Hulu was launched as a private beta earlier this week, and immediately provoked a ream of blog space dedicated to it.
Rather than talking about Hulu, I wanted to revisit the very similar Fancast, a hybrid entertainment portal from the cable service provider.
It’s what Hulu (and its partnership with Comcast) reminded me of.
Back in August when I reviewed Fancast, I admired it and described it as “web 2.0 meets IMDB meets TV Guide” for its comprehensive database of movies and television shows that also provided viewers with TV listings in an effort to help visitors decide what to watch each day on television.
Just as expected, my visit to the Fancast homepage today revealed that full episodes of several shows are now available from a variety of television networks.
Programming From A Variety Of Networks
Fancast has it’s own customized player, although it would be nice to see a ‘Full Screen’ feature, as most online video services now have. As seen in the screen below, the pages of content that is provided by Hulu contains the new Hulu logo prominently above the video.
In addition to full episodes, the service now also features a new ‘Watch It’ feature which helps users discover where to watch and download their favorite programs.
For example, let’s say a user searches for the NBC show Heroes on Fancast. The search results page (shown in the screenshot below) has Heroes as the first entry along with a green box to the right that says ‘Watch It.’
Hovering over this box displays a larger box with links to full episodes on Fancast, a listing to see when it will next air on television, sites that sell the DVD box set, as well as places to find digital downloads such as Amazon Unbox and Apple iTunes.
Fancast Over IMDB
Now that it has new features available, I find myself more compelled to use Fancast over IMDB to find information about movies or television shows.
When I want to see who stars in a certain movie or the premise of a new show, I almost always visit the Internet Movie Database first. Now, however, Fancast offers a much better-looking interface as well as the ability to keep track of my favorites and view thousands of full episodes.
I can find exactly what is on my cable service with a custom TV listing and did I mention that it also does a great job of recommending new entertainment to watch, as several of its suggestions are already favorites of mine that I just had not gotten around to marking in Fancast yet.
Planned, but yet to be completed, are features that will aim to better integrate Fandango (a Comcast-owned service that sells movie theater tickets) into Fancast.
Currently, the menu contains a ‘Movie Tickets’ links, but instead of remaining on the Fancast site users are being redirected to the Fandango homepage.
Michael Garrett is a contributing author discussing the social networking world, his work can be found on Profy.com.
Have Something To Say?
Have Your Say:
Subscribe to Web TV Wire by Email
Keep up to date with Web TV, Video and IPTV News:
Subscribe to Web TV Wire via RSS