Hulu Plus was officially announced yesterday, and I have to admit that I’m a fan. Shelling out another $9.99 a month is a bummer, but once the service hits a device I own, I’ll be more than happy to do it.
So why is the new Hulu service so great? After all, the free service has current television shows and a decent selection of old stuff to watch.
1.) Hulu on TV
This is the single biggest reason to pick up Hulu Plus. Thanks to agreements with Samsung, Sony, Vizio, Microsoft and more, you’ll be able to watch shows from Hulu right on your television. It’s coming to Samsung HDTVs first and then moving to other TVs, Blu-ray players, the PS3, and (in 2011) the Xbox 360.
Finally getting Hulu on TV without the use of a third party service like PlayOn is a boon. It’s on-demand programming that’s not limited to the on-demand content from your cable provider. Depending on your viewing habits, it may be enough content that you can drop cable television once and for all.
I honestly didn’t expect Hulu to go HD. I’m not sure why, since every other streaming service has at least some HD content, but I didn’t see it coming. Hulu is finally upgrading to 720p. Not all Hulu content is going to be in HD of course, only programs that were originally aired in HD. But that’s still a pretty good chunk.
If you’re stuck with a cable or satellite provider that doesn’t offer the shows you want to watch in HD on demand, this is big for you. If you’re looking to save money on HD programming, it’s just as big. Again, if you’re cutting television service, it’s a good way to go.
3.) Back Catalog
The Hulu back catalog is a substantial one that includes the entire run of ‘The X-Files,’ ‘Law and Order: SVU’ and ten seasons of ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Some of this is available elsewhere, like on Netflix, but that doesn’t make Hulu’s back catalog any less impressive.
The expanded back catalog is set to keep expanding, according to the Hulu blog. If anything, consider the value when compared to buying DVD sets. And think of all the shows you can finally catch up on. If you haven’t seen ‘Arrested Development,’ now’s your chance.
4.) Portable Devices
It’s great that Hulu Plus is coming to Blu-ray players and game systems, but the absolute coolest place for it is on your phone. Only the iPhone has been announced so far, but don’t expect Android and Windows 7 phones to be far behind.
You don’t need to worry about Wi-Fi connectivity either – Hulu Plus can be watched over 3G. If you’re out and about and you’ve got your iPhone or iPad with you, you can bring up Hulu Plus and catch up on your entertainment.
5.) There’s More on the Way
If people are going to start paying into Hulu, the company’s got to show something in return. We’ve already been seeing Hulu go after new and old partners in the last few weeks. CEO Jason Kilar says that’s only the beginning.
“Is our work done?” he queries on the Hulu blog. “Not even close. There are more shows to license, more countries to expand into, and more product features to build. And we will.”