Hulu Hoops

So, NBC pulled it’s videos from YouTube and iTunes (that mistake in another article). Well, now there’s Hulu, a website dedicated to allowing you to stream content from NBC. I went ahead and signed up for their BETA testing several weeks ago. Surprisingly, I had a confirmed invitation today. I headed there briefly and here’s what’s up so far.

The interface is slick enough. The video isn’t full 640×480 (regular TV resolution), but it’s close. And, when viewed in the default window (not full screen), the image is surprisingly sharp. I’m impressed. There’s also a neat “dim the lights” feature that dims the screen around the video . . . pretty cool. You can also send links to your friends from the clips section . . . though at this point they need to be invited already, so that’s not too usable right now.

As for selections, there are lots of programs to view (including favorites like the Simpsons . . . guess Fox is in on this too). One thing I’m not finding right off the bat is an option to view pilots for shows up to their current schedule. I’d love to try shows like “Chuck” or “30 Rock”, but the shows I see available are in the middle of the current season. How hard would it be for NBC to place a full library online?

There are brief (30 second) commercials, but I didn’t see them as too aggrevating.

My initial thoughts are good for the service. I can see it more for a “my Tivo goofed and I need to make up a show” type use, but all in all, this works for me. I don’t see much innovation beyond what ABC.com is doing, however.

If NBC would offer purchases that would be compatible with my TiVo, that would be very nice. I won’t hold my breath.

For more information, or to sign up for an invitation to the service, visit http://www.hulu.com.

Added 12/09
I was browsing through and, man, if they’d have pilot episodes to allow users to see if they like the season, that would be great. I don’t want to start an episode on into the season. I’d like to start from the beginning, thank you.