May 16, 2008

Hulu - Free Full Length Motion Pictures - Hulu is an online TV broadcaster that is ran by 36 year old CEO Jason Kilar. Kilar worked for several years as senior VP at while helping launch amazons DVD division.

What sets them apart from others? - The best thing about Hulu is the variety and quantity of content. The full length films are great to watch and without being too pushy with commercial advertising. The fact that there is no software needed to be downloaded and installed makes them stand out from the crowd. Many full seasons and full episodes from many of the older shows we all loved and lost. As a matter of fact, you can set up a queue to add any video clips and episodes you choose to watch in whatever order you choose. You can just lie in bed and let a couple movies play back to back and throw a few SNL clips in between for an interlude. Many possibilities, Great site.

You can view the shows in full screen or even "dim the lights" while it plays within the web window. This is a feature that places a transparent tint to the site surrounding the players viewing window, minimizing any distractions you may have from the bright background.

If you have a blog or a social profile on the web, you can share the shows you like with friends. The player provides an embed code during each show that you can paste anywhere you want, you can really spruce up your Myspace or Facebook profiles. However, they do remove episodes from time to time. Mostly just for adding newer shows. If you embed a show that is later removed, the player will display a few small sample pics and link to hulu to watch other episodes or movies from the series. Allowing you to change the code at any time.

Useability - The website itself is pretty easy to navigate. You choose between TV or Movies which then gives its suggestions based on categories labeled Most Popular, Newest, and Featured. There is a bar across the top of the page allowing you to chose by Studio, Alphebetical, or Collections as well. They used to have a Genre button but it seems to have been removed. Once you choose your list, say Alphebetical... You then see rows upon rows of great titles. Even a little icon to mark the Full episodes and Full length films, making it easier to avoid small clips and trailers and get to the good stuff.

Audio/Video Quality - The downfall is in the sound department. The audio embedded in the flash player does not have surround sound capabilities, so the movies can only be played from 2 speakers. Most computers these days are equipped with 5.1, 6.1 and even 7.1 surround sound. Many folks only use their 2 stereo speakers that came with their machines anyway, but someone with the full surround would get the full effect with a surround sound track.

The video is pretty crisp and the framerate is rather quick. I run a 5 Mbps cable connection and a 256 Mb Graphics card so it should. I have watched it on 3 Mbps with great results as well. I can assume that it would play well with only a 1Mbps connection but probably not something slower.

Overall Experience - I really enjoy My family and I will watch TV with dinner many nights. Some days it can be a movie or sometimes just an episode of The A-Team. Or at night I will watch Charlies Angels or The Simpsons. It is nice not having to install anything except maybe the latest Flash Player browser plug-in. I would recommend this site to anyone who likes watching television online.

Kick back and enjoy the movie "Dude, where's my car".

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