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TV.com wants to be a social Hulu

TV.com
CBS, which owns the online TV portal TV.com recently redesigned the site, and today the company is announcing deals that will allow it to show online video from PBS, Sony, MGM, and other studios in addition to the Hulu and CBS content that's already available.

In other words, you can add TV.com to the long list of online video portals, most of which are showing pretty much identical content. What CBS hopes will set the site apart from the competition is the existing user base that uses the site to view TV listings, episode guides, and the site's social features. The site has active forums, reviews, and a ton of information about TV shows, actors, and other entertainment related items.

What it doesn't have is a user friendly interface for browsing online video. If you click on Videos or Shows, you may very well get to a page that has information about and video clips from a TV show. But it's not until you click on the full episodes button that you'll find out whether or not full episodes are even available. And I wasn't able to find a single page with a list of TV shows available for viewing like the ones you can find at Hulu and other popular video sites. Sure, most people will probably find it easier to search for content than to browse, and the search engine works reasonably well. But again, it just takes too many clicks to find out whether full episodes are available for streaming.

TV.com certainly has the potential to be a major player in the online video space. The site has a great URL and a good selection of content and features. But if CBS is serious about making it a portal for watching videos and not just reading about them, the site still needs a little work.


Tags: cbs, hulu, online-video, tv.com, web-video

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