There are rumors, and even confirmation to a certain degree, that suggest Roku will be getting Hulu Plus capabilities soon. Depending on timing, this could be a coup for Roku (hardware starts at a $60) and one more online streaming capability they’d boast.
GigaOM/NewTeeVee says the deal is done, confirmed via a Roku partner web page for Hulu. While Business of Video says, “I was able to confirm with two of Hulu’s content partners that Roku owners will soon be able to get Hulu content.”
In its current form, I don’t find Hulu Plus a very good value, but over time it could certainly become a force. And I’m guessing Roku probably does have Hulu Plus in the works. I expect to see more Hulu-capable devices over the next year if things go the way the Hulu team and studios want it to. I imagine Boxee, AppleTV, SageTV and a host of other media player makers that would love to get provide Hulu Plus support.
12 thoughts on “Hulu Plus on Roku all but Confirmed”
I checked in with Roku yesterday and they have no comment… which suggests to me they’re working on it (the relationship or the technology) or that it’s a done deal. If it wasn’t in the works, there’d be no point in a denial.
FYI I doubt Hulu will even show Boxee the love. They rolled the dice (by repeatedly enabling Hulu despite Hulu’s protests and technological attempts to block it) — they won the battle but suspect they will have lost that war.
While Hulu Plus may not be the slam dunk many thought it would be, it is definitely worth $10/month to me. Having access to current seasons of shows like ‘House’ should I miss it on network TV is great. Moreover, I would think it is only going to get better over time as they move beyond this preview period and get added to more devices.
Additionally, I think a service like Hulu Plus has to be considered in conjunction with other services on a given device. Having access to Netlfix ($9/mo.), Hulu Plus ($10/mo.), Amazon (~ $15/mo. — I probably average a couple movie rentals/TV purchases a month), Pandora (free), Revision3 (free), TWiT (free) and a lot of niche content for free on a single device is pretty compelling for ~ $35/mo. Should Roku land Hulu Plus – looking likely – I think a good case can be made that the Roku DVP will be the first viable option for the average consumer looking to cut their cable ties.
Done deal, Hulu has just announced partnerships with Roku and TiVo (Premiere). No exact timing other than “later this fall” (Roku) and “in the coming months” (TiVo). Sweet!
What is your source Dave?
TiVo and Roku PR reps emailed me directly with info and press releases about 2:15PM. The Roku leaks/rumors probably altered Hulu’s announcement timing and why none of us had previews.
I assume the releases are or will be posted on their respective sites shortly. Not sure where the Hulu press page is, but Roku is having follow-up questions sent their way… so I assume they’ll put out a release of their own or blog post shortly, too.
* Roku’s press release
* TiVo’s press release
The Roku news release:
This is great news. While Hulu Plus may not have as much content as some would like, I can only see it becoming more and more inclusive as they roll the service out to additional STB’s.
I’m loving my Roku(s) more and more every day. :-)
Todd Spangler, the cableco industry shill, actually has a very funny post on this.
And TiVo’s pitch in the Spangler’s post is actually pretty reasonable.
If TiVo could get the new UI up to TiVo standards, they really could make serious gains in the Input 1 market. CableCARD is dead, but the body isn’t going to be cold for years, and TiVo the going to have a lengthy head start over the cableco boxes in integrating IPTV…
My educated guess is that Hulu Plus won’t be on AppleTV for a while still due to Cupertino’s wishes, not Hulu’s wishes.
Just like they’re doing with Verizon, Cupertino thinks it’s in a position to refuse to do business with anyone. I can’t tell if it’s hubris or vision.
This is a BIG deal. Agree with all the complaints about Hulu Plus, but still, a way to get a significant amount of on-demand content onto your TV when you want it that doesn’t require a cable bill. Big deal.
Agree that this makes the Apple TV look less interesting. Or at least it might. I have the Hulu Plus app on my iPad and I MAY be able to use AirPlay in iOS 4.2 to stream that content to my Apple TV. Or I may not. Have to wait till November to find out probably, since even the Beta’s available won’t tell you something like that. We know that Apple has said they are providing access to the AirPlay API’s to developers (and not just the built-in video player) but the way things work likely still requires that the video going to the iPad be in a format the Apple TV can handle natively–meaning mp4, maybe with FairPlay DRM. Not clear whether that means Hulu Plus will work with the Apple TV or not.
“Agree that this makes the Apple TV look less interesting. Or at least it might. I have the Hulu Plus app on my iPad and I MAY be able to use AirPlay in iOS 4.2 to stream that content to my Apple TV. Or I may not.”
If you are addicted to iOS devices, you will buy an AppleTV. And you’ll use it and like it. You are powerless not to. AirPlay is the killer app.
Personally, I’m iOS device-free, and I’ve got a TiVo on input 1 and Mac Mini HTPC on input 2, so I’m not going to buy an AppleTV for a long time. I’m not the target market here.
Roku will sell boxes this Xmas, but they are a dead man walking going forward.
(And Hulu Plus will make it natively to AppleTV at some point in the future. At some point, Apple will allow apps on the AppleTV. You’ll just have to wait somewhere between 6 to 24 months for either Apple or NBC to get tired of the status quo.)
AirPlay will be killer only if it lets me stream anything and everything from an iPhone. If it’s restricted by Apple or third-parties, its utility will be greatly diminished… as I can see the likes of Hulu or Netflix restricting stuff for whatever reason. Then again, iPhone formatted video won’t be so amazing on a large HDTV.
Worth doing in detail. Working backwards.
“Then again, iPhone formatted video won’t be so amazing on a large HDTV.”
Chucky’s Law™ applies here: low-res video has all the pricing power of audio.
In other words, if you’re sending a low-res picture, you’ll let AirPlay be enabled. No reason not to.
“as I can see the likes of Hulu or Netflix restricting stuff for whatever reason.”
I can’t imagine why Netflix would disable AirPlay. Hulu, hu knows? Hulu has a weird agenda.
“If it’s restricted by Apple or third-parties, its utility will be greatly diminished”
I can’t imagine it ever being in Apple’s interest to restrict AirPlay use. Third-parties likely will enable or disable it on case-by-case basis.
“AirPlay will be killer only if it lets me stream anything and everything from an iPhone.”
Finally, we get back to meat of the issue. I’ll restate:
AirPlay will be the killer app if it lets you stream most everything from your iPhone.
AirPlay isn’t the God Box. It’s not going to solve world hunger or make the TiVo obsolete. But I’d bet dollars to donuts that it’s what we’re all going to be talking about 3 months from now, even if some video sources opt out of enabling AirPlay.
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