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TV on the Internet!Hulu
, an evil plot to destroy the world
, is a free
, ad-supported streaming video site that plays full episodes, clips, and whole movies. It is a joint corporate venture by Fox, ABC and NBCnote
and carries content from all three networks, plus their sundry cable networks and motion picture studios, as well as various other providers. Essentially, it's broadcast television's answer to Netflix
Because of international distribution rights, it can only be viewed on computers physically located in America and Japan
(the Japanese website now owned by Nippon TV), unless you're behind 7 proxies
with one of them in the right country. And only
on computers, as Hulu specifically blocks out all set-top boxes and game consoles like the PS3
from accessing their programming through the regular web interface, ensuring that viewers watch the shows on television, not on a website connected to a television (laptops and monitors with HDMI outputs notwithstanding
)...Unless you buy Hulu Plus
, an evil(er) plot to destroy the world
, which opens up access to the PS3
, Xbox 360
, Wii U
, Internet televisions/streaming devices and Blu-ray players to receiving the service via a special app, though some programming remains restricted to PC-only. However it should be noted that even if you have Hulu Plus, you still can't skip the commercials, but you can mark which ones are relevant to you and thus make them more bearable to watch.
And if you have Hulu Plus, you also avoid Fox and ABC's "eight day block", which forces viewers to wait a full week before watching a new episode of a program online unless they have a subscription to a network-approved cable service or Hulu (and right now, only Dish Network can be authorized by Fox). All content is also made available 24/7 as opposed to the standard service rotating it on and off.
Oh, and see all those series down there? If it's an American series that isn't currently airing, expect there to be at least
one complete season available to see. In many cases, whole series can be viewed. If it's an anime, chances are even higher that you'll have the whole series on hand, even if it's still airing. With professional subs. No more than 2 weeks behind Japan. Cue rejoicing followed by Archive Binge
The service has incorporated a lot of overseas (mostly British) content in the past few years, in an apparent effort to attract Anglophiles and curious viewers of the original shows' American remakes (the original versions of The Killing
, Homeland, and The Bridge
being good examples).
It has also co-invested in some British TV shows, including The Wrong Mans
and the most recent season of The Thick of It
, which in-turn become streaming exclusives to Hulu (although Hulu hypes them as 'originals') once they've been broadcast in the UK. They also seem to grab many limited-run or shorter-run series that are more adult and less likely to appear on BBC America (like Misfits
), and also show British soaps and reality shows, such as Coronation Street
and The Only Way Is Essex
In 2014, in a significant deal with creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Hulu now manage streaming of all South Park
episodes. Where they used to be available for free via South Park Studios' own website, unedited, the episodes are now on a new site
on Comedy Central's domain which is managed by Hulu. Older episodes are now bleeped for language and now have commercials inserted like other Hulu programming. When Season 18 of South Park premieres in September, the entire show will stop being available at the site, and from that point different seasons will then be available on a rotating basis like other shows on Hulu. Needless to say, fans are not happy.
Like its rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime, it has also branched out into original programming, such as the animated show The Awesomes
and the supernatural comedy Deadbeat
, although their shows haven't had a break-out hit like Netflix's House of Cards
or Amazon's Transparent
A similar service is Crackle
, which is a free service that primarily hosts movies and TV shows owned by Sony
Wanna help catalog? Pick a channel, select sort by name, and start writing down every series you see in the appropriate section. Watch out for both movies (those go to the film folder) and duplicates.
Content hosted on Hulu (free) includes, but is not limited to:
open/close all folders
Sorted by hulu's channel system
Action and Adventure
Horror and Suspense
Reality and Gameshows
Talk and Interview
Other (Arts and Culture, News and Information, etc.)