hulu +, Not the Droids I was looking for

I hope for many, hulu + is a huge WIN. For me, in the short term, it’s not.

When I heard the announcement, my first thought was, “ok this is the final nail in Cable’s coffin for our house”

Very quickly though the coffin shrugged the nail off.

What would make hulu + the killer app for me? Not a lot above what they’re offering, but enough that I’ll be waiting before switching our family over.

1. The Archive. That’s a nice feature. Nicole decided to watch Angel, yet currently hulu only has like 1 season, or part of 1 season. So when we find programs we’d like to explore from the beginning, the archive is a good option, assuming the show is in there.

2. We watch a lot of Discovery and History channel, which don’t seem to be available on hulu. Bummer, will have to wait and see if they get that content or if there’s another avenue for it’s consumption.

3. iPad and iPhone apps are awesome (and the quality is insane!), but much like the Netflix app, when I’m in the mood to use those apps is when I’m traveling. hulu and Netflix really should allow the apps to cache content. It’s all DRM protected by the apps, etc, so caching shouldn’t be an issue. Putting in hard restrictions shouldn’t be hard either, like 3 shows, for 2 days, etc. Frankly when I’m at home wanting to watch something I have a really big TV with Netflix and hulu on it, I’m not reaching for my iPad.

Sure if I’m in a hotel room, I could stream content and watch on my iPad, and that’s a valid example and a use I’d likely engage in, but for me, and I assume a lot of other travelers, the bigger need is in the air. Unfortunately I don’t see Frontier adding in flight wifi anytime soon, and when they do it’ll be too expensive. Plus if Wil‘s experience is an indicator, as more and more people start to stream content, inflight wifi is likely to break down. I suspect it’s not that fat of a pipe to begin with.

4. This is kind of a “good to have” it sounds as if hulu plus doesn’t reduce the number of ads I have to see. Don’t get me wrong, i pay for cable, and without TiVo I’d see far more ads than on hulu, but it feels weird to move to a premium model, and not at least reduce the number of ads + users will see. Shoot, just go from 3-4 to 2-3 during a show. Something to make me feel like my $10 is buying something more than archive access.

I think the reason hulu + wasn’t a home run for me is because we’re fairly casual watchers. Access to the archive, while nice isn’t huge for us. We have a small number of shows we watch on hulu and we’re pretty good at watching them before they expire. The lack of caching content for air travel, or say, camping or other off the grid activities, makes hulu + even less interesting. I have a ton of content in the “videos” app on my iPad, it’s available whenever, whereever. hulu + didn’t come close enough to beating that for me.

I hope as they roll the service out, they add some features. I really do want to support hulu and stop paying for cable service, but that doesn’t appear to be today.

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