Picture this; your family is at home, sitting in front of the television at 6:15pm, waiting patiently for their favorite show to come on at 7:00. The picture you see on the TV before you is black and white. You don’t have a remote control, and when you stand up and walk over to the set to change the channel, you only have three channels to choose from and you must adjust some aluminum foil to reduce the static in the picture. At 6:55, all five of your family members gather and find their favorite seats on the couch or the floor and they get really quiet because they know their show is about to start! Instinct tells them that if they miss the program, they’ll have to wait a full calendar year before the possibility of getting a glimpse at a re-run. When the program starts, nobody moves. The family watches, rapt with attention until the first commercial set. That’s when everyone jumps up to get snacks, relief in the bathroom, or to adjust the TV set because you can’t hit any sort of “pause” button.
This isn’t a nightmare; it was the reality of TV for most families in 1970 and it’s how I got hooked on the “Mary Tyler Moore” show. I think the whole experience is the root of why I’ve overcompensated for my TV life today. Today I can pause, watch, replay, save, and delete programs from multiple channels simultaneously. Networks know that they can produce programs for adults only, women only, children only, or solely for the benefit of foodies or soap opera addicts. They also know that people are recording things so they do crazy things like run reruns of their programs mere hours after their initial airing (The Discovery channel is great at this).
Travelers see this flexibility as a double-edged sword. On one hand, they can record or schedule their favorite programs whenever they want, but on the other hand, they have trouble finding the time to watch them. Recording the “Guiding Light” all week won’t do you any good if you’re only home for 10 hours on a Saturday (assuming you also have lawn care and vehicle maintenance duties, or something similar on your plate).
What do you do? You catch all of the programs you missed when you have the time on the road at www.hulu.com! I LOVE this website! You don’t have to be a techie geek genius to hook anything up to your phone, tv, or satellite receiver, you just go to the website, find your favorite program, and you click it. That’s it.
Hulu has TV shows (even old ones, like “Flipper”), Movies, even video game trailers. It streams video in high definition so you don’t need a huge hard disk or a super high speed connection to the internet to watch anything. Even better, you can watch TV according to your “body clock” when you’re in different time zones. Don’t stay up past 11pm to catch your favorite 10pm program, watch it the next day at lunch!
So the next time you have 21 free minutes while you’re on the road (that’s how long a thirty minute program runs without commercials), watch TV! Watch your programs your way.
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please send an email! Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.