Do you Love to Hate Hulu? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 09-27-2010, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I just don't understand the Hulu business model at all. "Let's restrict the ways people can access our programming, even if they PAY for the service." I really do like Hulu as a companion to Netflix, I think they really go hand in hand. Netflix gives me my movie fix, while Hulu generally helps me out in the TV realm. I'm tired of having to jump through the PlayOn hoop to access Hulu, and wish it were more "open" to integration like Netflix.

If I want easy Hulu, am I stuck with the PS3 or PlayOn?
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post #2 of 37 Old 09-27-2010, 03:04 PM
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Last I checked, Netflix was not free.

Hulu can be had for free -- on PCs and through what amounts to hacks like PlayOn (I am a licensed PlayOn customer, it's a hack, period) and what some see as the Boxee Box's attempted hack.

Hulu, like Netflix, can be had for money via HuluPlus which works just fine on PS3, iPad, and, apparently, soon on Roku. You seem to think if you pay for it, you need to jump through hoops, but you don't on PS3. (Note: HuluPlus on PS3 may still be in beta, I have not checked, but it's a full blown app, not a kludge like PlayOn, and it's totally "integrated".)

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #3 of 37 Old 09-27-2010, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishdoom View Post

I just don't understand the Hulu business model at all. "Let's restrict the ways people can access our programming, even if they PAY for the service." I really do like Hulu as a companion to Netflix, I think they really go hand in hand. Netflix gives me my movie fix, while Hulu generally helps me out in the TV realm. I'm tired of having to jump through the PlayOn hoop to access Hulu, and wish it were more "open" to integration like Netflix.

If I want easy Hulu, am I stuck with the PS3 or PlayOn?

The intent of Hulu Plus is to have it on set-top boxes, BD players, TV's, etc. It's still in beta right now.

As for why they don't want the traditional Hulu on TV's (and may drop it entirely if Plus is successful) should be pretty obvious.
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post #4 of 37 Old 09-27-2010, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Maybe I just need to be patient, then. I already pay for Hulu Plus, and I won't mind continuing if it's access is opened up in better ways.
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post #5 of 37 Old 09-27-2010, 04:41 PM
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I use the free hulu for what it is, and value it as such (a free backup in case my PC wasn't on to DVR the show in the first place.)

I do not see myself paying for hulu+ anytime soon given their desire to limit its access to a minimal number of players and their desire to still pump commercials throughout something I paid for.

-Suntan
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post #6 of 37 Old 09-27-2010, 04:45 PM
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Yes, pumping commercials through paid content is scandalous and has never been done before. Oh, wait, every non-premium cable channel does that -- pumping a huge multiple of the ads per hour that Hulu Plus sends -- never mind.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #7 of 37 Old 09-27-2010, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

Yes, pumping commercials through paid content is scandalous and has never been done before. Oh, wait, every non-premium cable channel does that -- pumping a huge multiple of the ads per hour that Hulu Plus sends -- never mind.

If you're cool with it, have at it. Personally, I don't pay money to watch commercials.

If I run out of things to watch, I'll rethink the notion. As it stands, I've got plenty to watch without paying to watch (well, skip over) commercials.

-Suntan
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post #8 of 37 Old 09-27-2010, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Irishdoom View Post

I just don't understand the Hulu business model at all. "Let's restrict the ways people can access our programming, even if they PAY for the service."

I think you are a little off base. I'm sure Hulu would love for you to view everything via their service. Rather it's the content owners who restrict what can and can't be viewed and how it can be viewed… via PC (I'm guessing they are much less worried about PC viewing) or TV. I'm sure they are afraid of cannibalizing their revenue streams. I don't think current streaming income can come close to offsetting any of the other avenues but at the same time it could threaten them.

What they allow is more or less marketing for their revenue streams (outside of the now relatively worthless content). Just enough to get you interested in the first place or let you catch an episode you happened to miss. Which is why the three rolling episodes are so popular. Now they do offer complete seasons like this years' Rescue Me (the last one extended to next year) just often enough to get you wanting more. My guess is if the content ever approaches the majority of OTA/cable/satellite the pricing will follow right along.

Regarding commercials having used DVRs for the last 10 years I found it very tough watching 24 via Hulu Plus even though the typical commercial breaks were 30 seconds or less. If they were longer it would go a long way towards me not using the service.
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post #9 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

If you're cool with it, have at it. Personally, I don't pay money to watch commercials.

Obviously, you don't have cable or satellite TV. Most of us do.

And, yes, as noted below your post, I bypass most commercials with a button on my DVR. But certainly not all of them.

The ads on Hulu are shockingly unobtrusive. And I'd gladly trade them more demographic info for better ads (and ideally future of them) where they'd make more money with less annoyance.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #10 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I think you are a little off base. I'm sure Hulu would love for you to view everything via their service.

I thought Hulu was made up as a joint venture between multiple content owners? (NBC, FOX, etc.) Why would "they" want to allow you to use it anywhere, except that the same "they" are restricting access to the content?

-Suntan
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post #11 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

Obviously, you don't have cable or satellite TV.

I see you were successful in adding 2+2 there...

Anyway, as I said, I'm not about to pay for a service that sends me commercials. Even though I can skip over hulu commercials, that only makes the free service acceptable to me. The pay service is not attractive to me at this point.

-Suntan
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post #12 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

I thought Hulu was made up as a joint venture between multiple content owners? (NBC, FOX, etc.) Why would "they" want to allow you to use it anywhere, except that the same "they" are restricting access to the content?

Hulu as an entity has a vision of which I'm certain doesn't (perfectly) match their investors.
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post #13 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

I do not see myself paying for hulu+ anytime soon given their desire to limit its access to a minimal number of players

I'm pretty sure that is not their intent. The service and SW is still officially in beta (and it's pretty pathetic they are making people pay to beta test it).

I'll eat my hat if the device list doesn't expand once things are out of beta - well, assuming they go forward with the service.


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and their desire to still pump commercials throughout something I paid for.

-Suntan

Get used to it unfortunately. I suspect that's how most services will be monetized.
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post #14 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I think you are a little off base. I'm sure Hulu would love for you to view everything via their service. Rather it's the content owners who restrict what can and can't be viewed and how it can be viewed

You may want to look up who owns Hulu
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post #15 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Raistlin_HT View Post

Get used to it unfortunately. I suspect that's how most services will be monetized.

I've been watching the tube for over 30 years (college not withstanding) without paying to watch commercials. I'll keep on that track as long as it suits me.

Like I said, I'll rethink the notion if I actually run out of stuff to watch. Until then, I'll pass on paying to watch commercials.

-Suntan
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post #16 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by rogo View Post

Yes, pumping commercials through paid content is scandalous and has never been done before. Oh, wait, every non-premium cable channel does that -- pumping a huge multiple of the ads per hour that Hulu Plus sends -- never mind.

Agreed, shame on them. Add Tivo to that list , they charge you a monthly fee + you buy their device , and you get hammered with tons of ads.
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post #17 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

I've been watching the tube for over 30 years (college not withstanding) without paying to watch commercials. I'll keep on that track as long as it suits me.

Like I said, I'll rethink the notion if I actually run out of stuff to watch. Until then, I'll pass on paying to watch commercials.

-Suntan

I'm not sure if I follow your logic. The point of services like Hulu, eventually, is to replace cable, satellite, and fiber for some users ... all of which are services that you are 'paying for commercials'.

If someone has no use for TV beyond traditional broadcasts ... wouldn't they be using an antenna already? It seems like this is all moot for the user you describe?
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post #18 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Raistlin_HT View Post

I'm not sure if I follow your logic. The point of services like Hulu, eventually, is to replace cable, satellite, and fiber for some users ... all of which are services that you are 'paying for commercials'.

If someone has no use for TV beyond traditional broadcasts ... wouldn't they be using an antenna already? It seems like this is all moot for the user you describe?

The user I'm describing... ...is me.

Seriously, at what point have I said anything about anyone else. All I have stated (multiple times) is that I do not fancy paying for content that has commercials, and that as of right now, I can keep myself happily entertained without having to do so.

If you have read any of my posts here and thought I was talking about someone else, you're mistaken.

Yes, I use an antenna (as well as pay services that provide content without commercials.) As I clearly stated in my first post, I only use (the free) hulu when the show didn't get DVRed in the first place.

-Suntan
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post #19 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

The user I'm describing... ...is me.

Seriously, at what point have I said anything about anyone else. All I have stated (multiple times) is that I do not fancy paying for content that has commercials, and that as of right now, I can keep myself happily entertained without having to do so.

If you have read any of my posts here and thought I was talking about someone else, you're mistaken.

Yes, I use an antenna (as well as pay services that provide content without commercials.) As I clearly stated in my first post, I only use (the free) hulu when the show didn't get DVRed in the first place.

-Suntan

I took your posts as referring to yourself and to others in a similar position. I'm not sure how that changes anything.
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post #20 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Raistlin_HT View Post

You may want to look up who owns Hulu

Investors hardly ever have the same outlook as the company itself. Heck even different divisions within the same company don't. Do you think Diet Coke is always ensuring they are doing what's best for Coke? I'd guess not since Coke is always trying to sue them.

It's not really that hard… their management clearly focus on what's best for Hulu. If not the IPO they are eyeing wouldn't be nearly as viable or valuable.
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post #21 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Raistlin_HT View Post

I'm not sure how that changes anything.

Seriously, what's the deal here?

From the beginning I have only stated the way I feel about it as it applies to my needs. You think I am wrong? You think the value I put on it is incorrect? Get over yourself already. I don't care how much you like it and you shouldn't care how much I like it.

If you think everybody should love to pay hulu money just so they can watch some shows with *less than* the "stupidly high" number of commercials found elsewhere, too bad. It's not going to happen.

Now if you just want to have the last word (again, about how I personally value the merits of the service for my own personal use...) feel free to have it. I'm done here.

-Suntan
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post #22 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by didapipo View Post

Agreed, shame on them. Add Tivo to that list , they charge you a monthly fee + you buy their device , and you get hammered with tons of ads.


I have six Premieres and i don't get "hammered" with advertisements.
And the few times i have noticed any ads on the TiVos have in no way prevented me from watching any of my recorded content.

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post #23 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

Seriously, what's the deal here?

From the beginning I have only stated the way I feel about it as it applies to my needs. You think I am wrong? You think the value I put on it is incorrect? Get over yourself already. I don't care how much you like it and you shouldn't care how much I like it.

If you think everybody should love to pay hulu money just so they can watch some shows with *less than* the "stupidly high" number of commercials found elsewhere, too bad. It's not going to happen.

Now if you just want to have the last word (again, about how I personally value the merits of the service for my own personal use...) feel free to have it. I'm done here.

-Suntan

Whoa, what's happening here? That's not what I meant at all - I wasn't questioning your decision to not pay for commercial TV. Forget I said anything.
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post #24 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

Investors hardly ever have the same outlook as the company itself. Heck even different divisions within the same company don't. Do you think Diet Coke is always ensuring they are doing what's best for Coke? I'd guess not since Coke is always trying to sue them.

It's not really that hard their management clearly focus on what's best for Hulu. If not the IPO they are eyeing wouldn't be nearly as viable or valuable.

My impression is you need to separate Hulu and Hulu Plus - their intent is different - and I suspect investors are aware of that.

IMO, if Plus takes off, Hulu is planning to kill the original service.
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post #25 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Raistlin_HT View Post

My impression is you need to separate Hulu and Hulu Plus - their intent is different - and I suspect investors are aware of that.

IMO, if Plus takes off, Hulu is planning to kill the original service.

In the relative future Hulu has much more potential for revenues (and profits) than Hulu Plus. Close to $200 million this year and they are even profitable… imagine that for an Internet based company! So I don't see that service going away anytime soon (if Hulu has anything to say about it).

Regarding Hulu Plus their content fees will rise dramatically as the content will have to be more valuable to obtain paying subscribers. Also they will have to fight Netflix for the same content which will drive the cost up even higher. Now I'm guessing an ad viewed on your TV is worth more than one viewed on your PC so perhaps revenues can offset a great deal of the added expense. Along with the subscription fees… although I dropped out after one month.

The threat to Hulu is if they divorce themselves from the studios the studios no longer have a vested interest in seeing Hulu do well. So perhaps the sweet heart content deals disappear unless Hulu remains big enough to throw their weight around. The studios will still want to market their content and if Hulu is the elephant they will be fine.

Overall I think at some point Netflix and Hulu has to go at each other. That is if online delivery is going to become mainstream and approach the other delivery services.
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post #26 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

In the relative future Hulu has much more potential for revenues (and profits) than Hulu Plus. Close to $200 million this year and they are even profitable… imagine that for an Internet based company! So I don't see that service going away anytime soon (if Hulu has anything to say about it).

Regarding Hulu Plus their content fees will rise dramatically as the content will have to be more valuable to obtain paying subscribers. Also they will have to fight Netflix for the same content which will drive the cost up even higher. Now I'm guessing an ad viewed on your TV is worth more than one viewed on your PC so perhaps revenues can offset a great deal of the added expense.

The threat to Hulu is if they divorce themselves from the studios the studios no longer have a vested interest in seeing Hulu do well. So perhaps the sweet heart content deals disappear unless Hulu remains big enough to throw their weight around. The studios will still want to market their content and if Hulu is the elephant they will be fine.

Overall I think at some point Netflix and Hulu has to go at each other. That is if online delivery is going to become mainstream and approach the other delivery services.

Let me clarify my point.

Hulu does not want the free version (PC) on our TVs because they'd rather you watch the actual broadcasts of current shows. This is due to broadcasts generating more ad revenue than what the PC commercials bring in.

For the people that do not like watching TV on a computer, and would like to see Hulu on set top boxes, etc. - that's what Hulu Plus is for. They do want that version on our televisions (or at least they are currently experimenting with it to see if the business model is feasible). In order to offset the lower ad revenue, they charge a subscription fee since viewership is in lieu of the traditional broadcasts.





I'm not sure what you mean by 'divorce the studios' ... Hulu is the studios. Only 10% is not owned by broadcasters/studios. Or am I misunderstanding you?

NBC Universal (32%)
Fox Entertainment Group (31%)
ABC / Disney (27%)
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post #27 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 11:31 AM
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Hulu works well for me. I will tolerate commercials and poor quality if it's free. So far, Hulu "plus" is a steaming pile of terrible that isn't worth any sum of money.
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post #28 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raistlin_HT View Post

I'm not sure what you mean by 'divorce the studios' ... Hulu is the studios. Only 10% is not owned by broadcasters/studios. Or am I misunderstanding you?

I meant divorce (or acting independently in prior posts) in two senses
  • Acting in the interest of Hulu not taking the studios into account.
  • IPO - if it happens their structure will definitely change and investors may cash out or at a minimum see their influence greatly reduced.
The point (not so clearly made) is the company is an entity and as such has a vested interest in serving itself even over the interest of its investors.
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post #29 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by elixxxer View Post

Hulu works well for me. I will tolerate commercials and poor quality if it's free. So far, Hulu "plus" is a steaming pile of terrible that isn't worth any sum of money.

Not in my case. I subscribed for a month to view the last season of 24. I was pleasantly surprised at the high quality of their image (far superior to what I have seen with Netflix). Of course it wasn't Blu-ray quality but they offer HD well beyond DVD quality. Audio is nothing to write home about but one has to compare it to other streaming services and it compared nicely. VUDU offers higher quality but you aren't comparing apples to apples all you can eat to VOD.

I much preferred their interface to Netflix's. So what they do I think they do very well. The issue is content very little at best. The studios don't want their Hulu content on TVs so that takes away almost of all their content and with no real subscription base how much content can they afford to license that people want to view? Appears to be the chicken or egg deal. They can't cut licensing deals like Netflix unless the studios are willing work with them or perhaps that IPO money becomes available.
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post #30 of 37 Old 09-28-2010, 12:12 PM
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I see they just announced that Hulu Plus is coming to TiVo. or specifically the TiVo Premiere.

http://pr.tivo.com/easyir/customrel....jsp=custom_150

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TiVo Will Offer Hulu Plus on TiVo Premiere DVRs

ALVISO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 09/28/2010 -- TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in advanced television services including digital video recorders (DVRs) for consumers, content distributors and consumer electronics manufacturers, today announced that it has teamed with Hulu™ to provide TiVo® Premiere DVR subscribers with access to the full-array of Hulu Plus™ content streamed instantly to their TVs. The Hulu Plus channel will be available via subscription to all TiVo Premiere customers in the coming months.*

The agreement solidifies TiVo's leading position as the only one-box solution on the market that delivers the most complete entertainment content to the TV with the unmatched ability to use one user interface and one remote to access a sea of broadband, linear and video on demand content.

Hulu Plus offers one of the deepest offerings of current TV shows on a streaming platform to subscribers in the U.S., including every episode of more than 45 current hit programs from ABC, FOX and NBC like Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy, Glee, Family Guy, The Office and 30 Rock. In addition, TV lovers with TiVo Premiere DVRs will be able to enjoy full series runs and numerous back seasons of dozens of classic shows like The X-Files, Law and Order: SVU, Arrested Development, Saturday Night Live, Miami Vice, Ugly Betty, Quantum Leap, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Roswell and Ally McBeal.

"Adding Hulu Plus to TiVo's content offering was really the key missing piece to the programming portfolio that TiVo needed in order to deliver a truly comprehensive advanced television offering on the market today -- bar none," said Tara Maitra, VP & General Manager, Content Services and Ad Sales, TiVo Inc. "TiVo is the complete TV entertainment solution. No other service is as robust or offers consumers the ability to access live TV, Web video, and video on demand content from one box like TiVo does."

Pete Distad, VP of Content Distribution for Hulu, said, "We are laser focused on helping people find and enjoy the world's premium video content when, where and how they want it. Our goal for Hulu Plus is to provide as much consumer choice as possible, and Hulu Plus on TiVo's Premiere DVR offering is a compelling way for us to drive our mission forward."

* Separate subscriptions to Hulu Plus and the TiVo Service will be required to access Hulu Plus on TiVo Premiere DVRs.

Now if they would cut the monthly fee I might subscribe.

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