If you subscribe to my feed, you got a bunch of links to video sites last night because I forgot that I had "sliced in" my Del.icio.us links into my Feedburner feed. Sorry about that - I got rid of that so you won't get drowned in random links again. I don't actually use Del.icio.us much, so it had completely slipped my mind yesterday. I was playing with my Wii and it's integrated Flash Video support and was trying to figure out how to get links I found on my PC to my TV... I came back to the PC later to see that all those links had been published to my feed. Wooops! Good thing I hadn't saved my normal array of goat porn and drug paraphernalia sites.
Anyways, the Wii makes a pretty fine on demand video player using the Opera browser and Flash. I wouldn't try it if you had a HDTV and beautiful surround sound, as the quality definitely isn't wonderful, but for my regular SD TV it's actually quite passable. In addition to sites like YouTube, which are formatted for the Wii, the vast array of illegal movies and TV shows that are now out on the web in Flash Video format makes it quite fun to browse and see what's out there, all from the comfort of my couch. The sites I linked to just keep track of where the videos are hosted - by the time you get there, they could be gone, but many times there are full-length movies hosted on Google Video or Veoh, or a bunch of other public sites that are fast and easy to use.
Last year I had been trying to get a Media Center up and running next to my TV to record video, and play back movies, etc. But I have to say that having a nice, small, quiet, dedicated box that can play games, browse the web and play video is really the optimal solution. It *amazes* me that Apple hasn't done more to expand on the Apple TV - allowing it to play games and browse the web, etc. Though browsing the web is only usable and fun because of the Wii's incredible motion detecting remote - it's essentially like having a $100 3D mouse in my hand, but it works even better. It also amazes me that Nintendo hasn't done more in this area either - DVD support for one, would have been nice. Yes, I have a DVD player, but the point is that a DVD player would require DVD controls, which could be expanded to support downloadable video, etc. without having to use the browser for it.
I just really love the idea of On Demand video... Whether it's using Comcast's system or grabbing stuff from the web. TiVoing stuff that was previously shown is okay, but it's really just an inefficient way of doing the same thing. Why bother recording the sames stuff that a million other people have recorded, when you can just click a button and get the same content from a central source? We're getting closer and closer every day to where that's going to happen, and not expensively either.
Remember that old Qwest commercial? I can't find a video of it online (ironically), but here's a good description of it. Ride the light baby!