While I was cobbling together my PlayStation Plus review, Hulu went ahead and launched its long-anticipated paid subscription service, Hulu Plus. For $9.99 a month, you'll be able to stream content to your iOS4 iPhone or iPod, 3D or WiFi iPad, and Samsung Internet-enabled TVs or Blu-ray players.
The big deal: While you can still watch shows freely on Hulu.com, Hulu Plus offers access to additional shows as well as the option to watch them on any of those devices.
The big annoyance: You're still stuck watching annoying ads. "For our advertisers, who allow us to keep our Hulu Plus price low with the support of ad revenue, we offer one of the world’s most effective advertising platforms, with the ability to speak effectively to users across a variety of devices, anywhere they happen to be," wrote Hulu CEO Jason Kilar on Hulu's official company blog.
Conspicuously absent from the launch device lineup? PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 support, listed as "coming soon" for the former, and a bit more specifically, "coming early 2011" for the latter.
"These are the devices shipping with Hulu Plus today," wrote Kilar. "But this is just the first step in our mission to bring you TV wherever you are."
"We are already hard at work on porting Hulu Plus to other devices and platforms, with PlayStation 3 coming soon. But that's a story for another day."
A story for another day? Why not a story for PlayStation Plus, Sony's just-launched "long on hypothetical value, short on actual content" subscriber service?
Okay, so Hulu Plus isn't available today, so teasing it with PlayStation Plus would have been pointless. And since we don't have a firm launch date for the service itself--rumor is it'll be sometime this fall--who knows what the rest of 2010 will bring? I just signed up for the invite-only preview (free? paid?) so with a bit of luck, I'll have a chance to test drive its ballyhooed 45 current programs from ABC, NBC, and FOX and its "rich library content" comprising some 120 TV seasons and over 2,000 episodes.
But what I really want to see is how well it works on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, how it stacks up against Netflix, and whether--given my strong preference for unparalleled but currently off-Hulu shows like AMC's Mad Men and Breaking Bad or HBO's Treme--I'll care enough to actually use it.
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