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Hulu Plus, the new subscription service from Hulu.com, has been available to invited PS3 users since July 16, and the reviews are rolling in. It seems that the invitations did not go out all at once, though, so more are to come. Users generally report that Hulu Plus runs beautifully on the PS3. Everything loads quickly, the menu is easy to navigate, and transitions are smooth. JackieChiles007 has been kind enough to share his experience on YouTube. As seen in the video, the menu scrolls quickly and smoothly. The video he/she selects, an installment of Great Museums, plays without a glitch.
Technical drawbacks include the lack of comparative clarity on HD TVs, and the inconvenience of searching via an onscreen keyboard. (USB keyboards are incompatible.) Another complaint—this one in common with Hulu on PC—sound volume on the commercials is louder than the shows.
The biggest complaint continues to be the ads. Many users feel that, by paying for a subscription service, they should not be subjected to commercials. The commercial breaks are thirty seconds long, and the ad window can be minimized to do other things, but the principle of the thing seems to be a sticking point for some. Unfortunately for them, the ads don’t seem likely to go away since, according to Advertising Age, ad time on Hulu is more valuable than on any other video site. As the lines between online video content and traditional television blur increasingly, advertisers will be all too willing to shell out for these spots.
Hulu allows viewers to check “yes” or “no” to the question, “Is this ad relevant to you?” So, one can hope that, if viewers must watch ads, the future will bring ads they are more interested in. For now, however, those really, really adverse to watching ads have Netflix.
There is still no announced date for the general riff-raff to have HuluPlus on their PS3s. Hulu just says it will happen “in the coming months.”