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Hulu, Let Me Count the Ways I Love/Hate You [Review, Opinion]

hulu logo I was more than a little skeptical when NBC jumped ship on iTunes and announced it would create its own video portal. Usually such endeavors crash and burn in dramatic fashion, e.g., ABC.com, AOL Video, and Google’s Video Marketplace. However, as soon as I got my beta invite I was pleasantly surprised with just how good Hulu was. While the content was initially very limited, the interface was well thought out and implemented. As time passed I fell in love with Hulu but I also became frustrated with some of Hulu’s oddities, read more to find out what 5 things I enjoy about Hulu and what 5 things drive me nuts.



5 Things I Love About Hulu

1 – Good Video Quality

Hulu’s video quality is quite good compared to other video portals and the option for 480p on some shows makes it much better than other options.
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2 – Growing Selection

Hulu is adding lots of shows and movies on a weekly basis. You can find recently added videos here.

3 – Interface

Hulu’s interface is very well designed and probably the best available right now. I have especially enjoyed watching Hulu content via my Mac Mini which is attached to a HDTV.
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4 – Balanced Ads

Compared to ABC.com and other video portals, Hulu’s ads are well designed and don’t detract anymore from the viewing experience any more than necessary.

5 – Random Shows

I enjoy discovering new shows, and Hulu is a great way to do that.



5 Things I Hate About Hulu

1 – Missing/Expired Episodes

It isn’t uncommon for Hulu to have a couple of missing episodes from an otherwise complete season of a show. This is really annoying if you are trying to catch up on a show or testing out a new show. As for expiring shows, this is a troubling indicator of how little control Hulu has over its content. For more information about Hulu’s business troubles see this article.
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2 – Eight Day Wait for Battlestar Galactica

Ok, this might not be a big deal for some people but it is huge for Galactica fans such as myself. Please don’t tease me with next day access to my Battlestar Galactica for months and then suddenly force me to wait 8 days to view a new episode. Messing with my BSG addiction is dangerous Hulu!
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3 – Initial Ad Before Fullscreen Option

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How about letting me click the fullscreen button before making me watch an Ad. This is a minor issue, but it annoys the hell out of me for some reason.


4 – Clips

Seriously, WTF? Take a look at the screenshot to the right. Something is very wrong here; Hulu has 124 clips for a show with only 3 episodes. If I wanted to watch 2 minute clips I would go to YouTube.


5 – Random Shows

I know I listed this as something I love about Hulu above and while I can appreciate an eclectic collection as much as the next guy, nobody wants to watch shows like Cleopatra 2525 or Total Recall 2070. How about putting some more classics on Hulu rather than wasting time on this crap.



Ways to Improve Hulu

Besides fixing the 5 reasons for hating Hulu I listed above, here are a few ways Hulu might be improved.

HD Content

Currently all of Hulu’s HD content consists of clips. This is lame.

Apple TV plugin

Imagine a YouTube-like plugin for Hulu on the AppleTV, this would be a great way to breach that computer/television barrier. Such a plugin would finally get me to go buy an AppleTV.

Subscription Service

In exchange for ‘members only’ instant access all seasons and episodes of popular shows like Battlestar Galactica I’d be willing to pay $10-$20 per month. Perhaps even have HD access to all content for paying members. Would you pay for a Hulu ‘Full Access/HD’ subscription?


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