The rumors were true.
Hulu has finally released an app for the iPad — but there’s a catch. Well, two catches, actually.
First, you have to have an invite to access the thing. You can download and “tour” the app without an invite, but you can’t watch anything, so what’s the point, right? Second, this ain’t your daddy’s Hulu. This is Hulu Plus (aka “Hulu+”), a new version that you pay to access.
Yes, you read that right: everybody’s favorite free Internet video player is becoming a service you have to pay to access — at least, to access its best features. Such as using it on the iPad. Or, on PlayStation 3 “soon,” on Xbox Live “in 2011,” Internet-connected televisions from Samsung, Vizio, and Sony, and connected Blu-ray players. Right now, the app works on PC, Mac, iPad, and iPhone.
For Hulu Plus, you’ll pay $9.99 a month. At first blush, that might seem steep, but consider this. You’re probably already paying anywhere from $20-$50+ for cable or satellite TV (a price that doesn’t even include premium subscription channels like HBO and Showtime). With almost 50 popular modern TV shows already available to watch on Hulu — including The Simpsons, Law & Order SVU, Glee, Lost, Psych, The Office, Friday Night Lights, Bones, and loads more — not to mention the vast archives of shows from yesteryear like The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Arrested Development, and Quantum Leap… Hulu is trying its darnedest to position Hulu Plus as a cable replacement. There are movies available, too, though nothing terribly current.
On the plus side, your single $9.99/mo. account can be accessed across multiple devices. On the downside, even with paying your monthly fee, you still have to sit through Hulu’s “limited commercials.”
What do you think? Are you ready to cancel your cable or DirecTV in favor of on-demand video from the Internet?
The Hulu Plus service begins in earnest sometime in July.