Hope for Hulu?

Updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hope for Hulu?

Probably not.

I tore into Hulu last year for the miserable user experience, dreary ads and vanishing content.

Back then I estimated that Hulu could ditch the ads for another $6 a month. TechCrunch is reporting today (via the Wall Street Journal) that Hulu is considering an ad free tier for $12-$14 a month. $14 would be a $6 bump over current pricing. If they can fix the UX as well I'll be back in. And I still want my OTT TiVo.


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How does Hulu manage to suck so badly and the missing app for cord cutting

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

How does Hulu manage to suck so badly and the missing app for cord cutting

Hulu Plus has turned out to be a bit of a disaster.

The app (I use it on a TiVo) is ugly and clumsy. I checked last night and it took 15 clicks to watch the next episode of a series I'd watched the previous night. You'd think this would be about the most basic use case and it's something that everyone else gets right.

And then it plays a couple of ads flawlessly before complaining that there is a problem with the connection. You're then bombed out to the menu and sit through the pre-roll ads again before the show starts.

I'm not stoked about being forced to watch ads on a paid service at all. If you believe the CPM estimates on Quora Hulu could charge me another $6 per month for an ad-free service that doesn't suck. Hulu ads are particularly awful because they're not embedded in the stream. This means when it's ad time everything grinds to a halt while the app switches from program mode to ad mode and then back again. You could make a cup of tea in the time it takes Hulu to figure this out. Adding insult to injury only three companies appear to have bought ads so you're stuck watching the same ones repeatedly.

All this is if the program you added to your queue still exists. Different shows seem to have different windows of availability so when you sit down to watch something you've been saving up you might find that half the episodes have been yanked away.

There is an opportunity here for a brave entrepreneur (or at least one operating somewhere with no extradition treaty with the US). What we need is an app (or service) that is the TiVo equivalent for the brave streaming cord-cutting future. You feed in the credentials for all the services you subscribe to and the programs you want to watch. The app records everything and spits out video files you can watch (and fast forward through) at your leisure.

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Worst special TiVo offer ever

Updated on Sunday, May 3, 2020

Worst special TiVo offer ever

Get $1 off two Bounty Paper Towels, seen while watching the September 17, 2012 episode of The Daily Show on TiVo. Hard to imagine how expensive a full roll must have been.

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