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I understand that there’s a vast collection of movies and TV shows available on Hulu, in addition to a decent selection of live channels. Categorization is necessary, however, duplicating categories just makes things worse. Categories are muddled as well. Genres, actions (Keep Watching) and personal collections are all on the same menu bar. Why are there sports and teen menu options, but not ones for comedy? Why is Olympics Preview a menu option, when it should be under Sports? The answer to all of these questions is poor UI/UX design. It’s definitely not a deal breaker. If all else fails, searching works very well. The overall design is just a bit confusing.
Hulu with Live TV: Browse Screen
The Browse Screen is another facet of Hulu available from the top menu bar. It is yet another superfluous screen. It just shows many of the same menu options, with a few distinct entries. Users can drill down into these categories, as they can from the main menu and other screens.
Hulu with Live TV: Search Screen
Searching offers the simplest and fastest way to find movies and TV shows on Hulu. Simply click on the Search menu option. It automatically focuses on the search field, enabling users to immediately use Siri dictation. This is helpful, as entering search criteria using the tvOS on-screen keyboard is cumbersome. Although you can use an iOS device as a keyboard, thanks to the Remote app, Siri dictation will save you the effort of wielding your iPhone. Hulu also includes recent searches and trending searches.
Search results display quickly with switchable categories to minimize scrolling. Each result shows a video thumbnail. Descriptions display only for selected videos, which makes it easier to see which video is selected. One problem with tvOS is that it is often difficult to see which item has focus. You can rotate your thumb on the Touch surface to wiggle the item, but Hulu’s solution requires less user intervention. Hulu has definitely improved on stock tvOS search capabilities. Search is my go-to screen for navigating Hulu. It almost makes up for other deficiencies in the user interface.
Hulu with Live TV: Profile and Settings Screen
The top menu features an item with your name on it. Clicking on your name displays the profiles and settings screen. From here, you can change profiles (one for each member of your household), alter settings and read documentation and legal agreements. If you move your Apple TV to a new location, you can even change your home location. This will incorporate your local networks into Hulu’s channel lineup.
Reliability and Performance
It is important to note that Hulu with Live TV is currently in beta. This means it is not a final release. Normally, I would cut them some slack, but they are charging a full price for users to beta test their product. At least they admit it. We have all been paying to beta test smartphones, tablets, OS releases and apps.
Some brands abuse beta testing more egregiously than others. That said, every tech company has started releasing products that are crammed with useless features and shipped before they’re ready. next page →