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Why the Best Place to Watch TV is not on TV

Shelby Ovrom, Opinions Editor

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Television has always been a place of solace, somewhere to become immersed in a fictional life so you can forget about your own, even for just an hour. In the last few years, our ability to lose ourselves in great content has increased as more and more content moves from traditional TV to the Internet.

Online companies such as Hulu and Netflix have been able to profit off of the ability to stream popular television shows from main networks directly on to your computer. If you ever miss an episode, or a whole season for that matter, watching it is simply a click away.

Now, these technology companies have moved on to the next stage of online entertainment: original shows. Hulu and Netflix are releasing content that is produced solely by their own individual companies.

Netflix entered the original content business because it was faced with a DVD market in decline. Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netlfix, said, “I looked at that and realized we were faced with a supply source that wasn’t reliable.”

So Netflix invested a large sum of money in the content itself, keeping an eye on entertainment that paralleled what had been popular on their streaming service.

Last spring they released their first batch of original shows. Netflix produced an original comedy called Lilyhammer, the story of Van Zandt, a New York mobster, who is placed in witness relocation in Lilyhammer, Norway, after testifying against a mob boss.

All eight episodes of this series’ first season were placed online simultaneously, giving viewers the choice and freedom to watch whenever and wherever. This system is an improvement upon the popular one-episode-a-week system that is used on traditional television.

Another show produced and released by Netflix is Battleground, a faux-documentary sitcom. It is about young operatives of a middling political campaign in Wisconsin.

And don’t forget about Hulu. This popular video site among Presentation students is also active in making original shows available to the public. Over the summer they announced that they had reached over 2 million subscribers to their premium service, which gives access to exclusive content.

This past summer Hulu started streaming three original series and seven exclusive shows, all ranging in various genres. These exclusive shows are actually series originally aired in Canada or the United Kingdom that are being made available to American viewers.

Hulu’s most recent original series is Up to Speed, the story of a man who travels from city to city to uncover some of America’s “monumentally ignored monuments.” This is a goofy and heartwarming story whose first season has been airing on Hulu and Hulu Plus since August and will continue on through the rest of September.

Online television is not only a convenient way to watch your favorite shows, it is also a way to discover new shows that you might not always watch on TV. With user friendly browsing, finding the perfect show for you is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Companies like Hulu and Netflix also allow you to watch great shows without the annoyance of commercials every five minutes. Instead of a dozen commercials at each break, Hulu only makes the viewer watch two or three.

So whenever you need a break from the real world, online streaming sites are perfect ways to catch up on your favorite shows and to introduce yourself to new entertainment as well. After you finish all your homework, of course.

 

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Why the Best Place to Watch TV is not on TV