We knew Sony was going deep with Hulu Plus integration, and today their Internet-connected Dash widget station took the plunge. Fortunately, I’m often slow in returning review items and happen to be one of Hulu’s two dozen Plus subscribers… enabling me to give the new service a spin while on the road.
Registering my account was a pretty simple affair — I could either logon by typing my credentials into the Dash or enter a registration code spawned from the Dash into Hulu.com, which is what I did. Let’s not rehash the Hulu Plus content limitations and inconsistencies (in general and compared to Hulu.com selections from a PC), but suffice to say this lines up with other television-based and mobile Hulu experiences. Up to and including commercial advertisement. The few minutes of video I sampled looked good, quite watchable. Although, I did experience an uncomfortable amount of buffering from the struggling hotel WiFi connection.
As with Hulu Plus, I may be one of a very select few who appreciates what the Sony Dash brings to the table. And though sometimes pitched as an advanced Internet-connected alarm clock, I prefer it in the kitchen as a widget station and “television” of sorts. Hulu Plus certainly advances that notion. Also, since launch, the Dash has seen a number of updates and its resistive touchscreen response has improved. The Dash originally retailed for $200, but Amazon’s offering it for $165 at the moment – which seems decent compared to say the Kodak Pulse digital photo frame (~$110) or HP Dreamscreen ($220) and comes in significantly lower than an iPad.