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.”
The one big minus of Hulu plus and this is a big minus is that there are still ads. Why after paying $10 is there still ads! Netflix has no ads. I’ll give the service a try when its out on the PS3 but whats up with the ads still being there.
I believe the argument Hulu wants to make is that you still get ads when you pay for cable. In their mind, this is basically the same thing.
I don’t like it either, but that’s the logic they’re using.
But you do still get ads when you pay for cable!
Three 30-second ads during a half hour show aren’t really going to bother me. Would I prefer ad free television? Sure. But less ads is still nice.
Do you like watching live programming like Kimmel the day after, when it’s less relevant? Are you going to pretend sports don’t exist? Are you going to go searching online for all your news? Are you really willing to sacrifice the ability to just turn on the tube when you’re bored?
Dropping cable for Hulu? What an absurd notion.
I’ve been pretending that sports don’t exist all my life! Okay, except for one year where I was really into basketball. Still, it was a momentary weakness!
The only sport I watch anyways is rarely broadcast live in the US. As its so rarely broadcast in the US, I get my fix off of the internet anyways.
I really want to see more international stuff added to sites like Hulu. I mean, is there seriously some huge copyright fiasco with me wanting to watch Britain’s Got Talent or Austrailia’s Got Talent while living in the USA? Restricting by territory is one of my biggest pet peeves – to buy some European or Austrailian artists, I either have to have a direct link to the artist on iTunes (searching in the US returns nothing), or I have to hit the international Amazon or Ebay sites. Paid almost $25 a few months back to import a USED Austrailian CD.
I just don’t understand why studios aren’t jumping on this more. People like me are willing to PAY to watch your content. I have Netflix, I have a Rhapsody account, and buy music from iTunes. I own more HD movies than my local Blockbuster.
Note to BBC and other European TV channels – if its online on your webstie already, offer a subscription model to people outside your country so people like me can enjoy it, and people like you can milk the money. Or let services like Hulu and Netflix pick up your shows and offer you a cut. Makes sense to me!
I just ditched cable about 2 months ago now and am loving every second of it, saving $110 a month has been totally worth it and I had already had Netflix and picked up a copy of PlayOn before I cancelled, with those two I’m able to watch just about anything I want to, wife and I have gone back and watched Lie to Me (great show), there are a lot of great shows that I just couldnt fit in and a lot of it was because I would just sit and flip through the channels when I was bored, with so much content to watch from Hulu and Netflix (plus all the Blurays I purchase and DVDs from Netflix) I havent missed cable TV (or the bill) at all
I will definitely be getting Hulu Plus (as I just added Playstation Plus as well) and I will be enjoying everything it has even more so 🙂
The way I see it:
Netflix – a back catalog of mostly movies – some tv shows; no ads; mobile options
Hulu Plus – a back catalog of mostly tv shows, some movies; plus ads; mobile options
Cable/Satellite – new tv shows and reruns and movies; plus ads; plus all the live sports you want.
Each one serves a certain demographic and there is some crossover. The other thing to consider is that Netflix/Hulu Plus can both be had around $10 a month, while the cable/satellite option will cost you closer to $50 a month…
Personally, I watch a lot of sports, including football and the NBA, that I need cable/satellite to fill all those needs.
Well I’m going to keep my comcast, keep my netflix, continue buying blu rays, AND get hulu plus. Why?
Because I sell cocaine.