If you liked the old TechTV or you watch any of the new G4 stuff, read that article. It was quite amazing.
Also, in researching this blog entry, I ran across this interview with one of my old TechTV favorites, Becky Worley. It too is a good read.


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In Threes

First it was Ronald Reagan.
Second it was Ray Charles.
Who’s next?

Jennifer Lopez

So, Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck aren’t getting married. OH NO – WHAT WILL WE DO? Looks like Weird Al will get his way (lyrics from his Couch Potato Parody):
Wanna turn on “E.T.” ’cause I’m a gossip freak
And I gotta know who J. Lo is marryin’ this week
A 30 second spot
Then we come back to “Are You Hot?”
I was planning on recording “The Sopranos”
I forgot