For many years, the battle between p2p movie sharing and the RIAA has been a fierce one. The fines get larger, the DRM gets stronger, and yet people still swap files by the millions. It has become a losing battle, and production companies are being forced by the sheer will and determination of the consumer to change the way they deliver content.
Downloading movies online is easy. Missed episodes of LOST, The Office, or Survivor can easily be located via a Torrent, and delivered nearly immediately. With the uprising of mp3 players and pVp players, DVDs are quickly becoming obsolete. We are a society of mobility. The current generation does not like being tethered to a landline, being forced to watch a movie from the living room.
Renting DVD’s has become the last resort for many. Those who are forced to rent usually rip the DVD to their hard drive and transfer it to their mp3 player, saving it for the train ride home or some other slow time during the day.
Due to the popularity of online viewing, NBC and Fox have partnered with a website called Hulu.com, offering dozens of free videos of popular television shows, many in High Definition format. These videos are offered free, but have intermittent ads placed throughout them, offering the digital version of tv commercials.
The shows include many current ones, including but not limited to:
As well as several old shows, including:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
These shows are absolutely legal, as they are being offered by stations such as FOX and NBC. They can be viewed directly from the Hulu.com website, and can be embedded in your personal webpage or blog. Unfortunately, the videos cannot be downloaded for free.
Right now, the website is in BETA stage, meaning that it has not officially released. It is closed to the public, but you can gain access via an invite, or you can request an invite. If someone invites you, than you get gain immediate access. If you cannot get an invite, than you have to request one. Unfortunately, the waiting process can be quite long.
Because of the long waiting period to gain access to Hulu.com, a man named Matt Schlicht developed his own solution to the problem – create a website and embed every video from Hulu into it. His website is called OpenHulu.com, and is open to everyone. This website is still legal to watch. The videos are embedded, and you can legally view the videos.
If you don’t like the design of OpenHulu, than you can also try TVParadise.org. TVParadise likewise offers the videos of Hulu, but on a much nicer website. This site is also free to use.
While Hulu does not offer the ability to download the videos, it does offer a legal alternative for anyone who has missed an episode of heroes, or who wants to catch up on a new series.
Hulu has not announced when the site will leave BETA, but with OpenHulu and TvParadise, the exact date does not matter.
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