More Free Television Online - Hulu.com - UPDATE: Invites Available for Wise Bread Readers!

By Xin Lu on 23 February 2008 (Updated 15 October 2009) 14 comments
Photo: Hulu Logo

Recently many TV networks have been showing their current shows online with limited commercial interruption. Every network seems to have their own streaming and ad system with varying amounts of content and quality. Hulu.com is a combined effort of NBC and Fox and it currently has hundreds of episodes and clips from the two networks and many shows from Sony Entertainment and other networks. Today I took it for a spin.

The site has a very clean interface and once you sign in you can choose to add any amount of shows and clips to your playlist. Then you can play them all by clicking "Play" in the "Your playlist" dropdown. You can search shows by name or category and there is a good selection of old and new shows. Some old shows have full seasons online, and I started watching the quirky Fox comedy called Arrested Development.

The quality of the player is quite good compared to some of the other network players. The resolution is not high definition, but it is better than YouTube. The sound quality is above average and never stalled on my connection. Each episode of the 22 minute comedy I was watching had three very short commercials and I barely noticed them. One of the commercials was at the end of the show so it did not even interrupt my show. So overall the viewing experience is great. After you finish watching a show you have the option to buy it, but I think the purchasing option is not functional right now.

The best part about Hulu is that it has many cable shows for free. For example, select episodes of my favorite obsessive compulsive detective Monk are available! There are also a few old movies available. In addition to Arrested Development, I have added the entire series of Firefly and the classic Battlestar Galatica to my list. I think I will be glued to this site for many hours to come.

Right now Hulu is still in beta and you need an invite to join. When you sign up you will get ten more invites to send out so I started this thread in the forums so that we can share our invites. Unfortunately, it is only available to those in the United States right now, but hopefully in the future the videos will stream in other nations, too. Have fun watching!

Update: Gerritt Hoekman from Hulu was nice enough to provide Wise Bread with 500 invites for our readers!  Click here to get your free invites.

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Myscha Theriault's picture

We're always looking for new online options. Thanks, Xin.

Catherine Shaffer's picture

Thanks, Xin! I snapped up one of those invites right away. We just canceled our cable TV. I wonder if these are downloadable to itunes...probably not. :-(

Catherine Shaffer

Wise Bread Contributor

Linsey Knerl's picture

watching episodes now.  Thanks!

Guest's picture

It sounds awesome. Sadly, it's only open to U.S. citizens during beta testing. :(

Guest's picture

Thank you!
I'm hoping to kick the cable habit.

Guest's picture

Thanks for the heads-up! Nothing better than cutting down on "commercial interruptions".

Guest's picture
Celina

Thanks for this tip, I got my invite. I had some buffering problems, but I've got the lowest speed DSL. They had a great selection.

Guest's picture
jadefly

Looove free online TV! Thanks for the link! For anyone who likes anime or Asian dramas (helpfully subtitled in English), try crunchyroll.com.

Guest's picture

It only works if you live in America, :(

Guest's picture
SZSRocks

Our cable "bundle" bill just jumped from $99/mo to $179/mo...YIKES! Thanks for the invite. We are anxious to try this out, and if I agree to drop the cable, you will have helped me to make the hubby very, very happy! Thanks, again!

Guest's picture
Guest

invite please

Guest's picture
Steven

italics Thanks for the heads-up

Guest's picture
Diana

I like what I have seen so far, and the comments are great.

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grannygoodstuff

I dropped cable 1+ years ago, bought a ROKU, and have been happy ever since. I tried HULU and Netflix. I like the movie selection better on Netflix so I have stayed with them. The only thing I liked better about HULU is that I could watch weekly episodes of my fav show.