Hulu for the Holidays continues with a pair of new site features today. One of them answers a request we’ve received from many of our users, while the other brings additional functionality to Hulu videos that are shared on other sites.
The first feature — a buffer progress bar — is something you’ll notice only if you pause a video during playback. When a video is paused, Hulu loads a small portion of the video into your computer’s memory. The new buffer progress bar allows you to see how much of a video has been stored, and when the bars reach “full,” about five minutes of the video have been loaded. (Due to legal reasons, Hulu currently does not buffer more than a small portion of a video at a given time.) For users who are experiencing choppy playback due to network congestion, this progress bar lets you know when the video has reached its buffering limit so you can hit “play” and enjoy the show.
The second feature we’ve introduced today allows you to watch any Hulu video embedded on any site in full-screen mode. To use this feature from a blog or website with an embedded Hulu video (such as this blog; I’ve embedded the first video blog from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Conan’s future replacement, in today’s post), just start playing the video. When the video begins, move your mouse over the Hulu player and a small button to go full screen will appear in the upper right corner, next to the search bar. Hulu’s keyboard shortcuts — “f” to go full screen, “space” to pause, “escape” to return to normal view — also work in this mode. (Our full-screen feature only works when using a single monitor; the Flash software we use to stream videos doesn’t support full-screen mode with dual monitors.)
Tomorrow, Hulu for the Holidays brings another movie to our lineup. If you’ve been following the Holidays calendar, you’ll recognize the two leads in this selection: they each appeared in films introduced at the end of November. This one’s about a deadly Irish assassin. We’ve got more movies to finish off the work week; check back every day to see the latest. While you’re at it, check out the latest posts from Jimmy Fallon and see what you think of the new kid in late night.