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Subscription-Based 'Hulu Plus' Is Now Official

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the whenever-wherever dept.

Television 434

itwbennett writes "After months of rumors, Hulu officially announced its $9.99/month Hulu Plus service. Invites will soon start rolling out in weekly batches. So what will you get for that $9.99? 'Full access to a bunch of current shows (Hulu lists 40 but adds 'and more' to that list) as well as complete series collections of some older titles such as The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the wonderful and mostly-ignored Eli Stone,' writes blogger Peter Smith. 'HD content sources will be streamed at 720P but Hulu mentions that the service is ad-supported.'"

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HD Sources (5, Insightful)

therealobsideus (1610557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735784)

So not only will I be paying $9.99 but I'll also be watching ads? Hmm... no.

Re:HD Sources (2, Insightful)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735918)

When I can get ad free, streamed to my TV, computer, or phone, and HD then I'll consider paying. Otherwise I'll stick with the TV I already pay for.

Re:HD Sources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735984)

When I can get ad free, streamed to my TV, computer, or phone, and HD then I'll consider paying. Otherwise I'll stick with the TV I already pay for.

Netflix in a couple months.

Re:HD Sources (4, Informative)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736010)

Netflix already does that. HD too, even on pc.

Re:HD Sources (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736070)

Just nothing current. I guess I forgot to add that.

Re:HD Sources (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736252)

Netflix has way more streaming content for that same $10 a month, and no ads, and X-Box, etc. integration. Hulu will be a fail.

Re:HD Sources (1)

Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736094)

I know what you mean. I dropped cable due to "paying for ads" and won't get satellite for the same reason. Netflix satisfies my occasional watching needs, and it's reached the point where if it's not available to stream legally on Netflix at any time and without ads then it's just not worth the bother of watching. Even ad-supported streaming from the producer's sites isn't worth the number of commercials which they're now inserting. I liked the "free" streaming that I paid for by watching 3-5 commercials, but it's almost as bad as cable now. HULU is about that bad already, and no amount of extra content is worth having it delivered with commercials (and no way I'm paying to have commercials eat my bandwidth!). I'll just wait a few years for Netflix to pick up the current shows.

Re:HD Sources (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736184)

That exists today. Its called Bittorrent. You didn't mention legal..

Re:HD Sources (2, Informative)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736244)

So not only will I be paying $9.99 but I'll also be watching ads? Hmm... no.

No, you'll be downloading torrents like the rest of us. Noobs will be paying $9.99 and watching ads.

Re:HD Sources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32736382)

o/

Wait... (4, Insightful)

TheGreatHegemon (956058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735792)

So you pay 9.99, and then still have ads on top of it? Absurd.

Re:Wait... (5, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735834)

So you pay 9.99, and then still have ads on top of it? Absurd.

Worked for cable.

Re:Wait... (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736028)

Cable though you didn't have a choice. With the internet, we do. Hulu isn't competing against cable, Hulu is competing against torrents. So lets do a comparison here.

Convenience: Hulu would win here, but it decides instead to limit its access not only geographically but also by device. I can watch a torrented show on my laptop, desktop, HTPC, cell phone, Wii, Xbox, PS3, etc.

Price: You can't compete with free unless you give a much better product

Quality: Torrents don't have ads. However, you do have to deal with crappy rips and mislabeled media so its a tie.

Value for the money: With Hulu you get a lesser product than a torrent which is more inconvenient, torrents are portable and free and ad-free.

I think torrents still win, which is rather sad because Hulu could easily be better than torrents but instead they have their head in their ass.

Re:Wait... (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736214)

I would wager that it is better than torrents.

Convenience: hulu plus allows watching on the ipad/iphone/ps3/xbox360/internet enabled samsung blu-ray players and tv. Video starts immediately with a small buffering time. Torrents require you to finish your download and plan your watching ahead of time.
Price: $10, torrents win at free (but you have the risk of getting an MPAA letter) Quality: 720p HD streams with hulu plus. I would say that with compression they are probably on the level of the divx streams available on torrents.

What would you say would make hulu beat torrents in your opinion? make it cheaper? no ads? seems like it'd be more expensive than your liking... making content costs money.

Re:Wait... (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736360)

They support X-Box 360 now? From what I understand you need Playon, which doesn't allow rewinding or fast forwarding, and it transcodes which mangles the quality.

Re:Wait... (4, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736260)

I disagree. If you read the comments on the trackers then you can pretty much avoid poor quality rips. To bittorrent something I have to spend about an hour to get it including finding a torrent and then the time to download it. With hulu I just go to hulu.com, type in "family guy", and click play. I have to watch about 2-5 minutes of ads, which is far less than downloading the torrent.

That said, if it's a movie then it's not worth it to go to hulu. The commercials ruin the mood and flow of the movie, whereas TV shows are actually designed with commercials in mind. If it's something that I want to watch more than once then I will torrent it because I'll have to watch the ads on hulu multiple times.

It's not a "bittorrent is always better" or a "hulu is always better".

Re:Wait... (2, Interesting)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736272)

Hulu isn't competing against cable, Hulu is competing against torrents.

this statement is....well how do I put it...WRONG!

Most every Hulu user I know uses it as a replacement for cable and DVR. Maybe in your group of friends you enjoy the hassle of torrents. As for me, being able to browse through my shows via remote control is nice. No searching for the latest torrent, in the quality I want, without commercials...in the amount of time it takes to find the show I can have watched all the commercials and the episode a couple times over.

Hulu cannot compete with torrents in any fashion though, with torrents we get to keep the files forever, organize them the way we want, and display them with our chosen software. Hulu is a streaming source, torrents are a file download service. It is like all those idiots trying to compare iPads and eInk devices...

Re:Wait... (0, Troll)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736364)

This Hulu services will apparently be available on the PS3 in July and the Xbox 360 next year... I would venture a guess that you could use on your laptop, desktop, and HTPC should you so choose.

Personally I've got a SageTV box built with a few TB of storage... Torrents are too much work... my time is worth more than the $$ savings a torrent provides.

Re:Wait... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736090)

>> So you pay 9.99, and then still have ads on top of it? Absurd.
>
> Worked for cable.
>

Yup. And it's still around as a possible competitor to Hulu.

Why bother paying for Hulu when I already have cable and record anything I want off of it?

If I want TV streamed to my iPad I can point AirVideo to my MythTV recordings.

Re:Wait... (4, Informative)

egburr (141740) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736152)

Cable originally started with "no ads" as the big selling point. After only a few years, the "no ads" was only on the "premium channels" for which you paid even more, while regular cable got more and more ads as the number of different channels kept increasing.

At least Hulu is just starting off admitting they need the ads along with the subscription fee. This is probably to cover costs of getting permission to provide the shows and also is probably just enough to cover network bandwidth of the high-volume movie watchers.

Re:Wait... (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735836)

Yea! They should do like cable TV and satellite, and charge you $50 and have ads.

My guess is $10 pays for the bandwidth, and the ads pay for the content, actually.

Re:Wait... (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736036)

I think they are trying to price match netflixs and make up the difference with advertisements. They will probably come out with an ad free package or a pay per view deal for people that don't like ads. PVRs also kind of legitimize the stance for cable as you can use those to skip ads.

Re:Wait... (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735858)

Compared to the anywhere between $45 and $100 people pay for cable and still get ads?

If Hulu had a few more things, and especially if they integrated with my TiVo Series 3, I'd seriously consider dumping cable.

Full on-demand shows, with ads, for 10-20% of what I pay for non-on demand shows, with ads.

Re:Wait... (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736068)

Most people only pay for cable these days to get cable Internet. They get it bundled, and it's something like $5 (more or less) to un-bundle it. WTF? So they get cable.

The people who are paying $100/month are likely the ones who spend all weekend watching sports broadcasts on their wall plasma displays. There's no other way to get those sports broadcasts (yet) that is user accessible.

Re:Wait... (2, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736108)

Most people only pay for cable these days to get cable Internet? I seriously doubt that. Do you have a source?

Re:Wait... (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736150)

Where do you live that a basic cable package on top of your internet is only around $5 more? I'm really curious as there is nothing like that, that I know of, around here.

Re:Wait... (2, Insightful)

jargon82 (996613) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736082)

We dumped cable long ago. We have a netflix account, netflix online access for whats on there, which isn't tons, but it's not bad... as well as hulu for what they've got (lots of very current TV content). Presently get about 20 channels (or more? I'm not that sure) over the air. It's enough for us and the kids to have stuff to watch when it matters, and little enough that we don't spend days each week watching TV :) I might well sign up for this if it expands the library a bit, but it depends. Sounds like it could be a bargain compared to other options.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735894)

As compared to TV, where you pay $30-$100/month, and get ads on top of it, too.

Re:Wait... (4, Insightful)

ThisIsForReal (897233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736050)

Antennas are great. You should try one sometime.

Re:Wait... (4, Insightful)

kithrup (778358) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736034)

Unskippable ads. Unlike with cable (with a DVR), where you can fast forward or skip through them, if you've recorded it.

Re:Wait... (2, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736038)

Not only that, but at $10/month, why wouldn't I just get Netflix? That's $9/month - and you can get DVDs in the mail of said shows, as well as many, many more.

For free with minimal ads, I'm willing to put up with a small degree of inconvenience and lack of QoS. If I'm going to pay, I want a guarantee of QoS. I don't mind so much if it takes a couple days to get it, but if I'm going to have to deal with their connectivity issues (or my ISPs), no thanks. Watching a show half way through, losing connectivity, and then having to wait to finish it is not fun when you've only got a couple hours a week for such luxury.

That situation might change if I had the option to completely buffer the show before playing it, or download it independently of their shit flash player - but not until.

And no, we don't hook a TV up in our house. 10 minutes of ads for every 30 minutes of "airtime"? Are you kidding me? I don't think so.

Re:Wait... (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736262)

Not only that, but at $10/month, why wouldn't I just get Netflix? That's $9/month - and you can get DVDs in the mail of said shows, as well as many, many more.

That seems to be the elephant in the room hulu is ignoring, or is missing completely in their thought-process. Their customers are already savvy enough to watch shows online, do they really think they can't make the comparison between this and Netflix and not see that Netflix is the better value at the same cost?

Re:Wait... (2, Interesting)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736054)

Can you say "entitlement complex"? Compared to all the digital offerings from Hollywood up until now, this is a godsend: for a fraction of the price of a cable subscription, you are getting unlimited streaming, on as many devices as you want, over Wi-Fi or 3G, and (for some shows) access to not just current episodes but the entire back catalog. Three years ago I'd have sworn the seas would boil before we would get something like this. As several other comments are pointing out, providing these shows means that both bandwidth and content have to be paid for: the fee does one, the ads do the other. You know, the way television has worked for decades.

And for god's sake, the ads on Hulu are as un-irritating as advertising can possibly be. Over the course of a 40-minute show, you have to watch maybe five 30-second spots, as opposed to eight or ten per break on television.

Get off your high horse and understand that things need to be paid for, and that this is as fantastic a deal as we're ever going to get.

Speaking of "Entitlement Complex" (4, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736198)

Hulu isn't entitled to my money!

If you think it's great, then by all means pay for it, but don't act surprised when not everyone thinks exactly like you do..

Re:Wait... (-1, Troll)

Nikker (749551) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736310)

How the fuck can you talk about the consumer having an entitlement complex when almost every facet of the entertainment industry has gone over everyones heads making actual fucking laws that will put your fucking ass in jail if you don't pay what they tell you to pay? Shit buddy get the fuck out of here.

Re:Wait... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736058)

So you pay 9.99, and then still have ads on top of it?

Absurd.

This seems true, however at present, Hulu does ads in 'the right way'. They're exceedingly brief, rarely if ever over thirty seconds, and there's exactly one of them at any given time. An hour long show will play less than half a dozen.

I'd prefer ads done in this way and a lower cost, then a higher cost with no ads at all.

Re:Wait... (1)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736236)

Hulu does ads in 'the right way'. They're exceedingly brief, rarely if ever over thirty seconds, and there's exactly one of them at any given time. An hour long show will play less than half a dozen.

Unfortunately this hasn't been true for some time. Hulu has been slowly but surely expanding their commercials to the point that there are now two in almost every break. Sometimes you get lucky and end up with two fifteen second spots, but often you're stuck watching two thirty second spots. They also added a commercial that plays before the show even begins, and have started cramming a few more breaks into opportunities in shows that they were passing up before.

It's still far better than watching on cable, but I have no doubt they will be right up to the same level of commercials eventually.

Subscription + ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735798)

I've already got a TV service that I pay for and has ads.. it's called Cable.

Not interested in paying for it again if I'm still gonna have to watch ads.

but like $40 -$120 here (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735930)

Depending on what provider and package you get. The price of Hulu and cable will converge at some point.

Pay for ads (1)

psyque (1234612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735800)

Did I read that right? You pay for the privilege of the same ads you get by not paying? Ok... good luck with that.

Re:Pay for ads (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735982)

You're paying for access to a larger library.

No pay you get ads and access to only certain shows and only the last handful of episodes (can't remember the actual number 4? 5?)

Pay and you still get ads but you get access to the entire Hulu library.

I personally would consider it IF they released shows as soon as they're available and had everything I was looking for. I already pay for satellite to the tune of $80 per month. This would be far cheaper.

And the reality is, if you want television content to be completely ad-free (ie, viewer payments finance every part of the show), then you'd be paying a HELL of a lot more than $10 per month.

Ad-Supported? (0, Redundant)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735802)

So, just like with cable TV, I would pay to watch TV with ads? No thanks. Netflix (for available shows) and Demonoid (for shows not available on DVD) are serving me quite well, thank you.

Re:Ad-Supported? (1)

therealobsideus (1610557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735848)

Just don't forget Peerblock :P

Goodbye Hulu (2, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735804)

Was nice knowing you.

Re:Goodbye Hulu (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736014)

Why would you stop using Hulu because they now offer extra content that you can pay extra for? It would be like refusing to play a video game because they released some DLC that doesn't effect your experience at all.

The new Hulu Plus just has higher quality (720 instead of 480) and episodes going back the entire season instead of just the last 3 or 5 trailing episodes. No reason to throw in the towel just cause you can now pay for a better service if you so choose.

Re:Goodbye Hulu (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736076)

Because they're charging for stuff that used to be free. That's why.

The entire seasons for these shows have been on Hulu for a long time, at no cost. I'm not going to pay for shit that was free a week ago. Not to mention that they're leaving the ads in.

All Hulu did was save me a little hassle in finding something on usenet, but I'll just go back to doing things the way I used to.

Re:Goodbye Hulu (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736176)

I didn't see anything that was explicitly stating that old shows whose content is currently available was getting moved into the paywalled section an would no longer be available at the lower res so we might be jumping the gun, but then again the only old ones I watched on hulu was Stargate and firefly. Those couple of shows they did mention, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, were all those episodes already available for free?

I know the new ones usually only had a few episodes up anyways so to me it seems like they are just adding extra content I don't feel the need to pay for anyways but again, I wasn't a heavy old content user, I was just using it as a replacement for cable.

Re:Goodbye Hulu (1)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736314)

Those couple of shows they did mention, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, were all those episodes already available for free?

At least the first four seasons of Buffy were up for free, but they mysteriously disappeared a month or two ago. Gee, I wonder why.

Re:Goodbye Hulu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32736120)

Maybe because they removed stuff from the current free offering just so they could charge extra for what they took away?

Re:Goodbye Hulu (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736122)

> Why would you stop using Hulu because they now offer extra content that you can pay extra for?

I never use Hulu.

The lousy navigation and the un-skippable commercials just wouldn't go over very well in my household.

We've had some form of PVR pretty much since they came on the market.

Even for free it feels like a step backwards.

Re:Goodbye Hulu (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736368)

Because we have all this stuff right now:

Full seasons...check (just finished season 8 of Stargate)

High Def...check (high, medium, and low res available)

Ad based viewing...check.

Playable on multiple devices...check (last I knew android OS can play Hulu just fine so that covers many mainstream phones and all the dell iPhone/iPad killers coming out)

So what are we paying for again? The one thing I would be willing to upgrade for, better bandwidth, isnt even offered. There is nothing more fun on Hulu than watching commercials pause every other second on my 15 Mb connection, or when servers are busy, the constant buffering. I would also pay for "big bang theory" and "how I met your mother", neither of which are online anywhere.

Re:Goodbye Hulu (3, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736138)

Hulu Plus is not meant to replace the normal Hulu.com experience. Everything in the press release basically talks about added features that you can get access to if you're willing to pay... but there is nothing to suggest that they will get rid of the standard way of accessing Hulu: going to the website and streaming whatever episodes are on offer for free (and by 'free' I mean 'watching ads').

Now I suppose one could argue that this is just the first phase of them getting rid of the standard Hulu.com. But I think that's pretty unlikely, because what they are offering here is really not at all compelling. These are what they are offering:
Hulu.com
Stream from website to computer.
Stream to any Internet-capable device or television set if you know how to do some basic config (e.g. hook up some cables).
Deal with only having access to a subset of episodes for any given show (usually only the recent ones).
You have to agree to watch ads.

Hulu Plus
Stream from website to computer.
Stream to an iPad, iPhone, or some compatible set-top boxes.
Streaming to other devices requires knowing how to do some basic config.
Access to more episodes. (But by no means an exhaustive catalog.)
Potentially better video quality than standard Hulu (but still limited by your net connection and buffering...)
You have to agree to watch ads.
You have to pay $10/month.

So... for $10/month you can get your shows on your iPad and access a few more episodes. But that's about it. This is not the compelling deal many were hoping for. With this kind of deal, Hulu.com will remain by far the more prevalent user experience. Really, people who are ready to drop money on a new set-top box or a monthly subscription or something like iPad 3G + 3G data plan + Hulu Plus subscription will probably be better served by other offerings (like buying shows on iTunes and downloading them to the device... which is probably cheaper since you can grab the shows over cheap WiFi and watch them later...).

The normal Hulu isn't going anywhere. Not with a lackluster deal like that!

Re:Goodbye Hulu (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736270)

This sounds like a great time for Groucho Marx's "Hello, I must be going [youtube.com] ":

Hello, I must be going.
I cannot stay,
I came to say
I must be going.
I'm glad I came
but just the same
I must be going.
For my sake you must stay,
for if you go away,
you'll spoil this party
I am throwing.
I'll stay a week or two,
I'll stay the summer through,
but I am telling you,
I must be going.

ad supported, but I have to pay for it? (1)

Supp0rtLinux (594509) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735806)

I thought the point of paying for a service like this was to avoid the ad's.

Re:ad supported, but I have to pay for it? (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736266)

I thought the point of paying for a service like this was to avoid the ad's.

The point is to squeeze you for as much money as they can. They had managed to game the system enough to get you to pay for cable content full of advertising breaks and in-story product placement, and that's how they liked it. They want that back.
They already started applying region-locking to the internet (Hulu is only available within the U.S. AFAIK), so they can keep overcharging the places that are already used to pay more than others, and now they're moving over to the "you pay over and over again for the same thing" phase, again.
But hey, did you see that cop car burn at the G20? Those protesters sure have nothing to say! Lets grab some bread and go to the circus...

The Plus stands for Ads (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735810)

Why would you charge Ten bucks a month and then still keep the advertising?

I mean aside from the if somebody is willing to pay it factor.

Re:The Plus stands for Ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735866)

Don't know about you but I pay $100.00+ for my internet connection + cable tv and I still get ads. Even on the internet!

Re:The Plus stands for Ads (1)

alangerow (610060) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735980)

But you aren't paying for the content, just the access to those channels. The cable bill pays for the wire in your house to the cable company. The ads on TV are from those networks themselves. With Hulu, I'm paying $10 to the networks themselves, not a middleman, since Hulu is owned by the networks.

Nice for Netflix (5, Insightful)

swarm (71375) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735838)

Sounds like Hulu is doing good advertising for NetFlix to me.

Ad-supported? (4, Insightful)

eihab (823648) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735846)

You mean to tell me you have to wait for an invitation to a paid for product that's ad-supported? What are they thinking?

Their collection of shows do not seem that impressive either. Where's Weeds/Big Love/True Blood, or whatever people are watching nowadays?

I have a hard time believing that this is going to go anywhere. My $10 a month stays with Netflix, color me unimpressed.

Anything! (4, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735870)

Charge for it, put ads in it, charge a low price and put ads in it, but for crying out loud make Hulu available in Canada.

Re:Anything! (2, Informative)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736258)

Pay $10/month and get a VPN account/VPS account and tunnel to the US =)

netflix? (5, Insightful)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735884)

netflix is $8.99, is ad-free, has more content, has many client platforms (PC, mobile, wii, playstation, roku, etc), and includes DVD rentals by mail.

what are they thinking?

Re:netflix? (3, Interesting)

Rinikusu (28164) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735938)

While the back catalog is nice, my primary usage of hulu is to watch current shows. I don't have cable, nor netflix. Does netflix have current episodes or do you have to wait for the DVD set to come out?

Re:netflix? (2, Informative)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736228)

It's hit or miss, but I've found for the majority of current shows that netflix does not carry them which is why I use both netflix and Hulu. Netflix is much higher quality and I dont have to hook the pc up to the TV so I use that whenever I can, but Hulu seems to have more of the new network TV shows.

Re:netflix? (2, Informative)

MWoody (222806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736330)

Occasionally, Netflix has newer stuff via special deals with the distributors (Whitest Kids You Know did this for their newest season, for example). Mostly, though, no: it's best used for older titles, as it's rare to find an instant watch show or movie not also out on DVD.

So yes, I supplement Netflix with Hulu to watch new stuff. But that's the thing, here: Hulu Plus doesn't affect new shows, based on their press release. It's just to watch the older stuff. Hell, two of their own examples - Buffy and the X-Files - are already on Netflix instant watch, with the other one being available on DVD. So for a dollar more per month, you get roughly the same content as Netflix, plus ads, without the DVD rental part. I can't fathom how they intend to compete.

Re:netflix? (1)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736380)

The thing is, you'll still be able to watch current content for free on Hulu. They're still going to offer the latest 3-5 eps for free + ads on their website. I already use PlayOn to stream Hulu to my tv, so basically the only thing I'm paying for here is back episodes of current seasons of a handful of tv shows. It's just not worth it. Hulu needs to be much more aggressive and offer content from cable channels like Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, etc. If they did that, I would have no problem handing them my money. It seems like most of what they offer can be had over-the-air to begin with.

Re:netflix? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32736384)

Netflix has very few current shows via their partnership with "Starz". The only thing notable recently was Spartacus.

Re:netflix? (1)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735946)

what are they thinking?

money money money money

Re:netflix? (3, Informative)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736016)

what are they thinking?

My guess is that they're thinking that timeliness is worth something. Not everybody wants to wait 6 months from the time an episode airs to watch it on Netflix. In fact, I think the overlap between Hulu and Netflix is actually very small, as Netflix doesn't feature content until it makes it to DVD, or in many cases even 30 days after that, and Hulu doesn't feature content after a season has finished airing.

Re:netflix? (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736030)

You get newer shows, *current shows*, plus older stuff, *plus* they still have a huge catalog of really old stuff, which is free. While they lack the quantity that netflix has, they make up for it in quality. Keep in mind that Hulu is owned by a bunch of networks.

I see a lot of people bitching about ads on Hulu, but I use Hulu now, and they don't have that many ads for most shows. Many shows let you watch one 60 second ad at the beginning only, others only have 2 breaks, 3 max. Those breaks are in the 30 second range. There is no where NEAR the amount of ads that you find on network broadcast or cable tv, not even close.

Re:netflix? (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736062)

Does Hulu have 5 seasons of lost on HD streaming?

Re:netflix? (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736220)

I noticed recently that several shows have started having 2 ads per break.

You know, when cable first came out, they touted the lack of ads, since you were paying for the shows with your subscription.. Then they slowly creeped in, more and more...

Re:netflix? (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736358)

They are slowly adding more ad-time though. When I first started using Hulu regularly a year or two ago, most all the ads were 15-20 seconds per break. Then they started moving to 30-35 seconds... Now there are often two sets of 30-35 second ads back-to-back. Those 60-second beginning ads that use to be nice are now typically 2-2.5 minutes.

It is still much less than cable, yea, but that's not going to last too much longer.

Re:netflix? (3, Insightful)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736048)

A lot of content on Netflix is 720p HD too... and on both my mac and pc Silverlight video is smoother than flash (even with flash 10.1 hardware decoding).

Re:netflix? (1)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736274)

Unfortunately, Netflix still doesn't support closed captioning. If it weren't for this one feature, I would say Netflix would easily beat Hulu. Don't underestimate the appeal of closed captioning for the millions of viewers that speak English as their second language.

So lets see here (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735914)

So lets see I still get A) Ads B) Stupid blocking so I can't watch it on different devices and C) I'd have to wait for an invite?

Count me out.

To all "media" executives take a few things in note, I can go to the pirate bay and get shows ad free that I can watch everywhere without stupid little geographic or device limitations. Oh and its free.

Look, we have no problems buying your crap, but when its easier to pirate it and you get a better product? Why not download it?

Not available in Canada? Pity! (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735920)

So, will this subscription Hulu be available to the rest of the planet, or just the US?

not competitive with netflix (3, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735962)

Unless they are going to pull the free service and make everyone pay 9.99, this is not really competitive with Netflix. Netflix is 8.99, has iPad support, and allows one disk at a time for the large amount of content, for instance Star Trek, which is not available for streaming.

Now, if for the $10 there are no commercials, and there is not silly wait time, and the full season is available, then that might be an incentive. But then Hulu Plus is going to have ads, will likely have the same time delay as now, and will likely limit the number of shows, so I wonder what the $10 buys? The ability to watch shows on the iPad? I suspect that once again these people have missed a grand opportunity to stop unlicensed file sharing. I think for $10 many people would give up downloading files they could get for free anyway with a DVR. It is incomprehensible why the broadcasters would not take advantage of such an opportunity.

Re:not competitive with netflix (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736020)

Not to mention that up until now Hulu has been VERY antagonistic to the HTPC market. The content owners only want it watched on a PC, not HTPC or net tops.

Re:not competitive with netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32736322)

watched on a PC, not HTPC or net tops.

What the hell is a 'Hot Top PC'?

what's the big deal? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736004)

$10/month to watch 720p TV instead of $100/month to watch 720p TV.

I don't actually have cable, but I miss commercial breaks. that's when I would pee, poop, make food, do dishes, laundry, roll a cigarette, find my lighter, and solve a rubiks cube and I could do it all before the show starts up again.

Re:what's the big deal? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736098)

I don't actually have cable, but I miss commercial breaks.

I also miss commercial breaks.

That's when I would pee, poop...

Yeah, if you have to go then commercial breaks really are a good thing.

...make food, do dishes...

Are we talking microwave diners and paper plates here?

...laundry, roll a cigarette, find my lighter...

Wait, what?

...and solve a rubiks cube and I could do it all before the show starts up again.

Ok buddy, you owe me a new sarcasm detector!

Re:what's the big deal? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736166)

> $10/month to watch 720p TV instead of $100/month to watch 720p TV.

If Hulu could actually replace cable you might have a point.

It can't.

Plus, the $100/month level cable service is going to have content that Hulu will only see when Netflix gets it.

Re:what's the big deal? (2, Interesting)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736312)

If Hulu could actually replace cable you might have a point. It can't.

But Hulu and Netflix get pretty damn close. And that's what, $20/month total for both plans?

Re:what's the big deal? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736290)

With an iPad, you have no need for commercial breaks. You can pee and poop WHILE you're watching TV! =)

the one question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32736044)

is it U.S. only for these paying subscribers as well?

Has anyone compared the catalogs? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736106)

My wife asserts that Hulu's back-season catalog is the same as Netflix. Has anyone done or seen a comparison of the two?

Re:Has anyone compared the catalogs? (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736298)

They are close but not identical, in fact Netflix may lose some show so hulu can push subscribers their way.

Re:Has anyone compared the catalogs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32736318)

I use both (no cable or directv). NetFlix has far more back episodes; Hulu has almost none.

I'm thinking that Hulu Plus will change that. NetFlix plays much better on my slightly older laptop connected to my 52" display - when it plays. I use it through Windows 7 MCE and it can be finicky. Hulu plays, but doesn't adjust to match changing bandwidth well and motion is pretty jerky all the time. Flash kinda sucks, IMHO.

making themselves irrelevant (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736170)

Hulu was great because it was this new, hip, free way to watch real shows on the internet. They had ads that weren't too intrusive which seemed like a fair trade off to me. But then they failed to move into the mobile market, in fact blocking access to devices that could show Hulu intentionally. Now they have a iPhone client but they lost part of that mojo from being free, and they kept the ads on top of it. They're well on there way to no longer being cool and that might be the end of them. Time to move on to the "next big thing".

Re:making themselves irrelevant (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736376)

You mean, irrelevant to YOU.

Hulu's still going to have free ad supported access to current TV shows. But to some people this might be a boon, not a bane.

It looks like what you get for 9.99 (2, Informative)

joekool (21359) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736194)

It looks like what you get for 9.99 is access outside the browser. They mention Samsung tvs, and ipad/iphone.

no android love yet though.

Americans abroad.. (1)

White Shade (57215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736196)

I'm moving to Korea soon and I'd love to be able to keep up with Family Guy and House and some of those shows, and if I could pay $9.99 a month to be able to get nice easy access to that, that would be awesome.

the question is then, can I? if my billing address is still in the USA, will it work, or will it block me due to the fact that i'll be connecting through a foreign ISP?

I didn't see anything on the initial post on hulu about that...

Re:Americans abroad.. (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736340)

They geolocate based on IP. You'd have to tunnel back to a "US" IP.

Eli Stone is garbage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32736240)

Anyone who liked it is a halfwit.

Canada (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736284)

Ok, seriously, get your Hulu ass into Canada already please. I'm so tired of the _world wide_ web being regionally restricted...

Yes, I know there are ways to get around the regional restrictions but it'd be nice if these corporations could think globally...

Ok, maybe I'm a bit bitter that it's not available north of the border yet...

Recommendations (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736370)

What's the best software out there to use to capture the video streamed by this service so that it can be released on bittorrent? (I suppose skipping over the ads would be too much to ask for.)

xfiles and buffy? (1)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 4 years ago | (#32736374)

Oh you mean like I already pay for with netflix? That's neat I guess. I'll have Scully redundancy. Actually that started off as a burn but now.. I feel more comfortable... strangely.

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