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 WARNING Review of HULU Plus

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Shadowcrunch
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PostSubject: WARNING Review of HULU Plus   Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:25 am

Again, does it go under TV or movies?! Anyway, as some of you know, my wife and I recently had the idea of dropping our cable and switching to Hulu Plus for the few shows we actually watch regularly. For movies, past episodes, and oddball stuff, there's still nothing to compare to Netflix streaming, but with all the little issues with the local cable company, and the cost, when we started finding our shows on Hulu, and knowing that Hulu Plus (H+) streams to the PS3, we decided to try out the 7 day free trial. Here is what we learned.

First off, when you sign up for the FREE trial, you have to use a credit card. If you do not cancel after 7 days, you will automatically be billed for the first month's payment of $7.99. Not a big deal so far.

Next, upon getting H+ installed and logged into on the PS3, it's time add some of our favorite shows to our queue. Okay, that episode of Destination Truth we missed because of the cable box...well where the hell is it? I just saw it on the Hulu website. scratch Maybe it's hiding in some other old episodes? What, why are there only like 12 episodes split from seasons 1-3?! Where's all the episodes which are available on the Hulu website?! Well, let's see how many episodes of Warehouse 13 are on H+... WHERE THE HELL IS WAREHOUSE 13?! Evil or Very Mad There's a bunch of episodes on the website!

Before snapping from frustration, better check some of the awesome movie offerings on H+, since Hulu_dot_com offers some amazing new releases... okay, I'm doing something wrong. Where are all the damn movies Hulu_dot_com brags about having already?!

Google. Read some forums...link to the Hulu FAQ... WTF. When Hulu_dot_com started, they got permission to digitally distribute (stream) all of these shows and movies from the various companies. Makes sense. When they started Hulu Plus, which is apparently a different media distribution, and involves HD, they had to obtain all the permissions from scratch, and it's an ongoing process. So when you find ALL of your favorite shows available on Hulu, they will NOT be available on Hulu Plus! Question Mad Same with the movies.

When you are on the site, and they list all of the amazing things you can watch, and 'could be watching on your mobile device or compatible streaming TV device' on Hulu Plus, they are not telling you it is that small of a percent of what's available online. They are NOT telling you "pay us money, and we will give you less product, but in HD, on your PS3 or X360." When they say stream to your mobile device, they are NOT giving you a list (unless you dig into the FAQs) of the handful of devices the app is actually compatible with. I can tell you right now, neither the Motorola Photon 4g nor the Sony Tablet S are compatible with the app... and based on app reviews, there's a million and 5 other mobile devices not supported.

Last important thing to note: commercials. Hulu offers free viewing online because it is ad-supported. They make money showing you (on average) 4 commercials per half-hour show, and in return you can watch streaming TV for free. Fine. Hulu Plus... while you're paying $7.99 a month for a lot less content (but in HD!), you STILL get (on average) 4 commercials per half-hour episode! They say right in the FAQ they are a dual-income system, combining ad dollars and Plus membership dollars to purchase more content. So, they get money from advertisers by showing you commercials while you watch FREE TV online... AND they get money from advertisers by showing you commercials while you PAY to watch LESS, but streaming over most consoles, a handful of mobile devices, and HEY... it's in HD...

After reading that FAQ, I informed my wife she could go ahead and cancel the H+ membership. It's frickin ridiculous! The ONLY thing I found at all awesome was the massive amounts of Japanese animation. But if I'm going to pay $7.99 a month for just watching Anime, I would find something without commercials. Also, and this isn't a huge deal, but every anime I tested to compare with Netflix, even if it was rated TV-MA, was the censored (or at least cleaned up a bit) version.

My Hulu Plus Rating: full_rating empty_rating empty_rating empty_rating empty_rating (1 star for the anime and original Godzilla movies)

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PostSubject: Re: WARNING Review of HULU Plus   Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:36 am

Last year or so, when I decided to get rid of our satellite service, I was looking around for free television broadcasting. I did find a few websites... most of which were news related (Al-Jazeera, BBC, stuff like that) and a few sites which would play television shows a day or two after being aired (ABC, NBC), and then there were those true staples like WWITV and Animefreak.

Then, too, there was Hulu.

I didn't mind watching commercials while watching free movies or shows. I figured I wasn't paying for it, and it allowed me to get up and stretch if needed. But the thing that got me about Hulu was that, while I could watch it on my computer or laptop, I could not stream over the PS3. Apparently Hulu and Microsoft had made some kind of deal. Anyway, that's why I went with Netflix... wasn't so much for me, but for the family in general.

One of these days I should really check out those media device computers, the ones that you plug into your television; sure, it's a bigger investment, but it'd pay for itself with just all the actual free stuff online. Then again, I'm also waiting for GoogleTV to come out (next spring).

Anyway, thanks for the review of Hulu+...

...

Hmm, here's an idea... since the three of us have PS3s, perhaps what we should do is start a thread where we can post what websites we've found that has worthwhile streaming / live content. I'm not talking about the occasional porn site or anything, but stuff like what I mentioned above, free sites that will work well over the Playstation.
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PostSubject: Re: WARNING Review of HULU Plus   Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:27 am

Ahhhh... so I put it in there! Okay, now I'm ready. You bring up an interesting point! One of the things I enjoy about Netflix, and would have enjoyed about H+ is the ease with which the programming can be streamed through the PS3 to the TV. Let's face it, even if you're perfectly fine with watching endless hours of video on a 15" monitor from the safety of a hard office chair, it's so much better to stretch out on the couch and watch the same over a big TV. Which makes things like Anime-freak or some of those other sites a "once in a while" kind of thing. Unless but!

In another thread (another thread) I had presented you all with a piece of software I found called 'PS3 Media Server', through which a person could stream audio and video from their computer, through the home network, into the PS3. It worked. It wasn't perfect, but most of the time it got the job done. Now, I'm not sure if that particular program would work, but what if there was something similar that could take whatever you're watching on the PC internet and stream THAT across the network to the PS3 and TV? So you start this hypothetical streamer, fire up Anime-Freak, and wammo it's on the TV across the house! Then your 'free stuff available online' could easily be had without having to money around too much.

I will do some reading on the PS3 Media Server software, and if it seems possible I will try it. Otherwise, we should all spend some time researching if something similar already exists! It could make things very interesting for future show watching!

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PostSubject: Re: WARNING Review of HULU Plus   Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:05 pm

I have a PS3, XBOX 360 and the Roku. All 3 devices will do the youtube thing, Netflix, Hulu+, and Amazon videos. I will admit that with everything that I have, I only use the PS3 for Netflix. It's just overall better then everything else. I use the Roku for Pandora music and I don't use the xbox for squat other than playing games on. Youtube is still viewed on the computer/laptop.

However, to stay in the topic, I gave up the Hulu+ account because it's a pain trying to find anything that Netflix doesn't have that I want to watch..

I didn't get the PS3 media server. Instead I tried the Microsoft version on the xbox. Although it worked, (I was able to view pics, listen to music, and watch videos off the hard drive), it was slower than slow. I wasn't impressed....

Maybe after I get my new system built, I'll try again, but this time with the PS3 server..
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