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There are many options for consuming video on your computer or even on your High Definition TV.  Whether it’s a Mac, Windows or even a Linux flavor.  The options for video have expanded exponentially over the past several years.  Back in the early 2000’s online video was a figment of many people’s imagination.  Video was compressed so horribly that nothing more than a few minutes of video could be tolerated nor downloaded.  Now, with the explosion of broadband and the increased speeds available to consumers, the video market has grown to include the masses.  There are several ways to consume video on the Internet.  Throughout this multi-part article you’ll learn about many of the differing ways to get your video fix. 

There are several streaming video sites available.  Youtube, being the most popular, has the largest selection of non-commercial video on the Internet.  You will find some commercial content on YouTube.  This may be legitimately uploaded, or as the case typically is, it may be uploaded by users, obtained from other sources.  YouTube has the largest community because of a Saturday Night Live Clip called Lazy Sunday.  The viral nature of this video added to instant explosion of the service.  Many different viral videos have come about, because of YouTube.  Some of them are, Numa Numa, The Star Wars Kid, Chocolate Rain, Lonelygirl15, and countless others.

Google Video popped up as a competitor to YouTube, yet it never ultimately surmounted to anything.  Google attempted to monetize Google Video by allow users to purchase their video for relatively cheap.  This method, while successful for content that’s available offline does not necessarily work too well for online-only content.  Google, seeing that it couldn’t compete with YouTube decided to just go ahead and put up $1.65 Billion to purchase YouTube.

Revver takes a different approach to video.  Instead of just being a streaming video site,  Revver attempts to allow the uploaders to monetize their video by paying them for the number of clicks and giving them a certain percentage of ad revenue. 

After seeing the success that video sharing sites have been with user generated content, and seeing that the youngest group of consumers have collectively changed their viewing habits the “˜Traditional Media’ studios have decided to form a partnership and introduce Hulu.com.

Hulu is a video streaming website that allows you to watch the shows that you missed upon their first run.  After the episode has finished airing in Hawaii the show is uploaded to Hulu for anybody to see.  Hulu is a joint venture by News Corp and NBC Universal.  It is currently restricted only to the United States but it is open the public.  Hulu has many of the current hits like,, Family Guy, Heroes, The Office, Prison Break, Saturday Night Live, and The Simpsons.  The videos on Hulu do not stay on there indefinitely and there is only a limited selection of each of the shows.  The videos do have advertisements within them, they’re not long, nor very intrusive.  The show just keep rolling after the commercial, so if you don’t watch them, they won’t stop the show.

ABC has decided to do their own video sharing as well.  They allow for users to stream video directly from their website.  You can watch full episdoes of many shows, including According to Jim, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost and many others.  The Full List is here.  There is a selection of these shows in High Definition.  The major disadvantage of ABC is that you have to sit there and click once the Advertisement has run in order to continue your show.  This can be annoying and a major turn off for some users. There are a plethora of additional video sharing sites, but there are just too many to list.

 Coming soon, Part II: Set Top Boxes