Hulu Walkthrough: Screenshots and Notes

You may have read our take on the Hulu launch, and you can see parts of the service for yourself at partner sites like AOL Video (TWX) and Comcast’s Fancast (CMCSA).

However, since Hulu isn’t fulfilling all requests for beta invites, and is restricted to the U.S., much of the service is behind closed doors. For all you inquiring minds, I played around on the site in the 24 hours or so since getting my invite, took screenshots, and jotted down some notes.

The site registration form asks for quite a bit of personal information:

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The content selection is not as big as we’d hoped, with only five episodes available of current shows and no archives for them. Not quite enough library to really get lost in:

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Even off-the-air shows, which set Hulu apart from other offerings, have slim pickings:

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When a preroll ad plays, the rest of the options disappear. Then, as the videos played, I saw a mix of banner and video ads for Cisco, esurance, AXE, Nissan, and Chevrolet, among others:

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I liked that a stream resumed where I left off, even when I came back to the site later in the day:

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It’s satisfying to embed the full-length movie The Breakfast Club, as I did in our video bar at the top of NewTeeVee, as well as here:

However, our favorite feature after an official Hulu demo — a simple slider-based editing tool for creating shareable chunks of movies and TV shows — didn’t seem as cool when we played with it ourselves. The interface is frustrating because it doesn’t give enough feedback to make clipping accurate:

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Lastly, though I can’t really show this through a small screenshot, full-screen streaming was actually pretty pixelated, and choppy at times.

Anyone else out there playing with Hulu? What’s your take?

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