App Review: Hulu Plus for the iPhone

Since the announcement of Hulu’s pay service (aptly titled Hulu Plus), the big question on everyone’s mind is simple: Why pay for a service that I was getting for free? Well, we’re happy to say that it’s definitely worth it. The worth became apparent to me as I stood in a 45 minute line at Comic-Con in San Diego and passed the time by watching episodes of Family Guy and The Office.

You may be saying to yourself: “I have plenty of videos on my iPhone so who cares.” and before today I could agree with you. There is something incredibly freeing about having access to the handful of movies or TV shows stored on your iPhone. The wonderful new Hulu Plus app gives you instant access to every episode of hundreds of different TV shows and movies.

Unlike previous streaming technologies, such as Slingbox, that required WiFi, the videos streamed seamlessly using the 3G network and the quality was on par with any video purchased in iTunes. Another concern that usually pops up with programs like this is how it will handle multitasking when faced with oncoming texts and phone calls.

Hulu Plus performs admirably by reloading the video where you left off, rather than restarting from the beginning.

The biggest drawback is that you will still run into those pesky commercials that all of us veteran Hulu users have grown to detest, but lets be honest, watching a 10 second commercial is still better than the three minute commercials we get on TV. Some of the properties that are also available on Instant Netflix, such as Angel, are actually commercial free.

For those of you who are still skeptical about the membership’s worth, feel free to try it out, as the application is free on the iPhone and you can check out the quality of the videos from the free samples. In addition to the iPhone, Hulu Plus is currently offering access to it’s content through the PS3, iPod touch, iPad, select Samsung app-enabled TVs and Blu-ray players. So don’t feel as if you can’t come to the party if you don’t own an iPhone.

For those of you interested, you can request an invite to the preview period at Hulu’s invite page.

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