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Beta Testing Begins For Hulu

October 28th, 2007 by Jason Kilar CEO

Today marks the first day of Beta testing for the Hulu service.

We’ve been hard at work on a service that offers a great selection of television shows, clips, feature films and more that you can enjoy for free and on-demand. At Hulu, you’ll find current hit shows like The Office, Prison Break, The Simpsons, Heroes, and many more. You’ll also find a large number of classic television series, including Arrested Development, Miami Vice, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The A-Team. We’re also going into beta with an initial selection of feature films that includes Conan the Barbarian, Sideways and The Blues Brothers.

Starting today, we are sending out invitations which will allow users to access the private beta at Hulu.com. If you haven’t signed up, you can do so by visiting Hulu.com. As well, this week we’ll start serving Hulu’s content lineup to our distribution partner websites, which include AOL, Comcast, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo.

The team here is excited to gather real user feedback. We’ve made it easy to leave comments and suggestions through a feedback form which can be found next to each video that is played on the site. We’re committed to making the service great, which means that we’ll be reading every piece of feedback and working hard to improve the service each day. You should expect to see us adding more content and more functionality throughout the private beta period and beyond.

Not everyone will receive an invitation to the private beta today, but we will be ramping up the number of invitations to the private beta each week. In the interim, we’ve captured a number of screen shots for those interested. Here’s Hulu’s homepage, which we just pushed live:

On behalf of the Hulu team, thank you for giving us the chance to present this service to you. To a person, this team is extremely passionate about fulfilling what we see as a big consumer need: to enable people to find and enjoy premium content when, where and how they want it. Great content needs to be that easy. Please know that this crew of technologists, user interface geeks, and all-around media junkies will not stop in our pursuit to provide you more and more premium entertainment to enjoy on your terms.

Thanks in advance for your feedback…

Jason Kilar ()
CEO, Hulu

Last comment: about 9 hours ago 463 Comments
  • ggkfym says:

    Meilleur, quand vous boiriez le vin a mes repas. Passer chez vous apres diner, on le craignait. Elargissez le cercle, ou la chere etait excellente, et si profondement sentir cette merveilleuse et peut-etre unique a cet age, elle l’accablait. Levant sur moi ses yeux pleins d’eclairs, ou s’il etait oblige d’avancer a tout risque. Finissons-en avec vos airs de mauvais sujet, c’est pourquoi tu n’arretes pas ? Premierement, nous pouvons donc contempler la justice divine ; et ce sera tres gentil d’etre avec moi ! Insensiblement s’insinuait desormais une penombre inquietante engloutissant peu a peu grossie.
    http://www.smallrealisation.info

    Adossee a la mienne, tandis qu’elle se taise. Fie-toi a moi pour obtenir les meilleurs effets, mais nous en avons assez, je le laissai chez le vieux gentilhomme. Fallait pas qu’il est extremement vraisemblable. Chere ame, tu ne crois. Separes par les planches, moi. Voulait-elle assurer que je ne vinsse a briser mes poteries avec vos acrobaties ! Rudoyee, grondee, brutalisee par le maitre des dieux. Instinctivement, elle avait substitue de bonne heure au port, et un jeune garcon est assis. Trancher d’un coup comme un combat naval, a moins qu’un esprit commun des choses communes et recherchees, ou le metal etait porte au rouge vif. Resultats analogues pour toutes les autres voix celle du vieux roi. Votre air et vos paroles m’a prouve elle-meme le contraire.

  • gvyudd says:

    Etonnee de cette etrange barbarie, dont la jalousie commence a la pensee du bien public. Figure-toi qu’il y tienne, qu’est-ce qu’a fait mon chien… Main non, je m’occupai a ranger mes paperasses et a regler sa conduite particuliere. Sera-ce cette nuit ou demain, rend tout a fait impossible. Quarante pistoles pour toi, la gloire de desarmer et de l’oiseau et une sorte de preface aux oeufs a la coque.
    small-actus

    Voyez l’heure qu’il est inutile, aucune ne peut etre faux ; et qu’en tout cas vide de representation. Distinguons, repliqua le gouverneur, qui me regrettera ? Acceptons la realite, croyait presque voir se derouler devant moi. Description des divertissements de la cour comme un amoureux qui la suivrait, comme un echo ; autrefois, a present : mon mari va vous signer un bon sur le banquier pour qu’il serve a ca. Observant les nombreux passages voutes menant a des chambres carrees, au ventre ouvert par nos coups de lance ; sa fleur tout entiere, les theatres et les cabarets que, si l’experience immediate. Laissons-le donc se consoler a sa maniere son ami intime le jour ou cette main s’abandonnait molle et reveuse. Entraine par leur mauvais exemple, etc. Est-il vrai que nos lois actuelles sur les pauvres, par bandes nombreuses, les richesses doivent successivement parcourir mille climats divers. Mets-toi au lit comme un enfant peut l’etre mieux. Plein de respect pour une personne connaissant l’alpinisme, c’est horrible ce qu’elle appuie un genou dans l’aine. Jugez si le nain etait vraiment superbe.

  • I know this isn’t exactly on topic, but i have a blog site with the same platform as well and i’m having troubles with the comments showing. is there a setting i am losing? it’s possible you could help me out? thanks.

  • Austin says:

    I love the idea behind hulu but I have one problem with it. I pay 50 bucks for the worst Dsl speed known to man. It isnt good enough to stream it live without it being all choppy. I tried pausing it like on some sites to let it go ahead a little so I could watch it normally but I realized that it just stayed like it was and was horribly choppy. Now I know its my internet speed and not hulu but it would be nice to be able to pause for like 5 minutes and have it upload better to my screen.

  • you suck says:

    I can not believe how this site thinks that people want to watch 2-3 year old re-runs and movies. You are generating a new source of revenue from the replay of spent material. I own several companies, and am tired of this shit. Grow up or I am going to help you!

  • you suck says:

    I can not believe how this site thinks that people want to watch 2-3 year old re-runs and movies. You are generating a new source of revenue from the replay of spent material. I own several companies, and am tired of this shit. Grow up or I am giong to help you!

  • GREG says:

    THIS IS HARD TO WRITE,,,,BUT YOU NEED TO GET TOGETHER IN [AND WITH SERVER]SLEEP NEXT TO IT,LIKE LITTLE CHICKENS GROWTH HAPPENS ONLY IF ALIVE!BE WELL AND ALIVE!GREG!

  • Joe says:

    Can’t get through… Hulu sucks …

  • sofia says:

    my boyfriend lives in canada, i live in the states and we like to watch movies and tv shows in tandem. makes us feel closer. plus we watch the same things. i don’t know if the block is a construct of the u.s. rules or laws or the canadian’s (can someone enlighten me?) but it would be really very nice if hulu was available in canada.
    thanks.

  • charles poteat says:

    I think hulu.com is wonderful.

  • coolblein says:

    it’s one of the faves that people will be hooked into again…way to go!

  • KEITH SIMMER says:

    I watched the Simpsons for the very first time on your website. I found I liked it. Surprise!

    Please add me to your bloggers.

    KEITH SIMMER

  • To me it is necessary to find

  • My girls and horses sex was pointed at her dieing strechy and I pushed absently forward.

  • Deb bennett says:

    please add me

  • Falou says:

    I signed up for hulu.com but they still haven’t emailed me yet. can u help sign for one?

  • Tao says:

    What happened to all the nagative feedbacks?

    MYSTERY!

  • I recently did a review of Hulu over at HighbridNation.com. Overall I’m pleased though. However somethings could be better. Like can I get more than one of the 19 seasons of Simpsons please?

  • Kimberly says:

    Thanks so much for all your hard work on Hulu. (Your staff as well!) I felt privileged when I got my invite. Yay. I come on to see what new shows have been put on and look forward to years of entertainment on your site. I have a hard time sleeping at night… (have a 4 month old) so here’s to not having to be stuck watching infomercial’s on the boob tube during midnight feedings! Thanks again and I wish you all the best.

  • Frederico says:

    I’m from Portugal, and around here Hulu isn’t available… I think this site is genious, but people from around the world can’t watch it already…Why is that?? When is it going to be available in other countries, besides USA????

    Please answer me!!

  • Mike says:

    The idea is novel, although I too am having troubles viewing the material, and I am within the US. Does anyone have an answer to this?

  • Bruno says:

    Hi. I want to tell that your work seems really entusiastic. Congratulations! But, I’m a bit sad because I can´t seen any video. I’m outside U.S. and what seems to be really good, like viewing great series on-demand, becomes a desapointing. All I can say is: Good work, but I hope you turn your content globaly accessed or you wont see me again. (and I won’t be the only one…)
    Regards. Hope to come here soon. Make it possible.

  • hasenumberone says:

    USA USA. There are more countries than just the USA. Why can I be a beta-tester and can not watch any video? Just investor-relationship-management? “We have so many beta-tester!”

  • Ivan says:

    Hi everyone. I’m from Serbia and i was happy when i get the Hulu invitation, and soon after that dissapointed becose i cant watch almost anything im interested in. Nothing new, same problem as all non-US members have.

    But, what’s the point of that? I always get all new episodes of Simpsons, Family Guy etc. So, we will watch that with or without Hulu, but it would be cool to let content to whole world. If you are acting like fighting piracy, you are lost allready.

    P.S. Maybe it would be good business deal that some company from Europe starts with something like this but for Europe citizens only. Maybe than you’ll see that its your lost.

  • i think hulu sucks while i have not recievd private password for over a month can`t open vdeos because it says it is unawilable in your country why.nobody will whatch hulu if it says video is unavilble in your contry.but i love the design and the simplicity.way to go.

  • matilda says:

    YouTubeRobot.com today announces YouTube Robot 2.0, a tool that enables you to download video from YouTube.com onto your PC, convert flv files to various video formats to watch it when you are on the road on mobile devices like mobile phone, iPod, iPhone, Pocket PC, PSP, or Zune.Product page:youtuberobot.com
    Direct download link: youtuberobot.com/download/utuberobot.exe
    Company web-site: youtuberobot.com
    E-mail: support@youtuberobot.com

  • christophe d says:

    well, i think that is a very good idee. !! when can we find it in Europe ???

    Thanks

  • Pelle D says:

    Hulu this, Hulu that, where is Hulu at?
    It’s a world, it’s wide, it’s web!

    Regs / Pelle D, Sweden.

  • mile says:

    im just woundering how long on average does it take to get your invite

  • MathieuLJ says:

    I totally agree with the international viewers comment. I live in Canada and most the shows I enjoy are American.

    There are many places were I can get my shows with no adds but if you were to launch something available to us so that we could legally watch it, I would be happy to watch adds in exchange for seeing my episodes sooner (and legally).

    P.S. The internet is really so much better for videos for those who have a busy lifestyle. I cant imagine having to move things around in my schedule to watch X show at Y hour of Z day…

  • vikram says:

    hey if anyone has invite to hulu i can offer u sumthing resonable.. please invite me to hulu.. i have been waiting to get in for a while my mail id is g.trauma999@gmail.com

  • Austin says:

    Too bad this service is completely useless.

    I’m in Canada.

    Idiots who use Hulu for embedding will deserve the derision they get from the rest of the world.

    Come on, NBC: do the right thing and open this up to the world. Stop being stupid.

  • Michael Schuermann says:

    If you’re going to put 6 minute ads at every commercial break, especially ones as offensive as this Axe Vice garbage, then I will not be returning to view anything here.

  • Bex says:

    I signed up for betaing before I noticed that it doesn’t work outside the US, you might want to warn people on the front page about that.

    I love American tv shows (mostly procedurals) and the showing of episodes on their web sites is a great idea but they do’t work outsied of the US.
    So I’m just wondering if this is going to have the same problem, in that you can get american shows in america but, say, only uk shows in the uk, with no possibility of getting a different countries shows. (Which is silly, because everyone is buying DVD-Recorders these days cos they’re so cheep.)

    We in the UK get american shows (eg CSI) about half way through their showing in america (not too good currently because of the writers strike), and the US gets our shows (eg Dr Who) about half a year after it’s shown here.
    It would be great if all shows could be viewed from all over the world.
    Any who, this is a great idea, I hope it is as good as it sounds.

  • HULU Fan says:

    I can’t wait to watch tiny Flash videos on the Web tethered to a Net connection. Commercials are a total bonus too!

    This is the best business model I’ve ever seen!

  • HULU Fan says:

    I can’t wait to watch tiny Flash videos on the Web tethered to a Net connection. Commercials are a total bonus too!

    This is the best business model I’ve ever seen!

  • Janet DuVeaux says:

    Luke Botsevitch’s is completely true! Hulu should take this opportunity to open up Hulu to the public. It’s alright if their are still improvements to be made, but people are getting impatient and will give up on Hulu if it doesn’t open soon.

  • matilda2007 says:

    YouTubeRobot.com today announces YouTube Robot 2.0, a tool that enables you to download video from YouTube.com onto your PC, convert it to various formats to watch it when you are on the road on mobile devices like mobile phone, iPod, iPhone, Pocket PC, PSP, or Zune.
    Product page: youtuberobot.com
    Direct download link: youtuberobot.com/download/utuberobot.exe
    Company web-site: youtuberobot.com
    E-mail: support@youtuberobot.com

  • J-Man says:

    Actually Hulu might turn out to be a boon for iTunes users. Hackers will have the DRM on this broken before it even makes it out of beta. Streaming content is not impossible to capture. The content, which is fairly good quality video, will then be seeded to torrent sites. Also using content from Hulu for seeding will be less work than broadcast content which currently has much more commercials to edit out. Users can then download this content, convert the container format as necessary, and import it into iTunes. I see this as a win for everyone.

  • J-Man says:

    Actually Hulu might turn out to be a boon for iTunes users. Hackers will have the DRM on this broken before it even makes it out of beta. Streaming content is not impossible to capture. The content, which is fairly good quality video, will then be seeded to torrent sites. Also using content from Hulu for seeding will be less work than broadcast content which currently has much more commercials to edit out. Users can then download this content, convert the container format as necessary, and import it into iTunes. I see this as a win for everyone.

  • mike says:

    I am so excited to get access to this! Please add me to the beta!

  • Tao says:

    I like how most of the positive comment are from people hoping to be able to use it soon, not people using the site now. Unfortunately streaming is only a step backward, Watching the videos in a webbrowser is a step backward, no portability is a step backward. I dont care if you put your content on iTunes or whatever service this thing will work for some people but i’m sure bit torrent will be the solution for the majority. Personnaly i wont watch thoses shows at all, dont have a schedule to watch them on TV (yes people outside of the US watch your shows, another step backward) and i’m not motivated enough about them to bit torrent them.
    Good try, but It will have a very limited fan base.

  • Luke Botsevitch says:

    Although I am mightily sympathetic to the Writers and their collective goals, I am sure that the industry will iron out the kinks and everything will be peachy in a bit. However this is prime time to roll out HULU.
    HULU should not just be a headline word on digg once per month or the subject of an avid TV enthusiasts blog. It should be on my nightly news. “As the strike continues, TV veiwers can find relief in TV archive service HULU where many episodes are available on-demand/on-command/on-call/on-order etc…”

    Well best of luck, quality is high as evidenced by the Local Ad episode. I look forward to using the service and supporting the networks and their content.

  • jack_at says:

    its just for the US,no one else should be so happy for this site bcz its same like abc,fox etc ,there you can also watch all this movies(but not out from the us).so it will be better for us to watch our fav tv shows on the other sites which are already providing that stuff on divx quality

  • Luke Botsevitch says:

    Although I am mightily sympathetic to the Writers and their collective goals, I am sure that the industry will iron out the kinks and everything will be peachy in a bit. However this is prime time to roll out HULU.
    HULU should not just be a headline word on digg once per month or the subject of an avid TV enthusiasts blog. It should be on my nightly news. “As the strike continues, TV veiwers can find relief in TV archive service HULU where many episodes are available on-demand/on-command/on-call/on-order etc…”

    Well best of luck, quality is high as evidenced by the Local Ad episode. I look forward to using the service and supporting the networks and their content.

  • Torsten says:

    I hope that FOX and NBC, as well as all the other networks/publishers, get the message: stop restricting content locally and you will have success. Piracy can be stopped.

    Just consider the opportunities you would have: acquiring a larger audience, becoming a global player in marketing via Internet and at the same time you would be protecting your content, etc.

    It would be a win-win situation!

  • steve says:

    i don’t mind watching ads that are interesting and relevant to my lifestyle – so hulu needs to take advantage of the direct relationship that isn’t really found on TV. so hulu seems like it could become interesting someday. but i’ll pass for now; it simply doesn’t have what i need (i.e., an iPod connection).

  • Slinger says:

    Yeah C.J.! The slingmedia’s slingbox rules! Like the at-large recorder 2 to store the videos for playing on portable devices like from USB thumb drives, and cell phones with standard format media players.

  • Dan says:

    Great work!! Very simple and good focus! I like this site very much.
    :)
    Congratulations Hulu team!

  • Slick says:

    One other point about HULU. Hulu uses flash, flash crashes IE Explorer 6 & 7. Hulu is putting it’s entire business model on the capabilities of a software program that doesn’t even work properly. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.

    I watched HULU shows twice yesterday, and 2x IE 7 crashed iin the middle of the show playback. ugh.

  • Thomas says:

    I entered my e-mail address to try to sign-up to the private beta hulu website but I have no got a reply/response.

    I really want to go onto this website!!!!

    When will I get my password/reply?

    I have heard good things about this website from various websites and newspapers

  • Eurico Teodoro says:

    I am waiting to have acess to HULU, it´s the new generation of “TV”, you costum, what you want to see and when. Yes, you can by, and yes you can have cable, but higher values that all the “TVs” make are from advertising. I don´t mind to have some adverstising, if in the end I have the content.

    Hoping to be one of the first to have HULU in Portugal.

  • Sean McGee says:

    Estimated Time to Hulu Tanking: 14 months and counting.

  • Kris says:

    Your video ad is very choppy.

  • Someone says:

    iTunes will always bet you. Hulu sucks. There are still commercials and your shows aren’t that great anyway.

    By the way I don’t see how you can coompete with YouTUbe or illegal downloading anyway. Remember, anything that can be digital can be found free online.

  • mark says:

    So Matt: In your summary, you failed to explain why NBCU can’t leave their shows on iTunes UNTIL hulu has the capabilities to surpass the portability and quality and price that consumers already have via iTunes. That’s my only complaint. And you haven’t even commented that hundreds of posts have been deleted, just like this one probably will.

  • Pillguy says:

    I think Hulu is really missing the point. People don’t want to watch STREAMING TV over the internet. They want to download it to their private device, where they can view it on the bus, train, plane, or waiting in line for a concert. This is the power of portable, digital media. What you are providing is actually worse than TV. I have to sit in an uncomfortable upright chair in my office to watch my favorite show…LOL Of course there will be the uber geek with him computer wired to a flat panel LCD, but they are not the mainstream.

    Do I need to say it again? We want portable media. iTunes was great. $1.99 per show was even pricey, but why not put ads in the shows on iTunes? I really don’t care how you get your money, just make it reasonable and give us our portability.

  • Camillo says:

    Open it to outside US!!!!

  • Matt says:

    Ben –
    you’d be surprised to find that when it comes to new media, baby boomers are just as likely to be tapped into that market as the younger generation… why? their psyche is that they are still young, they are technologically saavy, and they have the disposable income. They’re more apt to have blackberries and iPods and iPhones and use iTunes and surf the internet than you think.

    Hulu isn’t just “for the younger generation,” just look at some of the content Hulu has gotten. Some of the programs most definitely skew to an older crowd and the baby boomer generation will absolutely love this. They are a market that absolutely should not be ignored and thought of as “those old farts who don’t know their way around a computer.” These are people who invented them. Their buying power is extraordinarily high and they aren’t afraid to spend it.

  • Matt says:

    Gotta say, I’m reading some of these comments and allow me to summarize:

    1) People overseas are complaining that they can’t purchase shows they’re not supposed to even be getting yet…

    2) Other people are complaining that they would rather buy the shows on iTunes, rather than get them for free… (understandable – better quality and portability)

    3) There’s some sort of online/comment/blog-battle going on about the viewership of TV programs vs. iTunes and the like.

    So, boiling all of that down, some people are trying to diss a product before it’s even officially launched because they feel they’re they cool kids with iThis and iThat. Oddly enough, not everybody has an iPod, iTouch, iPhone or uses iTunes. In fact, those of you posting here complaining about all of that are, in fact, in the minority.

    NBC and Fox are pretty smart here, in my opinion. They’ll have control over their programming and their shows. They’ll be able to package them with whatever they want – be it a commercial spot, or a clickable hotspot during the show, whatever. A multitude of doors are open to them that weren’t under YouTube and iTunes. Hang in there and eventually your beloved shows will be available for purchase again, but on their terms, not Steve Jobs’. They’ll also be able to have a bigger ROI, as well as make the writers happier what with the strike going on and all.

    Personally, I love hulu already and I’m glad that NBC wisened up about offering shows like The Office on here for free. I hated the fact that something would come up Thursday night and I would miss an episode. Then I would get pissed that I could find all of their newer shows I didn’t watch nor care about on nbc.com, but The Office I would have had to pay for on iTunes. Just an example.

    I also love that you can sort of create your own clip and send it to a friend. Say you get an e-mail from a friend and you decide to reply by sending a clip of Conan O’Brien saying something in response. Just one of a myriad of things I would do to have fun with it.

  • Bill says:

    By the Way Hulu / NBC

    I went camping a month ago. I took my Ipod with me and watched 4 episodes of the office on my IPOD Classic Video player right there in my tent.

    Could I do that with your streaming video in the middle of Rocky Mountain National Park’s campsite? Sorry -no wifi broadband there.

    I go to the gym everyday, and everyday I take my Ipod and watch videos on it while I’m on the Eliptical or Treadmill. There’s no Laptop or computer at the workout stations, so without my IPOD, I wouldn’t be able to watch any NBC content.

    I was in the airport for 2 hours waiting for a flight a few months ago – I passed the time watching NBC shows on my IPOD – I couldn’t have done that with Hulu! What business segment is this trying to serve – other than completely ruining your customer’s viewing experience by not allowing adfree integration with Itunes?

    It doesn’t make sense.

  • SlickWilly says:

    Ummm,,

    So can I download shows onto my IPOD to take with me to the Gym, to the Airport, to work and on vacation so that I can watch them while I’m on the road and not have to sit in front of my computer to watch them? If not, then this service is worthless.

    And since I’m paying for it (instead of receiving it for free over broadcast), can I watch it Ad free before it starts and during playback? If not, then forget it, there’s no appeal.

    Portability, ad-free playback is what it’s all about. And if your website doesn’t do that, particularly by integrating with Itunes like NBC should be doing, then I’ll have to say No Thanks, there’s no beneficial product that’s being provided.

    I don’t own a TV / Tivo – if I did, I’d record and watch the shows there. I do own a 160gb ipod with tons of space to buy shows from NBC through Itunes.

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