Another Weapon in the Battle Against Media Fees

May 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Spending

If you are a regular reader, you know that lately Mrs. ToughMoneyLove and I have been working on cutting the monthly fees that we pay for electronic media and communication services.

Yesterday our oldest son tipped me off to a new online TV offering from Hulu.

It seems that Hulu is moving along a path similar to Google by creating Hulu Labs. This site introduces new technology related to Hulu’s┬ácore services. Early adopters get to try out cool new stuff and provide feedback.

The new Hulu technology is Hulu Desktop, characterized as “Lean-back viewing for your PC” with this overview statement:

Hulu Desktop is a lean-back viewing experience for your personal computer. It features a sleek new look that’s optimized for use with standard Windows Media Center remote controls or Apple remote controls, allowing you to navigate Hulu’s entire library with just six buttons. For users without remotes, the application is keyboard and mouse-enabled. Hulu Desktop is a downloadable application and will work on PCs and Macs.

Rather than try to explain how Hulu Desktop works myself, I embedded this video (RSS and email readers will probably have to click through to my site):

I’m not a paid Hulu hustler but I like where it and other like services are headed.

With more broadcast TV, movie, and other video content going online – including freshly produced content – consumers need user friendly ways to access it. They need to have a viewing experience that reminds them of the more conventional and familiar cable box and remote environment. Hulu Desktop is yet another step in that direction. Having this easier to use PC or Mac interface to control video content searching and selection is great.

Of course, a related issue is being able to view the streamed content on the big screen. Hulu can’t help with that, but there are ways to accomplish that using a computer with a video output that provides an optimal connection to a corresponding video input on your flat screen.

If consumers can be persuaded to disconnect or downgrade their cable/satellite TV services in favor of streaming content from the web, they will save money. In our case it will be substantial money.

The related benefit is that services like Hulu – which are free – provide an increasing level of competition for the Comcasts and DirectTV’s of the world. That should help control or even lower costs for those who continue to use those services.

You might want to bookmark the Hulu Labs site so that you can follow along and exploit new technology that might save you money.

Now I need to speak to Mrs. ToughMoneyLove about a plan to better incorporate this technology into our TV viewing lifestyle. Do you have any suggestions for me?

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2 Responses to “Another Weapon in the Battle Against Media Fees”
  1. Roger says:

    I have been rather intrigued by Hulu (and not just because of the odd commercials featuring actors ‘pretending’ to be aliens). This looks like a rather impressive addition; I’ll have to check it out.

  2. My Journey says:

    You should check out netflix for 8.99 you get unlimited streaming of TONS of stuff

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