Appledystopia: Independent Technology News

Hulu Plus for Apple TV

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Hulu Plus has commercials. Many people are upset that their $7.99/mo fee does not remove advertising. Hulu Plus has more content than their free service. It also has far fewer commercials than regular TV. There are fewer commercial breaks and they are 30-60 seconds long, not 3 minutes like standard TV. It boggles my mind that people complain about this. Look at your cable bill! I cancelled cable a long time ago. I couldn’t stand paying over $100/mo to sift through so much garbage. It’s all reality shows and cooking shows by the time I end up watching TV. I only watch 1-2 hours of TV in the evening when I am too drained to do anything else. Cable was a huge waste of money. Hulu Plus is an amazing bargain.

Hulu Plus looks like Front Row

There are a few technical details surrounding the Hulu Plus release for Apple TV. Hulu Plus is 720p, and not 1080p. Even if you have the new Apple TV 3, you will get 720p resolution. Unless you have a very large HDTV, you probably won’t notice the difference. You may also need to update your Apple TV, if it hasn’t done so already. On my Apple TV 2, the Hulu Plus icon was there when I woke it. If you don’t see a Hulu Plus icon (on the second row, next to Netflix), try restarting your Apple TV (settings → general → restart or hold the bottom select and menu buttons down for 5 seconds, until the light on your Apple TV flashes rapidly). If that doesn’t work, you can update the system by navigating to settings → general → update software.

The Hulu website has more information on getting started with Hulu Plus on Apple TV. If you have used Netflix on Apple TV, you will notice that Hulu Plus has the same look and feel. This is not blatant copying. They have to use the same UI APIs and standards that Apple imposes. With a uniform look and feel amongst the apps, it is easier to use. Apple TV is similar to the Front Row interface for the Mac, which was deprecated with OS X Lion. With a simple remote control, user interfaces have to be driven by simple menus.

I still have my suspicions. I think Apple may have their eye on acquiring Hulu. It makes sense, and there have been many rumors that this is in the works. The new Hulu Plus Apple TV app makes me suspect an acquisition is coming soon. My only concern is, with Apple’s ownership, they will probably make iTunes and Hulu Plus mutually exclusive. iTunes will have all the new shows that people will want to watch. Hulu Plus will have lesser shows and lots of British programming (which I do like). For now, I am ecstatic that Hulu Plus is finally on Apple TV. Sure, I could always watch Hulu Plus via AirPlay, and in some cases I will need to do this for web-exclusive content. That said, it is so much easier to use the Apple remote and the simple Front Row-style interface.

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