Ending months of speculation, Hulu has announced a subscription service for accessing TV shows on a PC, Mac, mobile device, or select Samsung internet-connected TVs or Blu-Ray players.
It’s called Hulu Plus, and at launch, the mobile version of Hulu will work on the Apple iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone. The company says other platforms are in the works, but there’s no word on which platforms, so it’s a bit early to predict if and when we’ll see Hulu apps for Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone devices. We do know that Playstation3 and Xbox 360 versions are on the way.
You’ll be able to start watching a show on one device, and resume on another, which is a pretty nifty feature. So if you’re watching on your iPhone on th etr
Hulu Plus subscription will set run $9.99 per month — and you’ll still have to put up with ads in your programs. So what exactly do you get with Hulu Plus that you can’t already get from Hulu’s free, ad-supported service?
- Every episode from the latest season of currently running TV shows
- Every episode of every season for select shows including The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Ally McBeal
- All shows will be available in 720p high definition video streams.
You can sign up to request an invitation for early access to Hulu Plus starting today.
Overall, Hulu Plus seems like it holds a lot of promise — but it’s success will all depend on whether Hulu can offer high quality content that’s not already available from Netflix. Killing or reducing the advertisements for paying customers wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
While Hulu is launching the apps for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch along with the Hulu Plus service, it turns out you can download the free app even if you’re not a subscriber and use it to view a small number of programs available in the Free Gallery. But you’ll need an iPad, iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, or 3rd generation iPod touch running iOS 4. The app hasn’t been tested on earlier versions of the iPhone OS.
The folks at Gizmodo Gizmodo took the new app for a spin, and they were reasonably impressed with the video quality, and reasonably annoyed by the ads, pointing out that 30 seconds seems like an eternity when you’re on a mobile device.
And NewTeeVee has a nice chart showing how the Hulu Plus content library stacks up against Netflix. Here’s a hint: For currently running TV shows, Hulu wins. By a lot.