Hands-On: Hulu Plus

With the new Hulu Plus app, your TV viewing habits will forever change.

Yesterday Hulu announced that it would soon be offering a subscription-model version of its Hulu service for mobile devices.

While the subscription part is still locked up, the app became available on iTunes yesterday and I had a chance to test it out today.

The first thing I did was randomly try to play a show via WiFi. I picked Desperate Housewives since I knew the quality would be top notch. Surprisingly, the app played back the experience almost identically to the one that I enjoy from my desktop. I then shut off WiFi to see what the degraded experience would look like. It was definitely still watchable, but the quality took a major step down.

As for the interface, it's very intuitive and has a special area just for the free stuff known as "Free Gallery". Since the subscription portion is still invite-only, you can see the content available for a fee, but you can't actually view it.

The only drawback I found so far with the app is that it doesn't remember where you were if you exit. For example, I can play a show and then exit the app, but then when I open the app again, it will start playing the same show, but instead of playing at the point I had left off at, it starts the show over.

The above is a minor gripe, though, when you think of the experience being delivered for free to my mobile device.

I signed up and requested a preview invite, so I'll report back once I've had a chance to test the subscription piece. So far, though, I'm really impressed with the functionality of Hulu Plus and plan to install it on my iPad next.

I can definitely see this app being a disrupter. While $10 a month may seem pricey, if you think of that as an alternative to paying for your monthly cable, it's a small price to pay.

See more pics of the interface below:


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