review of new Hulu Plus service

I got a beta preview invite today, and so far it looks really good: HD, no opening commercials (at least for what I chose to watch during my lunch break), and additional material. Hulu Plus is $10/month so I may not use it permanently but I will give it a try for several months. Just my opinion, but Hulu Plus at a reduced rate of $5 or $6/month would make it more compelling since for $15/month I get 2 Netflix blu-ray movie checkouts (at the same time) and their very good streaming service.

My wife and I are also Directv customers and although we really like the service, it is expensive. Directv must be worried about competition from direct Internet viewing options because they called up several nights ago and offered a small reduction in my monthly rate and a free 6 month promotion for all their channels (except for pay per view). Directv is a good user experience.

If you are like me, you use movies and a few TV shows for something to do while either bored or too tired at the end of the day to do much else. Unless viewing is a social/group activity with side conversation, I feel a little guilty sitting around enjoying media that other people created when I could be getting exercise, working on my current book project, or making some walking around money by consulting.

A little off topic, but I re-watched late last night two of the GoogleTV presentation videos from the last Google I/O and I am excited about more seamless integration of all media that I have purchased (or is free with advertising) and all devices that I use (MacBook Pro, Droid, HD TV with blu-ray and Wii). BTW, I did a small Blu-ray Java app for a customer two years ago that was really just a demo: it put a user's Twitter stream in the upper right corner while playing from a blu-ray disk.

* edit: apparently there are no commercials: I finished watching a recent episode of the office and the screen went black for a second in places where there were commercial breaks.


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