Tags Posts tagged with "Hulu"

Hulu

Profiles for Hulu allow users to set up profiles for kids.

Hulu profiles have arrived for IOS. Netflix is no longer alone in the streaming realm when it comes to providing personalized selections as the new profiles option will give users the ability to make their selections more their own. Like the profiles on Netflix users answer questions about what sort of TV shows and movies they enjoy. In just a few short steps you can set up your profile and no longer get suggestions that make no sense for you from Hulu.

Is Hulu Kid Friendly It Can Be make it a Kid Safe App
The profiles provide an option that never existed on Hulu before, Kids Lock. Kids lock is an option that you can turn on with a tap and unlock with your password which sets up a Kid safe environment.

How to set up Hulu profiles

1. Click Add Profile.

Is Hulu Kid safe
To set up a Hulu Profile start by clicking the + Add Profile. Is Hulu Kid safe it can be.

2. Name the profile. For Kid friendly content click the white switch that says Kids.

Is Hulu Kid safe name profile
Give the profile a name and age based on the person it is for.

3. To Create your Hulu profile click the green button titled Create Profile.

Is Hulu Kid safe for kids Creating profile
Once you have selected the birth date click Create Profile. Hulu follows K.I.S.S.

4. Click PERSONALIZE MY PROFILE

Click the box that says personalize my profile to begin to make programming selections.

5. Check out the types of shows and movies listed and choose the ones that appeal to you. This will help Hulu build your profile to your tastes.

Is Hulu Kid safe for kids Making selections
By choosing shows or movies you enjoy Hulu can begin to build a profile with selections for you.

6. Finish your profile.

Is Hulu Kid safe for kids Finish Profile
After your selections click I’m done and you can jump in and see what Hulu has for you.

 

 

 

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As with most rumors, there is nothing verifiable about it but the slowness of the tech news cycle made a star of the Hulu skinny bundle story. Keep in mind, there is nobody to quote other than the Wall Street Journal who reported that someone said there was interest on the part of ABC and Fox in offering a skinny bundle featuring the content that they own. the rumored price of $40.00 is equally unverifiable. Let’s just get that clearly established.

Would the Content be worth $40.00?
It depends on exactly what would be included. The idea that Hulu’s major media backers may be looking at offering their own content as part of a live TV package should be a surprise to nobody. CBS has been marketing its own service featuring CBS content on demand and continually expanding the service’s ability to offer live streaming of local CBS feeds depending on the area where a subscriber lives. ABC/Disney and Newscorp/Fox would be following in the footsteps of both their network sibling. The difference between what CBS currently offers and the rumor involving Fox and ABC is the breadth of the offering as well as the price. Fox owns a number of content channels including its anchor broadcast TV network FOX, Fox News Fox Sports 1 Fox, a number of regional sports networks and Fox business. ABC/ Disney includes the entire family of ESPN channels, ABC, ABC Family, the Disney Channel and associated networks and even a 50% share of A&E Networks. There is a lot of content on the table there especially if a bundle could include the A&E properties.

Would Hulu’s On Demand content be included?
Hulu currently is the home to the majority of current on demand content from NBC, ABC and Fox as well as hundreds of other programs from cable networks and other broadcast properties as well. If a subscription to say the commercial free on demand Hulu service were included with all of that live content including multiple ESPN networks, Multiple FOX networks including the highest rated cable news network Fox News, the package could be appealing to those looking to shave back their pay TV bills and add more control over their ability to catch up on programming at their leisure..

Has Sling TV set a Precedent?
Sling Television currently offers two separate packages of programming as a starting skinny bundle. Both feature turner based programming like TNT and TBS as well as various lifestyle channels. Both of them are $20.00. The difference between the two besides the fact that one allows for multiple live streams at the same time is essentially that one package includes ABC/ESPN content and the other Includes Fox content like Fox News, Fox Sports and FX.  Were customers to decide they wanted all of the content what would the price be. It would cost $40.00.

PlayStation Vue Also Follows that Model
PlayStation Vue another cable alternative also features Disney and Fox content as well as other networks as part of an entry-level package. It’s entry level package also costs $40.00. So it appears that through some process the powers behind the linear TV market have decided that the value of the content bundles featuring programming from Fox and ABC along with other filler is worth at least $40.00.

Would Viewers Be Interested?
From my experience cord cutters break down into different categories. There are those who just do not want to pay for anything they watch on TV. They choose to depend on Antennas, other entertainment options and or pirate content. And then there are cost conscious consumers concerned that prices for cable TV have reached too far. Bills over $200.00-$250.00 for existing customers lead people to look for alternatives. These are the customers who are willing to try out Sling TV, Hulu in its current form or those who choose Netflix and putting off series for later.  While some erroneously argue that paying for high-speed Internet and a streaming service or two brings the cost of cord cutting to the same level as paying for cable the math does not support it. So there will be customers who may look at an $80.00 bill for TV service and Internet access as an acceptable alternative to $220.00 or higher cable bills.

Could Hulu confuse its customers?
I think so. The hardest thing to control as a company is how people talk about you. How do you get thick headed bloggers and reporters to understand what a service does and does not do when they are not invested in the actual success of a product. So if the narrative begins to be “Hulu the home of on-demand TV and a Skinny bundle starting at $40.00” people may not understand what it is that the company offers. Maybe they should call the new service “Hulu Pluss”  Wouldn’t that be funny? The truth is that Hulu should consider a totally new branding for the service to avoid alienating possible customers and confusing people the way Amazon has over time by offering on demand titles for rent and for purchase alongside content that is free to video subscribers.

Hulu is a much-maligned service. I have never quite understood the animosity that some have held against the service for using commercials to subsidize the extensive programming it supports. While a lot of cord cutters heavily tout Netflix, which is great, or Amazon Instant which comes along with a number of totally unrelated perks Hulu is by far the least expensive and easiest way to access current season programming available. As far as I’m concerned Hulu is great for cord cutters.

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As if the writing of this article it is 2/15/2016. But Hulu is looking back to 11/22/63. The series, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name tells the story of a man trying to prevent the assassination from taking place. The debut could very well mark an important moment for Hulu, which up to this point has labored as distant third in subscribers and awareness compared to Netflix and Amazon Video, which dominate the market for on-demand video. 11.22.63 is only available to Hulu subscribers and is not available via the services free computer-based product.

Could 11/22/63 be Hulu’s House of Cards
Hulu has rolled out a number of original series over time even picking up The Mindy Project after it was cancelled by Fox but for all of its efforts on shows like “The Awesomes”, Quick Draw, and Battleground, Hulu has failed to get the recognition that Netflix and Amazon have enjoyed which includes multiple Emmy nominations including a 5 wins for Amazon’s Transparent in 2015. The thing that a lof of people forget though is that both Amazon and Netflix have produced a number of shows that have not received the same level of critical or popular attention. While House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black have been breakout runaway hits for Netflix they are only two of 11 dramas available on the streaming Network. Amazon has had a number of one season shows that were heavily promoted and simply never gained a large enough audience to be brought back for a second season. This is why 11.22.1963 is so key for Hulu. If it turns into a breakout hit it will elevate the perception of Hulu’s original programming to a new level.

No binging at the start
Hulu is breaking from the norm in the streaming world choosing to release the new series which is broken up into 8 parts over time instead of dumping the series out in its entirety. There is a perception that we have lost something in the form of the “water cooler” conversation. The weekly buildup of excitement that accompanies a traditional series. Debates over “Who shot JR?, “Will anyone you like survive Game of Thrones?”or  “Who is Zoom?” on the Flash are part of the traditional television experience that is lost when a series is fully available to be viewed as quickly as can be done. Ongoing series spawn forums, facebook groups and other buzz maintaining tools that allow a show to be part of the conversation for a more controlled time.

The final verdict will not be known for months but Hulu has got to hope to produce buzz for its offering which still counts 9 million subscribers. The show will not put Hulu on the Map, it’s already there. But it could replace a small dot with a big star if 11.22.63 becomes a raging success.

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Netflix is the standard bearer for streaming.
Netflix is the standard bearer for streaming.

Netflix
Netflix is the quintessential streaming app and was the very first streaming application that Roku ever supported. With over 50 million customers its quite likely that you already have a Netflix account. What does Netflix offer? A gigantic library of movies, TV shows, documentaries and a growing list of special presentations like concerts and comedy specials. Netflix is more of a streaming network than an app with over a dozen original shows from the gritty like House of Cards, Jessica Jones and Daredevil to the Emmy-winning comedy The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It’s a great way to check out the shows that everyone at work has been telling you to see like The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time or even long time favorites. Best yet if you have a 4k TV and a Roku 4 Netflix is one of the only places to find content for it.

Amazon Video
Amazon VideoAmazon’s video service is a feature included in conjuction with Amazon’s prime service. If you have been considering Amazon Prime for the shipping, Kindle reader perks and and special offers it is a no brainer. Amazon has exclusive streaming deals with CBS that makes it the home of summer hits like Under The Dome and offers a large number of TV Shows and movies from multiple studios. A perk of Amazon’s service is that the content is broken down by network so if you have a favorite TV neighborhood it can be found easily. Amazon has some well regarded originals too including breakout alternative history thriller The Man In The High Castle and the Emmy-winning Transparent. On the movie side of the spectrum Amazon offers the Epics movie catalogue which features big titles from Lions Gate and other studios.

Hulu
Hulu is a great service for those who don’t have a DVR and or cable television. The service offers

Hulu has always had ads and has grown quickly in the first half of 2015.
Hulu has always had ads and has grown quickly in the first half of 2015.

next day replay of content from Fox, NBC, ABC, CW, the majority of viacom based networks including Comedy Central, the entire library of South Park, the Epics Movie Catalogue, The Criterion Collection (art and Indie films) BCC content and a large slate of originals. There are also tons of television shows from throughout the TV landscapes organized by network and studio. Users can pay as little as $7.99 for the commercial supported version of the channel or kick it up a notch for the commercial free version. Hulu customers also have the option to add current and archived content from Showtime. Overall it’s a great value.

NBC
NBC LogoNBC has its own freestanding app on Roku where users can catch up on NBC shows and specials. Users who have a participating cable provider can access even more content. The app will allow users to access a great deal of content for free though including original movies and series without the need to provide a Cable password.

CBSN
CBS NewsCBSN is a 24 hour Internet based news network. It provides a daily rundown of breaking news much like CNN, Fox News and others. The service is free no strings attached. With CBSN you will not be caught off guard when someone asks you about the tornado in Texas or even the latest pop culture buzz.

PBS
PBS LogoPBS is one of the most complete apps on Roku. Any of PBS’s programs can be found via the app and users can sign in with their local PBS station to open regional based programming. For fans of hits like Downton Abbey, Sherlock and what ever makes its way through the BBC pipeline next PBS is a treasure. There are also a number of PBS favorites from yesteryear including the Joy Of Painting.

YouTube
YouTube picYouTube is the most heavily used streaming service in the country. If you don’t know what YouTube is now you can probably ask the person next to you and get an earful about cute babies, Kittens and more but the app overall can become a go to for people from all walks of life. From clips uploaded from all over the world to great original programming from professional production companies it is easy spend an entire night on one short form feature after another. It is also one of the most popular places in the world to find music. Link your own YouTube account and see your favorite subscriptions and saved videos.

Watch ESPN

ESPN will son be available outside of a traditional pay TV package.

Watch ESPN is the app of apps for sports fans. Like its mobile app the Watch ESPN app for Roku provides access to ESPN’s family of networks provided that your TV provider participates in the program. A great bonus offered by Watch ESPN is ESPN 3, an internet based option that gives viewers access to extra contests from major sports conferences including live football and BAsketball, Baseball and non revenue sports. Many ISP’s especially DSL providers allow users to access ESPN 3 content without a cable subscription.

Pandora
PandoraYou might be surprised at just how much you use this free music service. Pandora has a gigantic selection of music available on request. Users can set up their own stations based on specific performers and genres. Want easy listening? Search for adult contemporary or look for James Taylor and the system will populate Taylor, Paul Simon and simmilar artist. Type John Williams and listen to Star Wars, The ET score, and other works from Williams, Hans Zimmer and more. It’s one of my personal favorites when I am writing.

VUDU
Vudu PicNope this is not a cult channel. It is an on demand movie and television service and one of the best places to find 4K content online. Roku 4 users with 4K TV’s should take a look at this channel early. It is free to add and with a free account users can purchase digital blockbuster films and even access their own digital content through Ultra Violet. The service offers multiple viewing options for content including SD, HD and 4K.

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Hulu is busy. The streaming option that provides streaming access to first run TV content (in most cases) less than 24 hours after it airs has been moving aggressively to sign new exclusive deals with content providers. Already this week Hulu announced a deal to stream the entire series run of Seinfeld. Hulu outbid more popular rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant video in order to secure the rights to the 1990’s show. The terms of the deal were steep (as much as 1 million per episode) leading many analysts to conclude that it may have been too big of an investment.  But the prestige of the property appeared to be too much to pass on.

Hulu Flexing its TV Muscle
Hulu Announced that it will be the exclusive streaming home of a number of shows produced by AMC Studios including Fear The Walking Dead, an upcoming spin off. AMC Studios is also responsible for content on BBC America, WE tv, IFC, AMC,  and Sundance TV. The service will also feature series from FX another major content creator and distributor.

There were no details announced as to whether the service will have access to content the day after it airs as it does with a majority of the content available or whether it will have the content after a season has been finalized.

Private channel for Roku, Tablets and other devices adds loads of content

Originally published 9/2013, this article has been republished due to repeated questions and the increased interest in Hulu with the Fall TV Schedule launching.

This article is going to focus on accessing the free version of Hulu  at home on TV’s and mobile devices via PlayOn, a multifaceted media server and DMR (Digital Media Renderer) application with many capabilities.

Everybody’s Favorite Next Day Channel
There is not a more popular legal way to watch current TV shows through a computer or mobile device then Hulu. The company which is a joint venture between Disney, Fox and Comcast has millions of users utilizing both the “Freemium” online service and Hulu Plus pay service which was developed as a mobile app for use on tablets phones and select media streaming boxes.

Apples and Apples
There are a few subtle differences between the free version of Hulu when accessed through a computer and Hulu Plus. But one of the obvious differences is that one does not have to pay to access Hulu while using a computer. For 7.99 per month Hulu Plus also provides its users with full seasons of many current shows and even shows long since cancelled along with a wider selection of movies. It’s programming is available on the go through a smart phone or tablet and at home through a streaming devices which include game consoles, Roku products and Apple TV, Fire TV and the Chromecast through wireless devices. Both services allow users to view shows after they air on broadcast television.

It seems that as long as one is anchored to a desktop or even lugging a laptop the company will give you a break, but you pay a monthly “convenience tax” for the ease of portability. Remember when a slim laptop seemed like a portable convenience? This appears to be the unifying theory of the Hulu universe. But like many seemingly absolute theories further research sometimes opens another path.

How can I use the free version of Hulu?

Enter PlayOn.  PlayOn is a media server based app for multiple platforms produced by Media Mall which allows users to access an entire universe of official and third party apps on their televisions and mobile devices. For our full article on PlayOn click here The app requires users to download a simple to install media server program to an internet connected laptop or desktop computer. Once installed one can stream content to many devices including, Roku boxes, Google TV, tablets, phones or even be utilized on dedicated HTPC’s, computers connected to TV’s for home theater entertainment purposes. For a complete listing of compatible devices see  Playon’s official site click here

In order to utilize PlayOn on an HTPC it is helpful to have some sort of media center software such as XBMC or Windows Media Center. The computer must either be wired in to the same router or have a wireless card.

The PlayOn channel for Roku has many options but one of its most popular features is Hulu and like I said, this is the free version that you would otherwise only access via a computer. The reason this works on streaming boxes and mobile devices is that the actual media is being fed to the devices from a computer instead of directly from the internet. Playon is built from Microsoft’s windows explorer so Hulu’s website interacts with the program the same way it would directly accessing from a PC based browser instead of shifting the user to a mobile based web portal. If you are a user who generally utilizes Hulu online to catch up with shows week by week then utilizing Hulu’s Free content via a TV or tablet may be the perfect solution for your media needs. The free offerings include current shows from all major networks excluding CBS, who is not a partner with Hulu. Along with the traditional networks many cable offerings are also available. The app behaves differently depending on what platform you are utilizing it on. For Instance the app/channel for Roku utilizes a side scrolling method similar to many other Roku apps while the apps for IOS and Android devices and  are optimized for a mobile platform. XBMC explores Hulu with a simple to follow list.

Where can I get the App
The PlayOn app is free to download but in order to utilize all of its features you must purchase the program. The company offers numerous special offers including lifetime access keys for $50.00 or less. Free Mobile Apps for phones and tablets are available via iTunes store, Google Play Store as well as the Blackberry  official app store. The PlayOn Roku Channel can be added to your Roku via PlayOn’s own website or by clicking here. Once there, users are linked to Roku’s add on screen and prompted enter a short code.  I personally purchased the program over a year ago and have used it on android tablets and an iPad and a Roku.

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Server adds many options popular with XBMC

Originally Published 1/2014

If you own a streaming device or have been considering purchasing one you have probably noticed there are multiple services free and paid to look in to but very few that offer access to recently aired material and even less that provide entertainment from cable channels. PlayOn is a service that allows users to watch TV shows and movies from multiple websites on their televisions through neatly packaged channels.

PlayOn Adds new channels to multiple devices.
PlayOn Adds new channels to multiple devices.

Nearly every TV channel has a website. Whether it is ABC, HBO, ESPN, A&E and everything in between. Each of these websites has video content and often full episodes of popular series, sometimes web exclusives and in other cases a collection of clips and interviews featuring the power players of an individual series. Each of these sites are accessible via a computer and users without PlayOn can bookmark the sites for later viewing, but finding all of the sites that have free video content and collecting them in one place can take a lot of time and energy. That’s where PlayOn comes in.

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PlayOn the multifaceted media server from Media Mall Technologies has updated its app for IOS and Android to add full Chromecast and Roku support and is now also available for the PlayStation 4 and Windows phones and tablets. PlayOn allows users to download its free server to Windows computers and access Internet based content from multiple broadcast and cable networks as well as add third party channels called plugins and scripts. For more detailed info on PlayOn including computer requirements and compatible devices see our story here.

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Want to watch Hulu on your tablet, phone or TV? With the latest update to the Hulu Plus app for Android, users can sign in and use a limited version of the service without signing up for a Hulu Plus account. All that is required is an email address and providing basic demographic info. There are numerous differences between full access with Hulu Plus and the new offering, more on that bellow. For a story on how to watch the free version of Hulu on TV click here.