TV of the Future? ABC.com Streams Full Episode Flash Video

I never find myself around the television when the popular shows are on. As a result, I have continually been out of the loop on those proverbial morning water cooler conversations regarding last nights Office, Lost, or Desperate Housewives episode. I did, however, find a quite delightful, and may I add LEGAL, solution to downloading TV shows.

You have probably already heard about ABC.com streaming full length episodes for free. ABC.com is just over half way done with its internet trial, which streams episodes of Lost, Desperate Housewives, Alias, and Commander In Chief from May 1st through June 30th.

Who doesn’t love free stuff? And I really love it when I can get free stuff legally. So when I read on digg.com about the free episodes, I thought that this could be my way to get in the loop at the water cooler.

I decided to start out with Lost. I was not surprised by what happened next. I fell in love. Not only with Matthew Fox, but I fell in love with ABC.com’s full episode flash streaming amazingness.

I had never seen any episodes before, and after one episode online I was hooked. I am a bit embarrassed to say that I watched all of this season’s Lost episodes within 3 days.

I didn’t have to fill out any forms, or create a new username. The show started out with one, ten second sponsorship message and had three 30 second commercials, and that was it. And because it is flash video, so it can go cross–browser and cross–platform without any kinks, it looked beautiful on my Mac.

ABC already has their episodes of Lost on iTunes for $1.99 per episode or $34.99 for the complete season, all of which are commercial free. While ABC.com is not commercial free, at least its not like normal T.V. with 5 minute commercial breaks. I find myself in a position where I don’t want to pay $1.99 per episode, but I don’t want to go running to a torrent.

About a week after I had viewed the episodes, I knew I was just a pawn in a very successful advertising campaign when I was asked to fill out a questionnaire about the episodes. I could recall all 5 of the ads I saw. Still, in the end, I would rather sit through the commercials and watch the episode for free, legally.

With 3 million downloads of the different ABC episodes within just the first two weeks, it won’t be too long before more networks are doing this. I think that this is definitely going to be something that we see more of in the future, and with it the advertising flood gates burst open.