I've been cable-TV-free for the better part of a year and a half. First, the idea was to save money. Second, the idea of watching TV via the Internet and on my assorted devices--iPad, iPhone, PS3, laptop--is an appealing and, honestly, preferable way of dealing with content at this point, especially since the TV is usually out of bounds in our household, since our sleeping child dictates silence. Though I feel like my idea was personally motivated, it's increasingly becoming part of a cable-cutting trend that many are adopting. (For more advice, see Maggie Reardon's tips on cutting cable for online video.)
Admittedly, we're not really off-grid at all. We still use the cable provider's Internet service. We also subscribe to Netflix, a virtual necessity when off-grid. Hulu has always offered a good selection of current shows on many networks, acting as a decent stand-in for a DVR.
Hulu Plus, with its promise of a larger library and an ability to work on the iPad, iPhone, and game consoles, got my attention when it was launched. Its price--$9.99 a month--did, too, for all the wrong reasons. Still, when I received my e-mail inviting me to sign up for the "preview," I ponied up my credit card. Is it worth it? And can it really help fulfill my wishes to watch TV off the grid without spending a fortune in iTunes? Well, that depends.
Content surprises Hulu Plus offers no free trial period other than a few free shows on its app, unlike Netflix which gives new users 30 days to try the service. Users have to discover for themselves what Hulu Plus' library actually consists of, which at the moment has its ups and downs. Some people on forums I've read seem confused as to whether the "Hulu Plus Preview" is currently free, or costs money. Hulu doesn't make the distinction clear of what a "preview" really even means, since this looks like a final product. And, yes, it costs money right now.… Read more
We've looked at Hulu Plus on the iPhone and iPad, which looks a lot like Hulu on the Web, but Hulu Plus on Samsung home theater devices (thankfully) features a completely different user interface. We fired up the Samsung BD-C6900, downloaded Hulu Plus from Samsung Apps, and were up and running in minutes. We're going to focus on the user experience in a home theater environment; for more information about exactly what Hulu Plus offers and how it compares with other media options, check out Scott Stein's analysis.
User interface Hulu Plus on the BD-C6900 looks much different than Hulu on the Web; it's a 10-foot user interface that shows less information at once, but it's easy to navigate with a remote control.
The initial screen has a carousel of featured content and there are several categories to browse from on the bottom, such as "Browse TV," "Recently Added," "Most Popular," and "Queue." If you select "Browse TV," there are several additional filters ("TV Shows with Full Episodes," "All TV Shows," "Networks"), plus the ability to sort alphabetically.
The shows are aligned horizontally--like Netflix's standard-streaming interface--with a photo, the overall user rating of the show, and a short description. Clicking on a show brings up a similar interface, with all of the episodes listed. If you're watching a program and go back to browsing, the video you're watching continues playing in a small window in the upper-right-hand corner, which feels pretty slick.… Read more
What did people do before the days of GPS satellites and battery-sucking A-GPS phones? Not only was there a navigational device that gave driving directions in the early 20th century, it was small enough to fit on your wrist.
This product from the 1920s is a scroll-map navigator in the shape of a watch. It came with tiny interchangeable instructions that you scrolled manually to see which roads to take when driving.
With such insistent clamoring for a mobile version of Hulu.com ever since the streaming TV site captured the hearts and eyeballs of American viewers, this week's release of Hulu's new Hulu Plus app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch has received a surprisingly large number of user complaints.
Why? Of the multiple reasons, the most significant is price.
Although the Hulu Plus app is free to download, the premium Hulu Plus service costs $10 a month for access to a full helping of TV series and movies, rather than the current online sampling of five episodes for each show. For many users, the price feels too steep, and the fact that advertisements run with the same frequency for subscribers as they do for online viewers of free shows only serves to rub salt in the wound.
The detractions, however, are countered by profuse praise from Hulu fans who enjoy strong signal on their iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches. Indeed, when the iPhone and iPad are glutted on data and Wi-Fi, Hulu Plus runs extremely well.
However, we also experienced signal interruptions even with reliable 3G and Wi-Fi while testing the Hulu Plus service on both the iPad and iPhone 4.… Read more
Ever since it became the go-to URL for streaming TV episodes, folks have been wanting to see a version of Hulu.com for smartphones. The response comes in the form of a monthly subscription to premium content that's available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch via the free Hulu Plus app.
Hulu's large storehouse of content from major TV networks and movie producers is its claim to fame over competing services that are attempting to bring on-demand entertainment to mobile devices. Though we found the app's interface attractive, navigating around was doable, but more difficult than … Read more
The 404 Podcast will never charge for premium content because the words "premium" and "The 404" have never occurred in the same sentence before, and besides, we're no Hulu, who just announced Hulu Plus, a premium subscription service that offers all-you-can-eat helpings of your favorite primetime shows from ABC, NBC, Fox, and other cable channels for $9.99 a month. In addition, Hulu Plus will also stream full back catalogs of shows like Glee and Saturday Night Live.
If you're planning on swapping out your expensive cable TV service for Hulu's $10 a month subscription offering, Jason Kilar has advice for you: Don't do it!
The Hulu CEO insists that his "Hulu Plus" service, which gives subscribers a deep catalog of shows they can watch on their computers or on gadgets like the iPad, isn't meant to replace cable. Instead, he says, it's meant to augment cable. Just like your iPhone doesn't replace your PC.
And he's right. Hulu Plus is designed explicitly not to threaten the cable business. … Read more
This week on preGAME, we're wielding the power of time travel in our hands as we take a look at Singularity, Raven Software's new historical fiction thriller.
But first, we'll talk about a few new deals going on for Xbox Live starting with the "Gold for $1" promotion that offers current Xbox Live Silver members a month long upgrade to Gold for just $1. After that initial $1 charge, it's the normal $50 for the entire year. Xbox 360 owners also has access to a handful of quality discounted XBLA games this week like … Read more