With its new premium television service, Hulu Plus, Hulu hopes to become a serious contender for the delivery of network programming and other content to the consumer. By streaming television to a computer or to a television via a game console or other device, Hulu online TV aims to offer on demand programming at a price more attractive than cable and satellite providers. Hulu TV also hopes to capture the mobile television market before services such as iTunes TV get off the ground. Now that Hulu Plus is available in its $10 per month beta format, the world will see if the market is ready for its streaming subscription service concept.
> Hulu Plus on Apple devices
Among Apple users, the Hulu Plus offering has reportedly received a significant minus vote in the iTunes store. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, more than 80% of Hulu Plus ratings were only one star, pretty low for a product that aims to transform the delivery of network broadcasting into IP streaming.
Those who ventured into the service to try it on their iPads don’t seem to have much problem with the service itself: the problem is that they do not want to pay $10 per month to watch programming that has advertising. Others seem to think that the Hulu.com TV service that is available for free is what users get on the iPad for $10.
Of course, users pay for content with commercials when they subscribe to satellite or cable television services, and the $10 subscription includes a lot more channels and programs to choose from, so the problem - at least among iPad users may be more of a misunderstanding about what Hulu Plus is rather than a problem with its delivery and presentation.
> More about Hulu Plus from Hulu.com
Hulu.com online TV has become an icon for many users seeking quality entertainment on their PC beyond what is available through the free Hulu TV service. Users are told to expect every episode from every show on NBC, ABC, and Fox for current seasons. A large archive of shows from previous seasons is also supposed to be available. According to some media reports, deals are in the works with motion picture companies that will provide even more premium programming such as movies and special events. Hulu Plus runs on iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Internet-enabled televisions, or desktop or laptop PCs with Internet access. Coming soon, Hulu is expected to have streaming support for the Sony PlayStation 3, Blu-ray players, Xbox 360 and more.
> Getting Hulu Plus
If you want to participate in the Hulu Plus beta program, you will have to either go to the iTunes Store to download the app or visit Hulu.com to request a preview invitation (http://www.hulu.com/plus).
> Advantages of Hulu Plus
Hulu Plus offers an advantage over the free Hulu service because more content is available. Hulu Plus has the advantage over standard television because you can watch episodes of all your favorite shows on demand, in high definition. Because it is new and because competing services such as Apple iTunes TV are not available yet, only time will tell if Hulu Plus has any advantages over competitors. One more thing: at only $10 per month, Hulu Plus has a major cost advantage over standard cable and satellite services. Keep in mind, however, that in its present form Hulu Plus is not going to be able to replace your current entertainment service.
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"Hulu Plus announced with support for iPad, iPhone, PS3, Xbox Live, and more (update)." Engadget. June 29, 2010. http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/29/hulu-plus-announced-ipad-iphone-sony-and-more-on-board/ (accessed July 2, 2010).
"Hulu Plus gets lots of minuses on iTunes." Los Angeles Times. July 2, 2010. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/07/hulu-plus.html (accessed July 2, 2010).
"Introducing Hulu Plus." Hulu. http://www.hulu.com/plus/devices (accessed July 2, 2010).