Tired of channel surfing on your TV and not finding anything really worth looking at?
Well, some pretty decent original web shows are showing up on the internet. There are whole channels and services dedicated to providing great content. Most of the programs are shorter than traditional TV shows (well, maybe not too much shorter considering that 12 minutes of a half hour show are commercials).
Here are some of my favorites...
Blip.tv has been hosting and showcasing independent shows since 2005. Lots of great content, you can search genres and it also has nice tools for content providers to publish their works.
Revision3 is one of the leading Internet television stations. They create and produce all original content in episode format. It is community driven. It too is searchable.
Miro is a handy tool for grabbing and watching Internet based programs. It is a free HD video player. It can play almost any video file and offers over 6,000 free internet TV shows and video podcasts.
Miro has a nice, easy to use interface designed for either regular or fullscreen HD video. Since Miro downloads most videos, you can take your shows with you, even on an airplane. Miro is 100% free and open source, developed by a non-profit organization and volunteers around the world.
How good is it?
There is lots of good content out there on these sites, but that does not mean it's all great. You'll have to plod around and see for yourself. There are program ratings, but I don't put much stock in them. Check out the featured programs, and explore genres that look interesting to you. The nice thing is that most of them are short, and there is a scroll bar in the player so you can fast forward to speed up the preview process.
Production quality ranges from decent to awesome. Even the worst is way better than the best youtube quality.
What you need to view this stuff.
You need a decent Internet connection (1.5Mbs or faster) to get a decent experience watching these programs. If you want to watch it full screen on your computer (or on a flat screen monitor hooked up to your computer) you need a pretty decent machine. Video rendering takes a good graphics card or a lot of CPU horsepower.
My Roku player has several of these channels so i can watch them on my TV set.