The owners of Hulu announced today that they are no longer for sale, after shopping themselves around since June. Maybe with Netflix’s sudden unsettled condition, it occurred to them that maybe they could make a few more dollars on their venture.
I am not a huge user of Hulu, but my teenage daughter is. She watches all her favorite cable and network shows there when she misses them on regular broadcast, or when someone accidentally erases something she’s saved from the DVR. Unlike others in the geek-o-sphere, we are not ready to cut the cord on our satellite yet. But having choices like Hulu means that we have some flexibility in how we watch some of our favorites.
I went and tooled around on Hulu tonight for a bit, to see what was there to watch. The American Experience series from PBS is available for free viewing, as is one of my guilty pleasures, Storage Wars from A&E. Much of what I found was cable-based, as most network shows end up on the networks’ own websites. Hulu is good for getting links directly out to shows that they don’t carry directly.
Most shows won’t play unless your ad-blockers are turned off, and they all include ads. Most ads are only a minute or less, and happen only a couple times during the episode you may be watching. That’s what you get for free. If you want to pay $8 a month, you get access to more shows, many of them current or newest releases including movies, plus the ability to watch them on any device from a smart phone to a tablet to an Internet-enabled television or set-top box.
From what I can tell, if you’re looking for things that have appeared on television, Hulu is where you want to go for content. If you’re looking for new releases, they are pretty much a black hole of nothing. But still, for those that don’t want to pay Netflix’s inflated prices for content, Hulu may be a reasonable alternative.
I intend to spend a little more time poking around seeing what is there.
This morning, Roku announced a $49 model of their popular Over the Top TV solution. The Roku LT is a very slimmed down version of the box. It does up to 720p video (which most content providers are creating content for), and while you cannot play Angry Birds or have a USB and Ethernet port (it’s a WiFi device, too) like the $99 model, it does have all the other functionality of this popular internet appliance.
Roku has been growing, adding many new channels including EPiX, which has been convincing people to cut the cord, as GigaOM discusses. Roku also added HBO Go – which is a On Demand service offered by HBO. You still need to order a cable package to get the OTT channel.
There are other great channels on Roku that do not require a cable connection, such as the TechPodcasts channel and Blubrry. You also have the Netflix, HuluPlus, Revision3, KoldKast, Glenn Beck, NHL, Fox News and many other channels.
The LT also undercuts the Apple TV by $50. Roku was already the lowest priced box, with a $59 and $79 version of the box. But this new magic price point turns the OTT box into a “great gift”. With the holidays fast approaching, this might be the hot item.
So with this news, will you finally be purchasing a Roku? Let us know!
Looks like someone is messing with my net connections while I am streaming the show. Twice in two weeks the net connection has went dead while live time to do some digging. Lots of tech tonight but the last two shows the intro has slipped a bit in length. I will get that re-aligned next show. So far nothing but postive feedback on the HD version of the show. See the bonus links in the show notes and check out our iTunes network provider listings.
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I took advantage of the Hulu Plus free trial week, because I wanted to see if it is worth the monthly subscription fee. After a week of using it, I have decided for me it is not worth the price. The reasons it is not worth the price for me is the following
1. The shows I want are not available on the Iphone or Ipad
2. Shows expire
3. The commercials
4. Its still not available on the TiVo
5. It is blocking Google TV and Boxee
Once I decided to try Hulu Plus I started to look around at shows that I wanted to watch. The first thing I noticed was that more then half were not available on the Iphone, which is where I watch a lot of my videos, so that is strike one. Strike two was the fact that shows that I wanted to watch like Fringe expire and become unavailable. I went back to catch up with Fringe and the shows from earlier this season had expired and were not available. I don’t understand the point of expiring videos, especially those from the current season. Strike three are the commercials. I have no problem with commercials in the free version I realize companies have to make money to survive. However if I am paying a subscription I don’t want to see commercials. I would prefer to be given a choice to pay more and see no commercials or pay minimum and get commercials. It is still not available for the TiVo and if its anything like the wait for Pandora, it will be awhile before it will be. I don’t have either the Boxee Box and or Google TV, but the fact that Hulu is blocking both of them is just dumb. If I connect my mac mini to my TV I can watch Hulu Plus, but if I connect my Google TV I can’t, how this makes sense I don’t know. Finally, and this a purely a personal thing there are not enough anime shows available.
I will probably take another look at Hulu Plus at a later date, but for now a combination of Netflix, Itunes, Amazon and Crunchyroll along with my TiVo take care of my video needs at this time. If you use Hulu Plus what do you like about it and is there anything you would change about it.
This weekend simply crushed me and it hit me like a ton of bricks during the show tonight. Nevertheless the show has to go on. Details in the show and some cool pictures at the bottom of the show notes. Saw the F22 Raptor perform at an airshow this weekend and what an amazing airplane. Two new contest started on tonights show listen to win.
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If you’re a Windows Media Center user then you, no doubt, are disappointed by Hulu‘s snubbing of the platform. You probably also have waited for Boxee to arrive. After all, Netflix jumped on board about a year ago. Why not the other major players?
Netflix is always quick to jump into whatever platform they can get themselves on. They get it. I’m not saying Hulu doesn’t get it, because I think they do. But, they are handcuffed by NBC and Fox. With the recent release of Hulu Plus came the announcements of the platforms they are now available on. After avoiding it for the first couple of years, they are no longer afraid of getting on actual living room TV’s. Well, they told themselves they were avoiding it, but every geek in the world was already watching them on the TV. So where is the deal with the biggest computer company in the world? With the recent release of Media Center embedded and the first set-top boxes starting to leak out this could be a major cash-cow for Hulu. Think if they made Hulu Plus a part Media Center and Media Center embedded!
Boxee, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same strict, old-fashioned bosses that are behind Hulu. They jumped straight onto the AppleTV platform, but beyond that and PC’s they didn’t seem to seek out partners anywhere. And, of course, they didn’t actually partner with Apple – it was a hack that Boxee pushed.
So, Netflix seems to be the only forward-thinking company in this space. Maybe Amazon, since they have partnered with a few set-top boxes and Blu-ray players, but they also have not jumped onto Media Center. Now all of these are available in Media Center via pretty simple hacks and plug-ins. You can find instructions for Hulu here, Boxee here and Amazon Unbox here. I use the Hulu plugin and Amazon hack on my own HTPC. I expect that, sooner or later, both Hulu and Amazon will come to Media Center, but with the soon-to-be-released Boxee Box, I am not sure they will be looking to partner with anyone.
Some Feedback from the listener survey if you do not want to listen jump to 16:30. Typical trip in progress I am crazy busy as usual. Nothing spectacular going on. Everyone that submitted links tonight for the show a big Thank You!
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