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Summary:

Hulu today beefed up its HD gallery, which continues to be a testing ground for higher-quality video rather than a more pervasive aspect of the video site. The HD gallery launched in December with 10 movie trailers; now it contains a total of 27 full TV […]

Hulu today beefed up its HD gallery, which continues to be a testing ground for higher-quality video rather than a more pervasive aspect of the video site. The HD gallery launched in December with 10 movie trailers; now it contains a total of 27 full TV episodes, documentaries, and sports and movie excerpts (and whoo-hoo, the first game of this year’s NBA finals). That includes Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog in its HD entirety, which is pretty cool seeing as the original plan called for that show to be offline by now.


Hulu’s HD video is streamed in 720p and requires a 2.5 Mbps connection. Embedding is disallowed. What’s a little bit strange — and makes the HD gallery seem more separated from Hulu’s long-term strategy — is that all the content is being streamed ad-free. I suppose there must be some logistical explanation for that, but I don’t think watchers would have any problem with seeing ads alongside higher-quality content. According to an email from Hulu PR, the lack of ads is “for a limited time.”

By contrast, ABC has all four seasons of Lost available for HD streaming on its site (if you have the Move Networks plug-in) and CBS is adding HD streaming (via Flash) as well.

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  1. i still don’t understand why/how television exists with sites like hulu around.

  2. stevegarfield Tuesday, August 5, 2008

    Dr. Horrible in HD. Wow. Very nice seeing it at 1280×720.

  3. Well, this is certain to bring on those broadband caps. Can’t have quality HD content over the internet. If you do, next thing you know, people will cancel their cable subscriptions.

    Speaking of which, how about that Charter second quarterly report…

  4. FlashIsAPlugin Tuesday, August 5, 2008

    Flash is a plug-in too, and I needed to install a big update to make this one work on Hulu, what a reminder that Flash is a plugin, something the press often forgets. And the Hulu video and the CBS video in full screen was jerky and stuttered, even on my dual core Mac! At least Lost on ABC.com plays back smoothly every time.

  5. Liz…perhaps the HD content is being streamed ad free due to the fact that Hulu’s HD solution requires a 2.5 Mbps broadband connection, which severely limits their reach, as the average connection speed in the U.S is around 1.9 Mbps.

    Advertisers recognize that their ads are only as effective as the number of viewers who can see ‘em, so they probably are not jumping at the opportunity to invest ad $ in an HD solution with limited reach.

    Once Hulu moves towards a solution with lower bandwidth requirements for streaming HD (i.e significantly wider audience reach), then the ad dollars will follow.

  6. Ryan Stewart – Rich Internet Application Mountaineer » Blog Archive » More Hulu HD Content Online: Go Watch Dr. Horrible Now Tuesday, August 5, 2008

    [...] good news on the HD Flash front: Hulu added a lot more content to its HD gallery. It’s an excellent showcase for very high quality Flash video on the web. [...]

  7. no preroll, but not ad-free here

  8. Flash is a Plugin

    Your totally right all these people that say p2p streaming wont fly because it requires a download forget Flash needs to be upgraded ,sometimes doesn’t work and screws up and also requires a download .

    Now if a p2p developer creates a system as easy as Flash and supports all OS’s and devices then they might be onto something.

    But all the whingeing I hear from the bloggers and journos saying “It Reqires a Downlaod” is annoying

  9. Hulu gets more serious about HD content (still not that serious) » VentureBeat Tuesday, August 5, 2008

    [...] Perhaps even better is that none of the shows in HD currently have advertisements attached to them. This seems a bit odd given that this is how Hulu is able to stream its shows for free, but apparently this will only be the case “for a limited time,” a Hulu PR representative told NewTeeVee. [...]

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