I have broadcast (not cable or satellite) television, and I rarely watch it. I have a local, independent video a store 3 blocks away that has an enormous and crazy collection of diverse and obscure titlesas well as mainstream titles. 4 rentals for 4 days for 5 bucks. [sarcasm]Yeah, its a total tragedy to have to walk 3 blocks to rent them.[/sarcasm]
Hulu via Boxee on my ATV is unwatchable, which is now moot since I broke Boxee by updating to 3.0. Hulu on my iBook is watchable (if I dont mind having a sweaty lap after watching a few episodes of Bewitched) although a decidedly not very cinematic experience. I like Hulus ad supported business model, which Ive heard will change to a pay per view model in 2010 anyway.
For TV programs (from classic shows to current network and cable shows) Id much rather stream them with an ad based model or pay the video store to rent them*, than to stream them with a pay per view or purchase model. Since several episodes are usually on each DVD, the cost per episode is pennies. Renting TV episodes via iTunes is a rip-off, and iTunes TV programs and film library is currently pitifully small.
For films, Im willing to stream at a pay per view model. Though my video store is still much cheaper and has considerably larger and more interesting library. Steaming has the only benefit of having 24x7 access and not having to leave the couch.
I dont want to own** or have to manage a collection of television or film files (or DVDs).
I dont want to have to subscribe to anythingcable, satellite, iTunes, HuluI dont even have an ISP or cellular contract. Less commitment, not more please!
This is my BIG problem with Apple being in the content market. It creates a cash cow that conflicts with them providing the best possible consumer products, because they always have to cripple their hardware or software in order not to undermine their content revenue. I dont think this is in the best interest of the consumer, only Apple. I mean come on, ATV 3.0, wheres the love for external drive access?
*Unfortunately this method would preclude new programming that isnt on DVD yet.
**With copyright, theres really no owning them anyway.