Logo-with-dark-gray
RSS Blog

New Site Features

December 9th, 2008 by Rebecca Harper Editor

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.

buffer_b

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.

Rebecca (),
Editor

Last comment: about 23 hours ago 11 Comments
  • Greg, i think some of the shortcuts have been disabled for the time being.

  • Greg says:

    I see on this site that it says you can send the flash player into full screen by pressing f. I got all the rest of the keyboard shortcuts to work except for that one on both a linux machine and an apple machine. Is there another option for full screen or something that I am missing (i.e. hold shift as well)?

  • PacoBell says:

    Richard’s right. The five minute buffer is completely worthless to me. Either you or my ISP is throttling content traffic horrendously. Ironically, advertisement traffic is entirely unaffected, which leads me to believe you are intentionally doing this. I’ve been monitoring the real-time bandwidth graphs on my router and the downstream traffic spikes to full throughput during the commercials and then immediately plummets to ~40KB/s. The next experiment will obviously be to tunnel Hulu via VPN to bypass my local ISP and attempt to isolate the issue once and for all. Of course, this could all be settled quite plainly if Eric Feng is willing to spill the beans.

  • Richard says:

    Whats the deal with every site on the internet switching to this new buffer system, its garbage, you cant even watch a full episode of a show anymore, instead you have to watch 5 mins. of it, then pause it for ten minutes, then watch another five….

    I’d like to see a change, but im just one person

  • Justin Smith says:

    Is the fullscreen option accessible through javascript?

  • Dave Mackey says:

    The buffer feature is awesome! One feature I’d still like to see is the ability to “hide” shows/movies which one is uninterested in. There are a number of shows I have no interest in viewing and it’d be easier to see what is new or what I might want to watch if I could make disappear those things I really don’t want to watch.

  • rebeccahulu says:

    I’ve asked someone on our team to investigate the MySpace embedding issue. I’ll post an update if/when I get more info.

  • Brent says:

    I can’t seem to get the FullScreen icon to show up when posting the latest “Chuck” episode to my MySpace profile (when I paste the code in, it does include the FullScreen parameter).

  • Legolas813 says:

    Full screen on a dual monitor works fine for me. It expands to the entire area of one of my screens.

  • rebeccahulu says:

    The full-screen embeds feature will be incorporated into any newly embedded Hulu videos placed on other sites. In order to retrofit existing embedded videos, you can add “<param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param>” to the embed code.

  • rick says:

    Canada please, any time now

*
*