I’ve never understood the popularity of Hulu. It gets praised from users, media, and analyst for being so easy to use but frankly the few times that I have tried the website, I found the navigation to be horrible and very rarely found full episodes of programs – just lame promo clips. I love Netflix Instant Watch, so I was intrigued by Hulu’s recent announcement of their Hulu Plus service but from the moment it was announced it further proved how amateurish the folks at Hulu are. They announced the service and created the long awaited iPad, iPhone Apps for it, but I had to get on the waiting list for the privilege of PAYING to use a freaking BETA product. And when I say, beta, I mean BETA! Hulu should be ashamed of themselves for making people pay $9.99 to use this garbage. Not only that but I had to pay for a subscription to Playstation Plus just to download this crap. If it was a free trial, I could accept a lot of the major flaws.
The navigation is terrible, it crashes all the time, the stream quality is barely watchable and inconsistent – this is on recent shows like Life, Glee, etc. To top it off, you have to put up with too many commercials, which usually end up having a better picture than the program I’m actually trying to watch. There was one commercial that came on towards the end of each episode of Life that was stuck in a loop and crashed my PS3. This happened during 6 episodes at about the 35-minute mark.
Hulu Plus has a nice selection of television shows but there are very few things it has that Netflix Instant Watch doesn’t – like Life, Speed Racer and Glee. The only thing I do like about Hulu Plus is theoretically it let’s you change your stream quality on the fly, but I never saw where it made much difference in improving things and most shows only gave me two different SD quality settings.
Hulu Plus is an amazingly crummy application. To make matters worse Hulu has the gall to charge people for the privilege of being beta testers. After a day, I wanted to cancel my subscription and Hulu doesn’t give the option of refunds or Cancel at the next billing cycle. No, if you cancel it’s effective immediately which is a crappy way of hoping customers will forget during their next cycle. I love the idea of this app but truly hate the execution. This review is based on the PS3 App, did not test the iPad version.
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Originally posted 08.15.2010