I ended up watching the pilot of Castle, a new show that stars Nathan Fillion (Malcolm Reynolds of Firefly) as a novelist who teams up with a local cop to solve crimes and write stories. The pilot itself was, I thought, solid including a pretty good scene where Fillion’s character plays his weekly poker game with some other writer buddies who turn out to be James Patterson and Stephen J. Cannell.

The bad news was that to watch it, I had to go to ABC’s website (not my customary Hulu) and download some Firefox plugin to watch.

The good news is that the video quality was much better than Hulu’s. With Hulu, I can either full-screen or watch high quality: not both. This ABC player had “Streaming HD” which it pretty much was, and it ran flawlessly in full-screen. The player was also very slickly designed and they had some interesting ways of showing different types of ads — not just video spots like Hulu. I’m not saying I loved the ads, but making the advertisers want to pay is generally a pretty good business model.

I hope to see more like this: Hulu is doing a lot of things right, but they need some stiff competition to keep them from failing to innovate.

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