Hulu Plus – meh

September 25, 2010 at 12:22 am Leave a comment

Hulu Plus has a little more than you can get with the standard Hulu service.  I signed up for it after I saw that all 9 seasons of the X-Files are available on the Hulu Plus service.  I’d probably already watched 80% of them already, but to buy the entire series would probably run at least $50…  To get it over the course of 2 months for $10 a month, along with the first three seasons of Sliders and a few movies for the kids is a pretty good deal.  In fact, if you go to www.hulu.com/plus you can see a good list of the shows that have multiple seasons available.  If there’s something on that list that appeals to you, dive right in and subscribe for a month or two.

Aside from that, unless you want to watch content on the go a lot (like on an iPhone), I can’t recommend getting Hulu Plus for more than a few months at a time.  Even if you fall into the “on the go” crowd, much of the current content (i.e. new stuff that just aired) isn’t available on “Mobile” or “TV”, only on “Web”, meaning in your normal browser.

Honestly, the biggest competition to Hulu Plus is Hulu’s own free service.  I mean, they have a thousand or so episodes of some hit shows from the last few decades on their “Plus” service.  Their free service has many, many times that, including fresh content that aired within about the last week.

Hulu honestly can’t offer much less than what it current does on the free side of the service.  If Hulu doesn’t have the fresh stuff available pretty quick after airing, people will just download the torrents that are out usually within hours of airing, for free.  Heck, if you live on the west coast, you might even be able to occasionally download a torrent of your favorite show (recorded by someone on the East coast) before it even airs in your local market.

If the customer goes to torrents, then Hulu loses out on advertising revenue too, and if someone is a collector of a series, they probably won’t bother buying the DVDs when they can just download DVD rips for free, so that’s more money out the window.  Streaming a show provides commercial revenue and the potential that the customer may later want to actually buy the content…

Now, I’m going to a side topic real quick.  The TV industry has a hard time with this concept, but for many, many years a large percentage of the population of this country recorded the streams of TVs shows as they entered their homes.  To do this, they used devices called VCR’s.  You’ve probably seen one before.  In the last 10 years, they have largely been displaced by DVR’s, which record directly to hard drives.

The TV industry now wants us to believe that recording a video stream off of a site like Hulu.com isn’t the same as recording with a VCR/DVR, but that doing so is somehow wrong.

My personal belief?  I don’t see anything wrong with it, as long as you aren’t then redistributing it to others, but are just keeping it for your own personal use.

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Entry filed under: General.

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