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Friday
May052017

Podcast #790: Hulu Live TV Beta

This week Hulu released their paid beta for live TV. That means you have the privilege of paying $40 a month to help them find their bugs. But in all honesty it's actually pretty good minus a few user interface issues that should get buzzed out with feedback from everyone paying $40 a month. The interface was intuitive and made sense. Hulu is already somewhat organized around TV shows, so it feels like a bit of an app-based DVR. Add live content behind that and it simply feels like it belongs there. You don’t feel like you have two separate sides to the same app. Live TV flowed seamlessly in the interface.

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Hulu Live TV Beta

This week Hulu released their paid beta for live TV. That means you have the privilege of paying $40 a month to help them find their bugs. But in all honesty it's actually pretty good minus a few user interface issues that should get buzzed out with feedback from everyone paying $40 a month. The interface was intuitive and made sense. Hulu is already somewhat organized around TV shows, so it feels like a bit of an app-based DVR. Add live content behind that and it simply feels like it belongs there. You don’t feel like you have two separate sides to the same app. Live TV flowed seamlessly in the interface.

Pricing isn’t too bad. You get 50+ channels for $40. They have a good selection but some channels are missing. There is no AMC or Viacom, and Discovery networks. You do get locals in in LA we get even get some independents but no CW. Included in the price is the basic Hulu subscription so you can watch programs through the Hulu app with commercials. For an additional $3 you can get the commercial free version of Hulu. That makes up for some of the limitations of the DVR which we talk about later. The only “Pay” channel they have is Showtime and that will cost you an additional $9.

Hulu’s guide is pretty innovative but it takes getting used to. You can decide what content (genre) you are interested in and then select live. The guide will then show you what is on right now. Or you can just say show me what’s available regardless if it's live and you have way more options. At that point it hit us! Who cares when it aired if I can chose when I want to watch it.

You can pause fast forward and rewind shows and some allow you to start at the beginning even if you started watching mid show. On shows that are streamed you can’t skip commercials. At this point in time you can pause and move the playhead to anywhere you want in the program but if a commercial starts you are stuck for the duration.

When it comes to the DVR you get some basic functionality included in the monthly service fee.  You have a 50 hour limit and you can’t skip through ads. There is no word as to how long you  can keep your recordings for. If you want full DVR capability you need to pony up $14.95 a month. That also gets you 200 hours of record time. But you can skip content that is recorded. If the show is available through the network streaming you will get the streamed version with non-skippable ads. But we found the ads to be about a minute and a half. If you paid the extra three dollars for no commercials this becomes the best of both worlds! You don’t use any DVR space and you don’t even have to skip commercials. Pay the $3!

Two streams are included with your monthly fee but you can go unlimited (at least while you are at home) for an additional $14.95. This add-on gets you three streams when you are away from home.

At launch Hulu live supports iPhones and iPads, Android phones and tablets,

Xbox One, AppleTV 4, and Chromecast. Support is on the way for FireTV and stick, Roku, Samsung TVs and Blu-ray Players, as well as Macs and PCs.

In all, this is a very good start and we can’t wait to see what more competition will do to this space!

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

Great show! Nice to see your daughter is following in your footsteps. :)

May 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKen

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