Hulu Amps Up HD

12 Comments

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.

12 Comments

Liz Gannes

You guys are right about Flash being a plug-in, of course. I find that easy to forget cause everyone has it (but not necessarily the latest version). I’ll tweak.

Matt_

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

MIke Kelly

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.

FlashIsAPlugin

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.

Shelley

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…

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