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The Search is On

November 30th, 2009 by Rebecca Harper Editor

Behind the scenes here at Hulu, we’re always making little adjustments to make the site better for our users. A lot of these tweaks come about based on our own use of the site, but we also implement a lot of the suggestions submitted to us by our users. Lately, we’ve been focusing on our search tools — after all, we want Hulu to be a better place to not only watch videos, but also to find them, too.

With this mission in mind, we improved our search capabilities with a new feature called Advanced Search, which we’ve unveiled today as part of Hulu for the Holidays. Advanced search offers an easy-to-use interface that allows you to find the exact video you’re looking for — look for it on any search results page, or follow the link near the bottom of the Hulu.com homepage. You can search by a keyword or phrase (use quotes to set off a phrase), search within specific fields (such as Show Title, Video Title, Description and more), and use common search operators — “and,” “or” and “not” — to narrow your results.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search menu also offers a way to limit your results to videos with closed captioning — just click on the appropriate check box. In addition, a family-friendly search option offers an easy way to search for content that might be more appropriate for younger viewers. (The filter will exclude videos that are rated TV-14, PG-13, TV-MA, R, NC-17, NSFW or NR.)

If you search for videos on Hulu often, we offer search operators that correspond with each of the fields in our Advanced Search menu, so you can type in a complete search query directly from the search bar. For instance, you can use the plus sign (“+”) to add keywords to your search string. For example, +jim +pam +wedding calls up videos related to Jim and Pam’s wedding on The Office earlier this season. (You can learn more about search operators in this blog entry or by checking out our updated Search Tips page.)

As always, we welcome your feedback about search or anything you see on Hulu. You can send suggestions and comments to us at . In the meantime, we have a lot more content and site features lined up for the remainder of Hulu for the Holidays, including today’s film, Vexille. Available in dubbed and subtitled formats, this CG/motion-capture title takes place in 2077 Japan, where a tough-as-nails agent, Vexille, is out to expose the country’s dealings with banned robotic biotechnology.

Rebecca Harper ()

Last comment: Aug 1st 2017 11 Comments
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  • TOM says:


  • Based on Jared’s feedback, we’ve fixed the range of dates for videos – you can now use the calendar year dropdown to search as far back as 1900. See if you can find which video is our oldest!

  • […] up the Hulu blog for more tips on making the most of your searches within their online interface. The Search Is On [Official Hulu Blog via […]

  • Some advice for the stuttering during fullscreen playback:
    1. Go to the Hulu.com homepage
    2. Right-click on the big video image in the middle of the screen and select the “Settings…” menu option
    3. Click the first tab with the screen and paintbrush icon. You should see a checkbox that reads “Enable hardware acceleration”.
    4. If it’s currently checked, uncheck it. If it’s currently uncheck, check it.
    5. Click Close
    6. Try to play any video on Hulu and switch to full-screen mode. Does it work now?

    If it still doesn’t work, please close your web browser and try again. Finally, if nothing helped fix the issue, you may have an older version of Adobe Flash installed. Please reinstall Flash by following these steps:

    1. Uninstall Flash following these steps – http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=tn_14157
    2. Restart your computer.
    3. Reinstall the latest version of Flash following these steps – http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html

  • Jamie R says:

    Two Questions/Comments
    1. Why has nobody in the history of Internet video ever thought of inventing a STOP button? NOT a pause button, which continues to load the vid in the background and use what we are told is VALUABLE BANDWIDTH, but a STOP USING MY BANDWIDTH button. A STOP LOADING THIS VID button, so I can just read the comments. Not even YouTube has a STOP button. Just a pause button. If bandwidth is valuable, then why can’t I stop the vid, short of using NoScript to disable the Flash?

    2. Hulu videos on my PC tend to halt while in fullscreen mode, while the audio keeps playing. If I hit ESC and go back to the windows screen, the video catches up immediately, then I can put down the popcorn, click the fullscreen button again, and resume my entertainment.

    At first I thought this was a bug. After a bit of rational (if somewhat cynical) thought, I realized it’s probably a feature, so that 3 or 4 times per show, we are forced to go back to the screen with THE AD BANNERS, so we have to look at them, even for a second, on top of the normal interspersed ads in the vids.


  • J W says:

    Typo: I meant “exited out of full-screen”.

  • J W says:

    I’m really not sure where to comment on this, but I hope that commenting on the blog randomly is okay…but have you guys noticed the issue of maintaining full-screen while the videos are on auto-play, and then on a subsequent video, if the video is exited out of small-screen, the video resets completely? I’ve had issues with this, and it is very annoying. Can you guys fix the issue of the videos resetting when the continuous-play rolls to the next video when it has not been minimized during the changeover and then the video is taken out of full-screen? thanks.

  • Jared, you can adjust the search query to meet your needs by entering a date search operator to get the years you want. For example, entering “date:1900-1979″ calls up all the videos with air or release dates within that range. Check out the results here.
    Additionally, this query: date:1900-1979 channel:”horror and suspense” [note the quotes around the channel name since it’s more than one word] refines those results to those in our horror and suspense channel, which may be up your alley since you’re looking for noir.
    There are even more search operators like the date and channel queries. They’re all outlined on our search tips page, found in the support/FAQ section: http://www.hulu.com/support/search_tips.

  • Jared Case says:

    Cool! I was looking around on Hulu to find more information for my latest blog post, about finding film noir from home. I wanted to include all the noir titles I could find on Hulu and was hoping to narrow the search by date. Now I can!

    Not Cool! Your date search parameters start at 1974. And setting the end date in 1974 and leaving the begin date open doesn’t work, either. So, I still can’t perform the search I wanted to, but it’s a step in the right direction!