In addition to a $40 package that includes 50 channels of live TV, Hulu gave its TV and mobile apps a makeover. Let's check it out.
Hulu now has live TV, in addition to its vast selection of on-demand TV shows and movies. There's also an all-new app for many devices, including the Xbox One and Apple TV. Let's take a tour.
The revamped app is also available on iPhone and iPad, and if you subscribe to live TV (a $40 option), the available live shows and channels are integrated with on-demand.
Android phones and tablets also get the update.
Xbox One, Chromecast and Apple TV are the only ways to get the new Hulu on a big screen at the moment. More devices, including Roku boxes, Amazon Fire tablets and Samsung Smart TVs, are coming soon.
One big addition is user profiles, which let up to six individual family members keep their stuff separate.
There's also a specific Kids profile, just like Netflix, with shows and movies geared for, you know, kids.
You can control live TV just like on-demand content.
The phone and tablet apps allow easy timeline scrubs too.
Here's a look at playback controls on a phone. Of course, they're also available on the TV apps too.
Hulu's Networks page focuses on shows, not channels.
Of course, it also integrates on-demand content, like Hulu's original series.
There's also a separate sports category.
Choose a game, and you can add the team to your list of favorite teams.
Doing so shows upcoming games and records them automatically, if they're available on Hulu. Hulu's selection of sports channels is decent, but it lacks many regional sports networks.
The teams page gathers your favorites from across different spotrts.
The sports section also shows upcoming games within a specific sport.
Hulu's new design blurs the differentiation between live and on-demand shows. The only indication that a show is live is the little green "watch live" lightning bolt.
Live TV streaming worked well in my brief hands-on tests.
Search also covers live and on-demand shows.
Hulu's "lineup" column on the home page surfaces shows it thinks you'll like based on your stated preferences, watchlists and previously watched shows.
Hitting the "+" button adds a show to the My Stuff section, where available on-demand episodes will appear.
Doing so also tells the cloud DVR to record upcoming episodes.
My Stuff also lets you resume shows where you left off, or start watching the next episode for easy bingeing.
The big-screen and mobile menus are very similar. Color washes are used prominently on the home pages.
You can designate favorite channels, and browsing them will show currently playing shows on each. That's as close as Hulu gets to a traditional grid-style program guide.
The base $40 package includes 50 hours of DVR storage. Unfortunately, that package doesn't let you skip commercials on recorded shows.
There is an optional 200-hour cloud DVR that does let you skip commercials, but it costs an extra $15 per month.
It also includes a trending section.
Sometimes the choices can seem too extensive.
Specialized curated lists, anyone?
Hulu offers plentiful browse categories.
The new interface is a major overhaul that will take some getting used to, but it definitely looks nicer than the original. Stay tuned for more as we continue to explore.
The multitude of options even extends to subtitles.
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