Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hulu.com Free Video Site Goes Live

Hulu.com, the new online video service jointly sponsored by NBC Universal and News Corporation (which now owns MySpace), is ready for its close-up. The service goes live on Wednesday, March 11th, and the review have been positive.

Originally it sounded like Hulu.com would be a YouTube-like site where users would upload their videos, but instead it seems to be a distribution method for sharing TV shows, movies, film clips, and other content from big-name producers. Most reviews have positively remarked on Hulu.com's slick, clean interface.

Hulu.com lets you watch movies and TV free online; it's supported by advertising. But in same cases it sounds like it lets users select the type of ads they want to view.

TechCrunch is impressed with the look of the site and its features, and offers numerous screen shots of the site. But TechCrunch notes that its reviewers weren't part of Hulu.com's private beta.

A reviewer at LostRemote.com did try out the beta, and offers a brief review. It likes what it saw, though it also notes some drawbacks to the site.

The New York Times apparently wasn't in on the beta test either, but describes the appealing range of material that's to be available on Hulu.com: "... Shows and feature films from NBC, Fox and more than 50 media companies, including Sony Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. ... On Wednesday, Hulu is also planning to announce that the Warner Brothers Television Group and Lionsgate will add content from their libraries."

The Times also notes that Hulu.com will feature sports highlights from NBA and NHL games, and NCAA men's basketball games going back 25 years.

And the Times notes that Hulu.com will even offer about a dozen episodes of Fox's "24" (many more to come, I hope).

For anyone who wants to watch TV and movies free online (legally), Hulu.com seems to be a promising new option for viewers.

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