I’m not a big television watcher but on occasion do enjoy an episode or two of some of the older classics. Typically that has come in the form of a DVD from Netflix or my cable television’s on demand service.
While both of these solutions do satisfy my need to watch the occasional show they are not without problems. In the case of Netflix, there’s the obvious that you need to have requested the DVD and it has to be sent to your house and such. As much as I enjoy Netflix, this hardly fits the bill when you’d like to kick back and enjoy an episode of some previous favorite show. We do all need that immediate gratification these days after all.
Cable television’s on-demand service is intended to fill this need for immediate entertainment. Great but I’ve not yet found a cable system with an accessible on-demand menu system.
I recently signed up for a beta of a service called Hulu that’s claim to potential fame is that it wants to make video available “when, where and how you want it.” So far I’ve been pleased with the service. Sign up was straight forward and a few days after indicating my interest, I received an e-mail and in a matter of minutes was watching some old TV classics.
Site accessibility isn’t perfect. There are many instances of missing alternative text that makes browsing with a screen reader more problematic. Still one can figure out where the untagged links lead and more or less use the service. Feedback on every page also makes prompting for improvements in this area a snap.
The video player used seems to be Flash technology. Buttons are missing labels so this is a bit of a challenge if you want to pause or otherwise control the video. Trial and error does help here though. The folks over at Adobe have a great Flash accessibility site that I’ve mentioned in feedback to Hulu so hopefully they’ll respond.