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June 29, 2010 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Popular internet streaming service, Hulu has announced its long-anticipated premium offering, which will allow users to stream shows to their TVs and iOS devices. The catch? You still have to watch the ads.
posted by schmod (102 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Xbox 360 will offer Hulu Plus subscribers "controller-free navigation with Kinect and Xbox Live Parties so you can watch with friends no matter where they are.

If I bought a $150 motion sensor to use as a remote I probably have actual cable.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:01 PM on June 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


are they offering anything different than netflix streaming?
because for less than $10 a month i get unlimited one-dvd-at-a-tiome of The Wire and all the Torchwood, Dr Who, and Criterion Collection streaming i want.
posted by sio42 at 1:02 PM on June 29, 2010 [19 favorites]


Do they fix the bandwidth issues? The last 2 months have been crap with the buffering, to the point where I just stopped watching.

(mind you, I won't pay for bandwidth AND to watch ads, just curious)
posted by yeloson at 1:03 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, reading the obvious responses from the comments (so basically it's Netflix but with ads and less options), that they're keeping the ads and still charging leads me to continue my long standing belief with Hulu- eventually there will be no free service. They're seeding the ground to make a palatable service that has both advertising and a price tag.

Hulu is going to become a true alternative to cable, in that it'll become, well, cable.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:03 PM on June 29, 2010 [16 favorites]


You still have to watch the ads.

A minor quibble, considering they'd be paying me $9.99 a month.

Wait, what??
posted by hermitosis at 1:03 PM on June 29, 2010 [46 favorites]


I can think of a long-awaited Hulu feature, and this isn't it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:04 PM on June 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


Well on the one side they're offering streaming of new and current content, vs. older season DVD releases. On the other side, they're packaging it with commercials wedged in, which is the EXACT THING that just about every decent streaming service (legal or otherwise) works so hard to circumvent. Kind of smells like massive fail to me.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:05 PM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait, what??

This, exactly. I heard the announcement and was all like, Hmm, okay, maybe it'd be worth paying a few bucks for an ad-free service. But $10 plus ads?

Hulu, you got some 'splaining to do.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:06 PM on June 29, 2010


I can think of a long-awaited Hulu feature, and this isn't it.
International access? That's the one I'm waiting for.
posted by arcticwoman at 1:06 PM on June 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


Netflix is about to get nerfed. Actually it has already happened, soon instant streaming options will be Starz and nothing else.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:07 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


is there a list somewhere showing the difference between streaming collections for hulu and netflix?
posted by sio42 at 1:09 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Netflix is about to get nerfed.

Can you elaborate on this?
posted by everichon at 1:10 PM on June 29, 2010


Netflix is about to get nerfed. Actually it has already happened, soon instant streaming options will be Starz and nothing else.

This is all going to get nerfed once Comcast and TimeWarnerCable collectively start imposing tighter bandwidth caps. We've been driving cars for way too long without someone realizing they don't have to offer unlimited gasoline.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:10 PM on June 29, 2010


> Netflix is about to get nerfed.

Netflix is looking pretty safe for now. They have tons of streaming movies, a very clean interface, a big subscriber base, and no goddamn ads. Hulu can suck it.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:11 PM on June 29, 2010 [10 favorites]


Well its a start I guess.

Call me when some company offers up the holy grail, ala carte cable channels.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:11 PM on June 29, 2010 [11 favorites]


Hulu barely exists for me. But take away my Netflix streaming and I will THINK VERY BAD THINGS AT WHOEVER'S RESPONSIBLE.
posted by naju at 1:15 PM on June 29, 2010 [12 favorites]


Netflix is about to get nerfed.

What? Why/how, exactly? Hulu is just talking about catching up to Netflix in terms of devices, and if you care at all about movies, there isn't even a comparison. Remember back when Netflix Streaming had a mediocre selection that was soundly mocked? Hulu wishes its movie choices were that good.
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:15 PM on June 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


i would totally pay to have HBO on Demand on my computer or Wii.

but i will not pay the cable company to have a gazillinon channels i don't watch, pay for a receiver that can get on-demand stuff, and pay to have the extra digital tier, and THEN pay for HBO.

i'd rather just pay HBO for HBO.
posted by sio42 at 1:16 PM on June 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


It's not great that they charge and play ads, but then again it's $10. Many people pay $100 for cable with ads.
posted by oddman at 1:16 PM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Up here in the tundra, we can't get Hulu or Netflix.

Boooo!
posted by Sys Rq at 1:17 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


International access?

Not in this lifetime. Not while special-snowflake, country-based, negotiatied-individually-per-work copyright exists.
posted by bonehead at 1:17 PM on June 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


If Netflix ever gets some of the USA Network shows (Psych, Monk, White Collar, Royal Pains, etc), I will probably throw a party. In the meantime, I'm enjoying it, and I'm glad that I dropped my cable for an Xbox Gold membership, but I'm sad when random seasons of my shows just disappear.

But more on topic:
Netflix = fast, pretty darn good selection, and NO ADS!
Hulu = awfully slow for me, an okay selection (large number of shows, limited episodes for each), and way too many obnoxious ads.

So will I pay $10/month? No.

Now when is XBox going to fix their Netflix interface? It's awful to have to move through 175 movies to get to the end of my queue.
posted by specialagentwebb at 1:20 PM on June 29, 2010


Meanwhile, this is atrocious and ridiculous, but it's still the only way to watch TV on Linux.

Which I guess is a feature, not a bug.
posted by koeselitz at 1:20 PM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


We are already hard at work on porting Hulu Plus to other devices and platforms, with PlayStation 3 coming soon. But that’s a story for another day.

Well, this explains why PlayOn hasn't worked with Hulu for 6 months.
posted by edbles at 1:20 PM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing most of these won't be closed-captioned/subtitled, just like Netflix streaming, so fuck it.
posted by desjardins at 1:21 PM on June 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was (at least, I think I was) an early adopter of Hulu (October 2007), so I've seen it go through all of its redesigns and feature additions. I watch a lot of TV online. Even with the worrisome news of late, it's still the best thing going. From what I've read, it's profitable now. As long as the pay section of the site gives you greater access to features and nothing gets taken away, I'm fine with that. As soon as they start taking away features and access to shows, they have got to know that most of their users will go back to bittorrent. They have to know that if it's available for free somewhere, very, very few people will pay for it. I really don't think they'll switch to a pay-only system, but I'm going to keep my fingers crossed anyway.
posted by phunniemee at 1:21 PM on June 29, 2010


Yes, Hulu has newer content, but they don't keep many recently aired episodes around for more than a few weeks (maybe up to 5?), and the back catalogs are sparse at best for popular shows. It seems like they pushing people to buy the prior seasons, or get Netflix (or go to the library, etc.)

My biggest (little) annoyance is that the shows might be edited from their original broadcast format, as aired a scant 24 hours previously. The worst is Saturday Night Live, which may be missing skits with any musical numbers in them, and most musical interludes are cut out. If you want the complete thing, you'll need to find those clipped portions elsewhere on Hulu, or say f*ck it and download the episode like you used to do.

Netflix OnDemand + TVs that have internet widgets + wireless connectivity = no more ads and fewer wires. Plug a computer into the TV, and you can get everything else.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:24 PM on June 29, 2010


When I said Netflix is going to be nerfed, I mean that I believe the big TV networks will soon start pulling instant streaming video from Netflix to a. differentiate it from Hulu, and b. weaken it. The networks will therefore be "nerfing" Netflix in order to rebalance the streaming video landscape:

Usually in first person shooters and RPGs, when game developers think a weapon is far too powerful, and threatens the stability of the game, and weakens the aspects of that power drmatically to rebalance it.

- Urban Dictionary

After all, Hulu is owned by:

NBC Universal (32%)
Fox Entertainment Group (32%)
ABC (27%)

- Wikipedia

So I have trouble believe all the good content on Netflix now will remain once Hulu is launched.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:24 PM on June 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Edit: I am specifically talking about television content (whatever that means these days).
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:26 PM on June 29, 2010


Whereas Netflix is owned by a person who was attacked by wild Linuxes as a small child.
posted by enn at 1:27 PM on June 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


Ads= time for bathroom breaks, opening up a new tab on the computer and looking at other stuff, spending time griping about how dumb ads are
posted by anniecat at 1:29 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and for folks complaining about ads on Hulu, we've been able to game the system ever since they rolled out the ad relevancy feature. A 15 second commercial, I don't care what it's advertising, is relevant to me. 30 seconds or, god forbid, a minute, and even if you're selling my own arm back to me, you're not relevant. I still get the occasional longer commercial, but pretty much every ad I see is 15 seconds long.
posted by phunniemee at 1:31 PM on June 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


> So I have trouble believe all the good content on Netflix now will remain once Hulu is launched.

That's a good point, but most of that hosted content is done so under contract, no? So, it might take awhile for any "nerfing" to get underway.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:31 PM on June 29, 2010


2bucksplus: "The networks will therefore be "nerfing" Netflix in order to rebalance the streaming video landscape"

My theory is that the network execs are actually enthusiastic torrenters, and when the seeds start to run low they cripple their legal offerings to drive the disenchanted back to the fold.
posted by mullingitover at 1:32 PM on June 29, 2010 [16 favorites]


hulu randomly takes away shows, says they can bring you 6 episodes of something and only give you 3, two of which never change. they show spoilers in screen caps and descriptions. their ad service sometimes freaks out and takes up to 5 minutes to load a show. i support the on demand model in exchange for commercials, i just wish they didn't suck so hard at it. also, they really, really need to get cbs on board.
posted by nadawi at 1:33 PM on June 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


I swear Steve Jobs is writing madly in his journal right now.

So next up is Hulu, eh? Make suckers out of my consumers, will they?
posted by circular at 1:34 PM on June 29, 2010



Let's not pretend it's about social features or interface or that other bullshit. You go to hulu.com and you click a button and you watch the thing, or you go to netflix.com and you click a redder button and you watch the thing, or you go to ninja---eo.net or you go to quicksilverscr--n.com and you launch adblock and popupblock and you click the button and you watch the thing.

The funny thing is that I actually have a netflix subscription, but simply through force of habit habit I check the underground sites first. At this point I just have Netflix for plausible deniability.

"But your Honor, why would I download the prosecutor's so-called "Black.Widow.DVDRIP.[aXXo]" when I can stream Black Widow from Netflix with a reasonably high wife-approval factor? Also, if you need Photoshop CS5 warez, you let me know."
posted by Pastabagel at 1:35 PM on June 29, 2010 [18 favorites]


I end up using:

Netflix: Better selection of old content and movies. DVDs for stuff I want to watch captioned. But I need to wait for the DVD release for current seasons.

Hulu: Aired in the last month. (Pretty much Fringe and Stargate Universe).

iTunes: Dr Who and Torchwood before they hit Netflix.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:35 PM on June 29, 2010


i gave up on hulu when it didn't episodes i wanted to watch or just directed me to the abc or pbs site.

i figured it was just a directory of places to watch streaming.

also, i had huge buffering issues with it that i never had with netflix when i used to hook my laptop up to the tv.

netflix on the wii is one of the best things i've spend money on in a while in terms of home entertainment.

hulu is too complicated with wires and buffering and stuff.
posted by sio42 at 1:35 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


i actually made a point to watch shows on hulu that i wanted to support - like mercy (rip), but for things like biggest loser where they make you wait a week for the episode, sorry, i'll just find that on torrents.
posted by nadawi at 1:37 PM on June 29, 2010


A good analogue is the iTunes/Amazon MP3 wars. Content providers were worried about the success of iTunes and offered DRM free MP3s to Amazon first (as well as occasionally lower prices). Did it matter a lot? Amazon now sells about 16% of all MP3s (NPD) which was unthinkable to many people even 24 months ago.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:38 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


After all, Hulu is owned by:

NBC Universal (32%)
Fox Entertainment Group (32%)
ABC (27%)

- Wikipedia

So I have trouble believe all the good content on Netflix now will remain once Hulu is launched.


Wouldn't that break like half a dozen antitrust laws?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:38 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's not great that they charge and play ads, but then again it's $10. Many people pay $100 for cable with ads.

So true.

Meanwhile, this is atrocious and ridiculous, but it's still the only way to watch TV on Linux.

Really? I'm going to assume that sentance is missing some qualifying statements. Torrents: Not necessarily legal, but certainly a way to watch TV shows on Linux. Content offered direct from other broadcasters: I've never had trouble watching the Australian ABC's online content in Linux, and I'm pretty sure I've watched the commercial networks' online content as well. TV Tuner card: Yeah timeshifting is great, isn't it, but one of these would let you watch TV on Linux. Just to nitpick.
posted by Jimbob at 1:38 PM on June 29, 2010


Burhanistan:

That's a good point, but most of that hosted content is done so under contract, no? So, it might take awhile for any "nerfing" to get underway.

Absolutely there will be some lag, but I expect to hear about unrenewed contracts any minute now...
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:39 PM on June 29, 2010


Whereas Netflix is owned by a person who was attacked by wild Linuxes as a small child.

Actually Linux killed the entire board of director’s grandmas. It was sort of weird actually. Someone had made the first cruise control system for cars, but they were doing it on the cheap and running the process in a rough Linux install. There was a floating point error in the cruise control system, once you got above a certain altitude. The car’s speed would jump from 50 miles an hour to 80. Netflix’s board of director’s families had all invested in this company (they we’re members of a stock investing club), Bausch and Scrappe Cars. So all of the matriarchs had free B. S. cars. They were taking a group field trip up to the Rockies in two BS cars, when tragedy struck, sending two carloads of screaming grandmas over the edge. The surviving family members quickly dumped stock and filed a class action lawsuit against Bausch and Scrappe. They got to know each other well throughout the lengthy trial process, so when an enterprising grandchild found out about the young Netflix, they all got in on the action. Unfortunately, not understanding the differences between individual applications and operating systems, they all blamed Linux for the deaths of their families, and to this day they are recruiting a ninja army to hunt down and destroy Linus Torvald.
posted by edbles at 1:39 PM on June 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


They may as well have a link to "How To Set Up uTorrent" on the front page.
posted by griphus at 1:40 PM on June 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


I love my Netflix via PS3, but if everything Hulu Plus offers is in HD - and it sounds like that's the deal - then I'd gladly watch it versus watching the SD version on Netflix. Havin both services would seem to cover pretty much everything I'd want, other than sports.
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:41 PM on June 29, 2010


On second thought, if it isn't flash-based, this might *finally* let me watch internet video on my 12" Powerbook, which had previously gotten worse and worse with each subsequent update from Adobe. (Netflix uses Silverlight, which though much better, doesn't work at all on PPC macs) The system requirements are surprisingly modest.
posted by schmod at 1:41 PM on June 29, 2010


schmod: “On second thought, if it isn't flash-based, this might *finally* let me watch internet video on my 12" Powerbook, which had previously gotten worse and worse with each subsequent update from Adobe.”

Why in god's name wouldn't it be Flash-based? Hulu's on record as saying that everything they do is and always will be Flash-based.
posted by koeselitz at 1:46 PM on June 29, 2010


Why in god's name wouldn't it be Flash-based?

Because it works on the iPad and iPhone. Whereas the probability of a non-flash Hulu seemed remote, the odds of Flash on iOS are akin to pigs flying over a snow-covered hell.
posted by schmod at 1:55 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Netflix and Hulu are not in competition. Hulu shows TV shows from the last few months at most, while the TV on Netflix is limited to that which is available on DVD. (There are a few overlaps; both services offer the complete and woefully short Tick live-action series.)
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:00 PM on June 29, 2010


Whether Netflix gets "nerfed" or not, this biggest part of this story is that it is among the first nails in Flash's coffin. For a media player like Hulu to endorse HTML5 over Flash in this way is big news.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:01 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whenever I get the least bit tired of ads on Hulu, I remember that I'm not paying for Cable TV or sitting through a 3 minute ad block.

I'll pay $10.
posted by Vhanudux at 2:02 PM on June 29, 2010


Ah - yeah, I see what you mean. But is it possible to use iOS apps on a Powerbook? It looks like that's how Hulu is offering this. (Of course, I don't know how the Samsung TV software works, so maybe...)
posted by koeselitz at 2:02 PM on June 29, 2010


Hulu's on record as saying that everything they do is and always will be Flash-based.

Hulu is also on record as saying that this thing is coming to iPhone and iPad, so which is it?
posted by hellphish at 2:05 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


But is it possible to use iOS apps on a Powerbook?

No, and I very, very, very much doubt it ever will be as there's no way they're reversing the shift to x86 for their non-mobile devices.
posted by sparkletone at 2:08 PM on June 29, 2010


Blazecock Pileon: “Whether Netflix gets "nerfed" or not, this biggest part of this story is that it is among the first nails in Flash's coffin. For a media player like Hulu to endorse HTML5 over Flash in this way is big news.”

Again, they've done no such thing.

“We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn’t yet meet all of our customers’ needs. Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren’t necessarily visible to the end user. Not all video sites have these needs, but for our business these are all important and often contractual requirements.” [-Hulu]

That was a month ago, but there's nothing here to indicate they've changed their position. They're not using HTML5 for anything here. And if you go to Hulu.com on a device without Flash, you'll still get errors. The only reason this makes Hulu work on iDevices is through special apps designed for the purpose.

I would love to see Hulu endorsing HTML5. I hate Flash; believe me, I'm the sucker forced to use their Linux 64-bit version, which is without a doubt the worst edition of Flash ever created. But they're not.
posted by koeselitz at 2:08 PM on June 29, 2010


But is it possible to use iOS apps on a Powerbook?

No. Not unless they make a corresponding mac app.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:08 PM on June 29, 2010


Call me when some company offers up the holy grail, ala carte cable channels.guaranteed 100% seeded torrents

FTFY
posted by DU at 2:08 PM on June 29, 2010


they don't keep many recently aired episodes around for more than a few weeks (maybe up to 5?), and the back catalogs are sparse at best for popular shows.

It's pretty clear that the $10/month buys you access to the complete back catalog for a number of shows, and keeps the entire current season around for a bunch more (though it's less clear exactly which ones you get).
posted by Caviar at 2:09 PM on June 29, 2010


For a media player like Hulu to endorse HTML5

I see no indication this is even going to use HTML5. If they want it to work on iOS, they can just write an app (like the YouTube app that Apple ships with iOS). And then they can continue to have secure streaming or whatever they want, which is not possible with current HTML5 implementations.
posted by wildcrdj at 2:17 PM on June 29, 2010


Actually it's not clear. The company blog post specifically mentions an iPhone app for Hulu Plus, so that seems pretty clear. But it also says you can use Hulu on your iPad "starting today". Anyone here got an iPad? What is it using - app? HTML5?
posted by wildcrdj at 2:18 PM on June 29, 2010


Ah, OK -- so tried it out, you can get to the website on the iPad (like the screenshot on the blog post). But to play a video, you need the app. Which presumably uses something like Apple's secure streaming.
posted by wildcrdj at 2:22 PM on June 29, 2010


wildcrdj: “Actually it's not clear. The company blog post specifically mentions an iPhone app for Hulu Plus, so that seems pretty clear. But it also says you can use Hulu on your iPad "starting today". Anyone here got an iPad? What is it using - app? HTML5?”

Ha - no. I don't have an iPad, but it says pretty clearly on the Hulu Plus Devices page I linked above: "Apple iPad: Available on the Apple App Store."

I don't know why they'd use HTML5 for the purposes of making it available to their Apple customers, anyway. Nobody does that now. People just write an iOS app; why force people to view your application through a browser when you can make a dedicated app for it? And why come out in favor of using HTML5 when they were just talking a few weeks ago about how HTML5 doesn't fit their business model at all? It'd be a pretty big reversal.
posted by koeselitz at 2:26 PM on June 29, 2010


That's it? No "full back catalog of seasons past from [networks]"? No "shows in your queue never expire"? Not even "advertisement free"? Not even "higher bandwidth priority means shorter buffer times"? Or "opt into your premium cable subscription"?

I would have been willing to pay for a more perfect Hulu, and I thought all of my hopes for Hulu Premium were fair and do-able, but this is a big pile of nothing, right here.
posted by paisley henosis at 2:26 PM on June 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sorry, should've previewed.
posted by koeselitz at 2:27 PM on June 29, 2010


Sure, but they still aren't available in Canada. I actually listed this as a pro to us moving back to the states. I so miss my Hulu.
posted by routergirl at 2:30 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whenever I get the least bit tired of ads on Hulu, I remember that I'm not paying for Cable TV or sitting through a 3 minute ad block.

I'll pay $10.


Who watches ads? I have DVR with my cable and skip right past 'em. I also have all of the shows I want to watch, on whatever channel they may be.

This is no love letter to cable, mind you. I'd love to dump Comcast in favor of something cheaper or better, but I'm not about to sign up for something else unless it's an actual improvement.

$10 may be cheaper, but it also offers far less.
posted by Fleebnork at 2:41 PM on June 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


For the a la carte crowd, here's an interesting take. In short, the article suggest that a la carte wouldn't save you any money.
posted by sexymofo at 2:41 PM on June 29, 2010


still US-only. to me, that's unforgivable. I can't even legally get most US shows in english where I currently am.
posted by krautland at 2:48 PM on June 29, 2010


Caviar: It's pretty clear that the $10/month buys you access to the complete back catalog for a number of shows, and keeps the entire current season around for a bunch more (though it's less clear exactly which ones you get).

Where is that coming from? I didn't see that on the website.
posted by paisley henosis at 2:54 PM on June 29, 2010


I'll try it.
posted by grobstein at 2:54 PM on June 29, 2010


Wouldn't that break like half a dozen antitrust laws?
Ha! You do know that Comcast bought NBC Universal, right? No one cares about antitrust laws anymore.
posted by toekneebullard at 2:55 PM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


People pay $100 for cable because there aren't many other options for stuff like live sports.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:13 PM on June 29, 2010


I find that Hulu dissatisfaction is often caused by people not using it correctly.

The right way to use Hulu is to click the little thingie to subscribe to every show you're interested in. Then once a day you check your queue, and see what it's given you.

Hulu will basically act like a DVR, except free, which is FANTASTIC. Now I don't have to scurry all over the place to get all the latest episodes of the shows I want to watch.
posted by ErikaB at 3:15 PM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: get nerfed
posted by wcfields at 3:16 PM on June 29, 2010


"ps3 coming soon" they know that it used to work with PS3 before they stopped it, a move i am sure sony was for, preferring their customers to buy episodes at $3.29 each for HD. not worth it.
posted by djduckie at 3:19 PM on June 29, 2010


Where is that coming from? I didn't see that on the website.

http://www.hulu.com/plus

"Watch every episode aired from the current season of top shows from ABC, NBC and FOX. Never miss an episode throughout the season." and "Catch up on every episode of every season from many of TV's greatest shows. Over 120 seasons and 2,000 episodes of rich library content—that's thousands of hours of entertainment."
posted by Caviar at 3:27 PM on June 29, 2010


Ha! You do know that Comcast bought NBC Universal, right? No one cares about antitrust laws anymore.

That's a bit dodgy, yes, but it's not quite the same as three out of four Ginormous Conglomerates recommending Trident colluding to drive a competitor out of business.

(Of course, here in Canada, the CRTC is actually mandated to eliminate the concept of competition. It's bizarre.)
posted by Sys Rq at 3:32 PM on June 29, 2010


Caviar: "Watch every episode aired from the current season of top shows from ABC, NBC and FOX. Never miss an episode throughout the season." and "Catch up on every episode of every season from many of TV's greatest shows. Over 120 seasons and 2,000 episodes of rich library content—that's thousands of hours of entertainment."

Well I'll be. I read the "every episode aired of the current season" part, but apparently I didn't scroll down and read below the fold, somehow. Thanks for the info.
posted by paisley henosis at 3:38 PM on June 29, 2010


I am currently about a month into my experiment with down-voting every ad I'm able to on Hulu.

Interestingly, while I used to be served a fairly robust mix of ads, I now get feminine hygiene and liquor ads almost exclusively.

Read into that what you will.

Also, $10? Never gonna happen.
posted by madajb at 3:42 PM on June 29, 2010


that "watch every episode thing" doesn't actually indicate that it'll be any different than the free content. you can watch every episode aired from the top shows from abc, nbc, and fox (as long as you get to them before they're removed and you dont mind waiting a week for some of them). you get every episode from many of tv's greatest shows - in fact, a quick peek at the list of shows on hulu is hundreds of shows (not all full seasons, i realize).

so, really, it seems like you're spending 10 bucks just to get the content on another device.
posted by nadawi at 3:45 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know about the networks ending Netflix's access. I mean, yes, this certainly could happen, but it would require the networks to have the confidence that their new service would have revenue in excess of what they make from Netflix. It is also quite possible that they would take a cautious incremental approach in which they allow Netflix to continue while seeking to grow Hulu to the point where cutting off Netflix wouldn't hurt.

Shorter version: name a time Networks have cut off a revenue stream without being forced to do so.
posted by zippy at 4:02 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's just so galling to actually pay to watch ads. I would never be able to get past the initial galling.
posted by clockzero at 4:25 PM on June 29, 2010


It's just so galling to actually pay to watch ads. I would never be able to get past the initial galling.

Isn't that what everyone with cable does?
posted by enn at 4:26 PM on June 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Interestingly, while I used to be served a fairly robust mix of ads, I now get feminine hygiene and liquor ads almost exclusively.

MetaFilter: A fairly robust mix of . . . feminine hygiene and liquor ads.
posted by The Bellman at 4:30 PM on June 29, 2010


Isn't that what everyone with cable does?

I dunno. I pay for cable because I don't want to mess with an antenna and because it's essentially free ($3/month).

But I only have basic cable which means Hulu (as it is now) is perfect for me.
I can watch the few shows I want to see on the "upper" channels without the hassle of torrenting.
In exchange, I ignore a few ads (not unlike the broadcast TV model).
Asking me to pay for a lesser experience when I don't pay for cable is a non-starter for me.

I realize, of course, I am probably not the typical Hulu user, but I've seen quite a few stories in the mainstream media about "cutting the cable cord".
Hulu seems primed to take advantage of this, but not if they start shooting themselves in the foot with ill-advised "premium" services.
posted by madajb at 4:38 PM on June 29, 2010


The thing is kind of a mess. Upon starting the app, it rotates to portrait mode regardless of your orientation, asks you to request an invitation, and then rotates *back* to landscape mode to bring up a web page with the status bar still drooped across the right side of the screen.

Sorry to be grumpy, but it bugs me when well-funded companies do sloppy Cocoa programming.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:47 PM on June 29, 2010


I would much, MUCH rather pay $10/month for Netflix Instant Streaming, and access it from my phone or PC or Playstation or whatever as I decide, than pay $10/month for the privilege of watching ad-supported Hulu from a mobile device.

I suspect I'm not alone in this.
posted by kafziel at 4:57 PM on June 29, 2010


Sorry to be grumpy, but it bugs me when well-funded companies do sloppy Cocoa programming.

If I've learned one thing from the Adobe/Apple catfight, it's that the platform itself is to blame when it's misused by developers. I'm writing to Steve Jobs now to demand that he yank this 'Cocoa' stuff out of iOS right away.
posted by mullingitover at 5:00 PM on June 29, 2010


I pay for cable because I don't want to mess with an antenna and because it's essentially free ($3/month).

How on earth do you get cable for $3/month?
posted by desjardins at 5:02 PM on June 29, 2010


How on earth do you get cable for $3/month?

I have Comcast, and the difference between "Internet with Broadcast-channel-only cable TV and "Internet by itself" is exactly $3.
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:22 PM on June 29, 2010


How on earth do you get cable for $3/month?

Cable Internet access is $50/month.

But, if you subscribe to cable TV as well, you get $10 off.
Basic cable is $13, so $13 + $50 - $10 = $53 for both

Since I'd buy the Internet access regardless, I'm essentially getting TV for $3/month.
posted by madajb at 5:25 PM on June 29, 2010


While this hulu thingamy sounds great for those who can access it, it also sounds like the people talking about the hassle of torrenting or scurrying all over the place to get episodes need to learn about RSS feeds.

Not that I know anything about it, I watch all my television at the officially sanctioned time on broadcast TV, and make sure I watch all of the advertisments too.
posted by markr at 6:06 PM on June 29, 2010


Since I'm the only one who's mentioned scurrying all over the place, I guess I'm "all the people"? No need to be a dick about it, man.

To answer your question, I do know about RSS feeds. In fact, I used to torrent by RSS. But I gave it up in favor of Hulu, which is simpler. (For those of us who, as you correctly note, can access it.)
posted by ErikaB at 6:18 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


this is going to be a gimongous failure
posted by jeremy b at 11:04 PM on June 29, 2010


Was that being a dick about it? Yikes.
posted by markr at 11:20 PM on June 29, 2010


Anyone who thinks that Hulu's ads are a problem hasn't watched any TV lately.
Consider this S6Ep21 of House ran for an hour on TV. On Hulu it's 45:03.

That means that you're getting 15 fewer minutes of ads on Hulu than you would on TV. Most Hulu ads are 15 seconds. Sometimes they let you watch a longer ad at the start and the rest of the show with no ads. And it's not like you actually have to watch the ad...

The great thing about Hulu (for me) which trumps cable is that they have lots of older shows. Shows that I might not have seen or heard of because they only ran for one season, or they're British or whatever. The paid version is going to have more of that and everything else.

The free service isn't going anywhere ....yet. Either way, I'm pretty sure I'll be getting it.
posted by jaded at 5:53 AM on June 30, 2010


This sounds like the best idea since DIVX!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:01 AM on June 30, 2010


Yeah, the Hulu app is actually really bad right now. I received a few texts and a call while watching 30 Rock, and each time I went back to the app it had forgotten my place and started again from the beginning.
posted by hellphish at 3:52 PM on June 30, 2010


I don't think you should charge entrants in an invite-only beta. Rush participants should get a short free trial. Busy people who are willing to pay for convenience should be able to sign up and pay, instead of waiting for an invite. Price discrimination 101.
posted by grobstein at 5:51 PM on June 30, 2010


TVgorge.com: That's the one to watch. There's NO! way this can fail.
posted by Wrick at 2:21 PM on July 1, 2010


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