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Posted at 8:55 AM ET, 11/17/2010

Hulu Plus exits preview, cuts price

By Rob Pegoraro

Was it less than two weeks ago that I wrote here about how Hulu had finally opened its Hulu Plus subscription service for business? It was. But now the TV-viewing site's premium viewing option, with its higher video quality and expanded library of shows and movies, is really open for business: It's dropped the "preview" tag and cut its price to $7.99 a month.


Hulu chief executive Jason Kilar's blog post notes that customers who had paid the old $9.99/month rate will get a credit in the next billing cycle and announces Hulu Plus's debut on Roku's Web-media receivers.

Other devices will get Hulu Plus access in "the months to come," Kilar writes:

Internet-connected Vizio, LG Electronics, and Panasonic Blu-ray players and HDTVs; TiVo Premiere DVRs; the Xbox 360; and Western Digital's WD TV Live Hub Media Center and WD TV Live Plus Network Media Player, with many more mobile phones, tablets, set-top boxes, and Internet-connected devices to be announced.

That vague description could include Apple TV, Google TV and Android phones--but maybe it won't. (Last week, Netflix explained in a blog post that it had not yet brought its streaming movie service to Android because Google's smartphone software doesn't have enough support for the "digital rights management" viewing restrictions demanded by movie studios.)

I set up Hulu Plus on one of the Roku boxes I reviewed last month and spent a few minutes clicking around. The setup was easy--made easier by the option to type an activation code into a browser elsewhere instead of entering my Plus login on the TV screen with the Roku's remote--and the simple interface seems well suited for couch-distance use.

Kilar wraps up by touting free-trial offers for new subscribers, existing subscribers who refer friends and buyers of new Sony HDTVs or Blu-ray players and Roku devices.

He does not, however, address any of the issues I noted in my earlier Hulu Plus post or called out by readers in comments there. Namely, there's no reduction in the ads you have to watch, compared to Hulu's free service; Hulu still feels entitled to block people viewing it in the "wrong" browser; and some of the TV networks that own Hulu would like to shut out viewers who pay the "wrong" company for their TV service during a carriage dispute.

Does your estimation of Hulu's value change when it's $7.99 a month instead of $9.99?

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 17, 2010; 8:55 AM ET
Categories:  TV, Video  
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This is an alert that might be good to share. I recently received an e-mail from a close friend who uses G-Mail for her isp. Only apparently someone hacked into her account and used her e-mail address to obtain all her contacts and sent a message soliciting money in her name. The gist of the e-mail was that she was stranded in Wales after being mugged and needed money to pay her hotel bill and to get home. It gave an address where money could be sent. She never sent this mail. The message was even written in her style of writing. I notified her, but feel that others should be alerted, since it is a new twist on the Nigeria schemes.

Posted by: mmtufty | November 17, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I enjoy Hulu & Netflix as both provide quality service

With that said, Hulu's commercials are darn near unbearable. Too long, too common for paying customers

Posted by: Bious | November 17, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I never tried the free preview of Hulu-Plus, but i do like "regular" Hulu. Having it available on my Roku for only $7.99/month makes me more likely to try it. I've already cut back to basic satelite service. These services, along with Netflix, are allowing me to cut my monthly bills way down, and get more bang for my buck out of my internet connection. Not a bad deal all around. Only the sports nuts really need worry about keeping ESPN.

Posted by: moonwatcher2001 | November 17, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Never tried Hulu. Do they offer a free examination period? and what would I need for viewing if they do?

Posted by: Aggytater | November 18, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, it's just two dollars but it makes me think about it again. If the programs offered were complete enough I'd put up with the commercials for that price.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | November 20, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

I'll probably do the trial account since I already have the app on my iPad. But, I have gotten used to not watching ads with content from the iTunes Store and Netflix.

Posted by: query0 | November 21, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

I would love to sign up for Hulu Plus. However, only if they let me make payments that I can control instead of them having access to my bank account. Please provide me with an address and account number that I can send payments to.

Thank you,

Posted by: WeAreDoomed2 | November 23, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

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