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Hulu going public, adds Warner Bros, sports

updated 09:50 am EDT, Tue March 11, 2008

Hulu Public Tomorrow

The Fox and NBC-Universal joint project Hulu will leave its private beta stage tomorrow, the companies revealed on Tuesday. The web-based service will soon allow all US residents with high-speed Internet access to stream TV shows and movies over Flash for free through dynamic ads that appear at key segments; in a new version, users can even pick which ads they see, Hulu's operators note. On its official debut, the service will also add TV shows produced by Warner Bros. and will have both NBA and NHL highlight reels as well as full-length historical NCAA basketball games.

The launch provides Hulu the largest catalog of legal, free TV content online and is expected to test the viability of NBC-Universal's strategy, which saw it withdraw from iTunes over attempts to alter pricing strategy and turn both to Hulu as well as to competing but smaller download services such as SanDisk's Fanfare. Unlike either the Apple or SanDisk services, Hulu doesn't offer a downloadable version of its content for copy protection reasons. The web service also frequently rotates content and sometimes removes older show episodes in favor of new ones.

NBC-Universal is also working to add content from competing TV networks such as ABC and CBS but has not said when it hopes to make Hulu available outside of the US.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    0

    nope.

    I still won't bother if I have to deal with ads. It's surprising these guys haven't figured out that the computer isn't the best place to watch tv/movies. I give it a month before guys have start capturing this content and saving it to file without the ads, and then post it on P2P networks.

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2004

    0

    Ad revenue

    Are these studios getting $1.50 in ad revenue per episode per view? Are they making this easy and convenient for the viewer? Can I put this on my iPhone and take it with me? Can I watch the whole season, or last season of a show?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: nope

    It's surprising these guys haven't figured out that the computer isn't the best place to watch tv/movies.

    And yet Apple markets iPods and iPhones heavily on their media playback capabilities, as well as their iTunes software for movies.

    Very few of the people buying movies and videos on iTunes are running them through an AppleTV.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    re: ad revenue

    Are these studios getting $1.50 in ad revenue per episode per view?

    Well, no one knows how much they're getting in ad revenue. Assuming the $1.50 number is what you think they got from iTunes, you're comparing apples to oranges. They might not get as much, but they could easily get a lot more viewers then what they'd get from selling the show. Just like those who say they should sell TV shows for $1 instead of $2.

    The problem is no one ever really released individual sales numbers from the iTMS, so you don't know how many people really bought any one thing there.

    Are they making this easy and convenient for the viewer?

    Sure. Hit play. What's more convenient then that?

    Can I put this on my iPhone and take it with me?

    No, but that's because Apple won't support anyone's DRM but their own, and Apple won't license their DRM to anyone else. So, basically, the reason it won't play on your iPhone is because Apple won't let anything they don't control on their iPhone. But I'm sure you'll spin this as NBC's issue, not Apple's.

    Then again, according to danviento, no one wants to watch these things on iPhones anyway.

    Can I watch the whole season, or last season of a show?

    I don't know, can you?

    Then again, the iTMS has also been hit or miss in terms of previous seasons or all seasons.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    p2p

    I give it a month before guys have start capturing this content and saving it to file without the ads, and then post it on P2P networks.

    Why would anyone bother? You can go on-line now and get HD versions of everything Hulu is offering now, all without commercials and sans restrictions. I can't imagine there's any content on this service that isn't already available for download now.

  1. rbsandka

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2002

    0

    Commercials

    Why does everybody have such a problem with commercials? It's not like they came out of nowhere. Free TV has always had commercials. Commercials pay for free TV. That's just the way it works. If you don't like commercials, then pay for it in some other way (cable, iTunes Music Store, etc).

    If you really can not stomach paying for it, then go download a pirated copy. But keep in mind that if everyone does that, then eventually there will not be any television to watch. If musicians never sold another album, they could still perform at concerts to make money. But television shows are just television shows. There is n;t going to be a Heroes summer concert tour. Commercials pay for free TV. It's that simple.

    I have been on the Hulu beta for a few months now, and am happy. It has the same number of commercials as turning on the TV, and I can choose when to watch. Yes, it is true that I can not take it with me on my iPod, but that is not what they are selling, and I am OK with that. There are plenty of other places selling portability.

    The future of "regular" commercial-funded television is being able to watch whatever you want, whenever you want. Hulu represents that future, and they are off to a strong start.

  1. mgpalma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000

    0

    From a Hulu User

    My experiences:

    Pros -Works reasonably well -Ads are short, like 15 seconds-it's really not bad -Easy to use -decent video quality, though not great -free

    Cons -Incomplete seasons at times, which can be irritating -When you finish watching a show, typically you have to log back in to watch more-a bug I am sure -some pixelation in full screen mode (iMac 24") but not really terrible

    The advantage over p2p is that you don't have to download something (wait) to watch it. It's fast (I have FiOS) and if you just want to watch something and are not concerned about HD or the greatest quality it is pretty nice. I have been using it for about 2 months.

    my .02Ę

  1. mgpalma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000

    0

    re: commercials

    I would say there are far fewer commercials and only one at a time. And totally within the tolerable limit, for me.

  1. koolkid1976

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2003

    0

    Re: re: ad revenue

    "No, but that's because Apple won't support anyone's DRM but their own, and Apple won't license their DRM to anyone else. So, basically, the reason it won't play on your iPhone is because Apple won't let anything they don't control on their iPhone. But I'm sure you'll spin this as NBC's issue, not Apple's."

    So does that mean it will work on my Zune? NO. It seems your anti-apple rant is misplaced this time. Save the comment for a services that allows DRM download for everyone but the iPod or iPhone.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: ad revenue

    OMG, people, please take note. The apparently misnamed koolkid1976 HAS A ZUNE! There it is! We found the guy who bought a Zune!

    And to think he's on a mac board, too.

    And so they don't allow downloads at all. OK. My point was more it didn't matter, since Apple won't allow anyone on the iPod. MS also wouldn't allow it on your Zune (so, is it puke Brown?).

    Are you insisting that anytime someone writes about something working or not working, they must list all devices that work and don't work?

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