01 January 2009

Ode to Online Television

but not in verse.

A few months back (when I likely should have been studying), I watched some episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 via Youtube, since they haven't made it available in any non-DVD format. Well, there's Season 1, but I bought that last Summer and watched it through in a couple of weeks.
So I went to Hulu in search of some old TV to watch, and I fell upon Babylon 5!
B5 is a great series that I've been meaning to watch straight through for some time, and thanks to Hulu I was able to do so. The first pair of seasons, at least. I'm not sure why they don't have all 5, but a bit of looking around (and some fortuitous comments in Hulu) led me to AOLtv. The player isn't as good, but I'm able to view my stories. TheWB.com has season 4 on their site, so I might check it out once I get through 3.
But I ramble. Online TV seems to be the coming thing, if the online rags are to be believed, and I am enjoying it. The programs are interrupted at their natural break points for a 15 to 30 second commercial, and I like this. TV programs are designed for there to be a gap at certain points, for dramatic tension or to let a joke sink in, because of commercials. We've all been raised to expect the commercial break, and you'll agree that when watching TV shows on DVD the gap between breaks feels unnaturally short.
Even though many of us would rather not be bothered by commercials, the reality is that they pay the bills, and they are something of a mental sorbet, giving us a few moments of bland flavor in which to digest and cleanse our brain palates so we're ready for the next course. Act, that is.
Why am I hungry?
I'm happy for online TV. It makes sense to me. I like being able to flip on the old-school delivery system to flip around and see what's on, but the ability to catch shows I missed, or re-watch entire series thatI never saw completely.
I'll gladly watch online TV, ads and all. Now if you'll excuse me, I have B5 on in another tab.

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