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TV Just Got A Whole Lot More Social

July 1st, 2011 by Betina Chan-Martin Product Manager

(For updates on the latest news around the Hulu Facebook Connect integration, please go here: http://blog.hulu.com/2011/07/01/hulu-facebook-connect-update)

Do you remember when?

I knew Dwight’s stint as manager of the Scranton office would end with hilarious results. But did I see that coming? Not in a million years. But of course, the moment he strutted out with his holster (and gun!), it was clear that Dwight’s dream would come to an end with explosive results. And when the gun went off—luckily damaging only Andy’s hearing—I immediately jumped on Facebook to see what my friends had to say. Of course, this exact moment was the talk of Hulu in the morning.

TV has always been a social experience. We gather with friends and family to watch our favorite shows, sporting events, movies, and news. When we get to work, we meet around the water cooler and chat about Tracy Jordan’s latest stunt in the previous night’s 30 Rock. We text each other during the results of The Voice, and we blog about the latest politician skewered in Jon Stewart’s opening monologue.

Today, we are making the Hulu experience even more social with Facebook on Hulu.

Interact. We are excited to announce a new feature that is the first-of-its-kind and one that we think will become a staple at Hulu going forward. One of the most exciting features we are launching today is the ability to comment on a specific moment in time while watching any video on Hulu, and with one click, instantly share those remarks — and the relevant video moment from the program — on Facebook for all your friends to see. When you comment on a Hulu video, that exact moment will appear on Facebook so your friends can jump in and react right away. And since friends can respond to your comments, you can have those water cooler conversations online at any time. We’ve been using this feature in test mode here at Hulu HQ for a bit…and we are officially addicted. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Personalize. Now you can easily log on to Hulu—or create a new account—using your Facebook account. From there, you’ll be able to interact with all of your Facebook friends. You’ll log into a homepage tailored to you, where you can see your friends’ favorite shows, and start conversations with anybody who follows the same shows you do.

Discover. I discovered some of my favorite shows (like Coupling—the UK version, of course) because a friend recommended them. With Facebook on Hulu, you can introduce your friends to shows you’re rooting for, and discover new favorites with the help of your friends, too.

Connect. To link your Hulu and Facebook accounts, use the “Connect” button on your next visit to Hulu. Or visit http://www.hulu.com.

The entire social experience on Hulu is being supported by our partners at Coors Light and Microsoft’s decision engine Bing. Bing is also providing a free 1-month Hulu Plus subscription to users who make the decision to “go social” by signing up for Facebook on Hulu.

We’re very excited about the above efforts which we believe make TV fundamentally more social. Let us know what you think!

Last comment: about 8 hours ago 32 Comments

Now Available: Update v1.01 for Hulu Plus on PS3

March 24th, 2011 by Daniel Bear Principal Software Development Lead

This morning, we released the latest version of Hulu Plus for the PlayStation®3. The update improves the quality of the playback experience, specifically addressing issues such as skips, jumps, and stalls that may occur on certain network connections.

You’ll be presented with the update (v1.01) the next time you launch the Hulu Plus app on PS3. Improvements in this version include:

– Improvements and fixes for playback issues such as skipping, jumping, and stalling.
– Improved playback reporting to help our team improve the playback experience.
– UI tweaks to compensate for device overscan.
– Added ability for new users to sign up for a Hulu Plus subscription within the application.
– Additional improvements and bug fixes.

Let us know what you think!

Daniel Bear
Senior Development Lead, Hulu

Last comment: about 10 hours ago 193 Comments

Introducing Playlists and a New Way to Browse

December 23rd, 2010 by Rebecca Harper Editor

Just in time for the holidays, we’ve unwrapped some new goodies to share with our users on Hulu.com: playlists and a new way to browse the site.

We’re always looking for new ways to make watching TV on Hulu more fun, and playlists now put our users in control: now you can create and share your own playlists with your friends and the rest of the Hulu community. Think you’re an expert on all things Saturday Night Live? Create a definitive playlist. Want to save an assortment of videos to watch back-to-back later? Create a playlist. Simply click on the “+” symbol near a video on Hulu and select the “Add to playlist” option. Create a new playlist or add the video to an existing list; later, you can enter descriptions for the video from the new “Playlists” tab in your Profile.

Hulu Playlists

From your profile view, you can browse all of your playlists, write descriptions, and also set your privacy preferences. (Videos that are set to “public” can be browsed from our new Playlists hub and viewed by the entire Hulu community.) I’ve already created one about two of my favorite guys on TV, Troy and Abed from Community, but you can also explore Hulu’s Editors’ picks from the main Playlists hub. Over time, we’ll be highlighting our favorite users playlists on this page; if you’d like to submit yours for consideration, feel free to send a link to me at .

To navigate to Playlists from our home page, you’ll want to check out our new navigation bar at the top of the page. We’ve streamlined the options here, consolidating links to TV, Movies, Trailers, and Playlists in a single “Browse” drop-down that also includes our Coming Soon page — a great way to preview which videos are coming to Hulu in the next week — and Genres (formerly known as channels), where you can browse by category.

Hulu Browse

Back in the navigation bar, the “Most Popular” and “Recently Added” links will help you reach your destination more quickly, whether you’re looking for the most recent episode of your favorite show or today’s most popular movie trailer. This is just the latest in a series of projects that will allow you to not only find your favorite content quickly and easily, but also discover new content that maybe you didn’t realize we had at Hulu.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Hulu!
Rebecca Harper ()
Editor

Last comment: about 8 hours ago 42 Comments

About the Artist: Justin Martin

November 14th, 2010 by Betina Chan-Martin Product Manager

To celebrate our 5 week long holiday promotion, we reached out to Los Angeles-based artist Justin Martin to create an original drawing to capture the essence of the holidays. In his untitled wintry illustration, he portrays a young family walking home in the sunset from a day of sledding in the snow. Below is a brief Q&A with the artist. Be sure to check out more of his work on his blog. — The Hulu Team

What are you currently working on?
My 9 to 5 gig- though it is anything but- is as Background Painter at Warner Bros. Animation. I’m currently working on a new series called “The Looney Tunes Show”, due to air in 2011 on Cartoon Network.
I’m also creating all the artwork for a new graphic novel with the working title Badge of the Guardian, about a young boy who goes on a wild adventure in Outer Space.
Mainly, however, I’m trying to play the role of Dad for my 11 month old daughter. Maybe I should have started with that, as it’s unquestionably its own full time job.

What has been your most unusual project?
That’s a tough call. Each project has its own unique quirkiness. That’s a major reason why I opted to go into the Animation Industry. I’ve made monsters with tank turret underwear attacking the Golden Gate Bridge, space pirates who listen to Reggae while “beaming up” unsuspecting human prisoners, and an evil genius beaver who lives in the Hoover Dam. The weirdness just doesn’t stop around these parts.

On second thought, though, I might go with the whole fatherhood thing again. That certainly fits the “unusual” criteria.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Anywhere and everywhere I can. I’ve always thought that one of the most important lessons an artist can learn is to maintain constant awareness. There’s a Huxley book called Island in which talking birds are trained to fly around saying only the word “Attention”. I need one of those birds.
Instead I try to carry a camera with me everywhere I go, and to always have a book going. I have an “inspiration” section on my own blog that I stopped updating a long time ago because the list just got too enormous. It’s really staggering how many amazing artists there are out there, each with his or her own viewpoint, medium, or technique.

What is your favorite subject matter?
Anything thought provoking. I like to make pieces that you have to take a closer look at, so the subject has to have some depth to it. (See earlier answer re: space pirates and evil genius beavers.)

Do you prefer to use a pencil and paper, or a Wacom Tablet?
I generally sketch on paper in the early stages and move to digital a little later down the line. Some day I intend to get back to much more traditional media, but some of the chemicals involved aren’t so good for babies so it may be a while. Until then digital is nice and clean.

What are you favorite shows on Hulu?
I loves me some Arrested Development and 30 Rock. Modern Family is also great. We saw the guy that plays the dad who always slips on the stairs when we were out the other day. Part of me wanted to pull his earbuds out just so I could tell him how awesome he is.

Last comment: about 11 hours ago 4 Comments

Now Available: Update v1.2 for Hulu Plus on iOS

September 29th, 2010 by Zach Holt Lead Developer

Hulu Plus version 1.2 went live in the iTunes App Store yesterday. The app runs on all devices at or above iOS 3.2.

The list of tweaks and additions is far too long for this post, but here are some of the key improvements we’ve put into version 1.2:

  • - More intuitive behavior around receiving notifications (e.g., calendar, SMS, or phone calls) while in the app
  • - Improved resume functionality
  • - Better cross-device synching
  • - More search results

Beyond these, we’ve made many improvements to the Hulu Plus app’s stability and playback performance, especially when playing videos at high bit rates.

We’ve got a lot more updates across all our apps planned for the coming months. Stay tuned!

Zach Holt
Lead Software Developer, Hulu

P.S. If you’re looking for an exciting job at the intersection of media and technology, check out our jobs list.

Last comment: about 12 hours ago 8 Comments