Those that primarily watch Hulu Plus on a video game console can now trade their remote controls (or controllers) for a smartphone.
Yesterday, the company rolled out a new “remote control experience” update that brings all of the screen-casting functionality from Hulu’s Chromecast app to the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, and PlayStation 3. (Sorry, Xbox 360 owners — you’re not cool enough anymore.) Like the Chromecast app, you just download the Hulu mobile app on an iOS or Android device that’s on the same Wi-Fi network that your console is using.
The move is just the latest in a growing trend among streaming services to shift away from traditional TV interfaces in favor of mobile devices. Basically, companies like Hulu are starting to realize that using a remote control to navigate through programming is a pain in the butt, but using your smartphone’s screen is pretty easy. And now that you can “cast” whatever show you want to watch to your TV, you really have no reason to keep using the old-school remote control.
Having played with Hulu’s Chromecast app for a while now, I can definitely say its a better experience than most of its set-top box apps, too.
Hulu said it’s planning to bring the new update to smart TVs, Blu-ray players, and other set-top boxes in the near future.
More about the Hulu
Founded in March 2007, Hulu is operated independently by a dedicated management team with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle and Beijing. NBC Universal, News Corporation, as of April 2009, Disney, Providence Equity Partners and the Hulu team share in the ownership stake of the company.
Hulu is an online video service that offers a selection of hit shows, clips, movies and more at Hulu.com, numerous destination sites online, and through the ad-supported subscription service, Hulu Plus.
Hulu brings together a selection of videos from over 260 content companies, including FOX, NBCUniversal, ABC, Criterion, A&E Networks, Lionsgate, Endemol, MGM, MTV Networks, Comedy Central, National Geographic, Digital Rights Group, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., TED, etc. Hulu also offers a wide array of acclaimed movies and documentaries.
The site focuses exclusively on professional video content and does not take on YouTube directly as a viral video destination.
Hulu videos are played in their own embeddable branded player. Content from at least a dozen TV networks and two major film studios is promised. Initial distribution partners includeAOL, Comcast, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo.
Jason Kilar, Hulu’s former CEO, explains the meaning of Hulu’s name, “Objectively, Hulu is short, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and rhymes with itself. Subjectively, Hulu strikes us as an inherently fun name, one that captures the spirit of the service we’re building.” However, some aren’t so sure it was the wisest name to pick.
In September 2007 that Hulu acquired Bejing-based startup Mojiti and used its platform for the basis of the product.
Hulu gives advertisers an opportunity to associate their brands with its online video content. And, through the Hulu Plus subscription service, advertisers can extend their reach to the users of Hulu Plus enabled devices on market today.