After partners like CBS and NBC were confirmed to be part of Hulu's upcoming live-streaming TV service, Mashable recently got a glimpse of the early build for the service on both iOS and full-screen TV apps. Hulu has still kept details under wraps regarding specific price points and plans, although Hulu Chief Executive Mike Hopkins said last week that it will cost users "under $40" each month.

The addition of live TV is said to have changed Hulu's "entire user experience," by combining the company's existing on-demand content with the all-new live TV streams. The app guides users through a taste-test quiz about the type of TV they like to watch, using the information and accumulated data of what each user watches to offer recommendations on its home screen. If there are multiple users in a house, each person will get their own menu, recommendations, and everyone can watch their shows at once.

hulu-live-tv-1

If the new Hulu has a philosophy, it's personal, personal, personal. From the home screen to the recommendations it serves up, the new Hulu is intended to be about you. That becomes clear the moment you launch the new app on your phone, which quizzes you on the kind of content you like — genres, networks and specific shows — before you even get to the home screen. Sorta like Foursquare, but for TV.

The "Lineup" greets users when they first dive into their personal profile, and it's said to be "a compilation of the content — live or on-demand — Hulu thinks is most important to you." Favorite shows will take top billing, while shows recorded in a cloud DVR (an expected add-on feature) will also be added to the Lineup.

hulu-live-tv-2
The user interface then splits content into a horizontal list with icons at the top of the screen representing Movies, News and Networks. The Networks tab is where most of Hulu's live content will be housed, with users able to tap on any channel and tune into what's happening now on each station. Mobile notifications will be available to warn users when a game is starting with their favorite team, but the feature will only encompass sports at launch. Notifications for breaking news and warnings about expiring TV shows are being worked on as well.

One of Mashable's concerns about the new service is its attempt at seamlessly mixing Hulu's old content with its new live-streaming options. The site compared the move to when Apple decided to do something similar with both old, downloaded songs and the new streaming content in Apple Music, which confused many users.

The demo I got of Hulu's new UI was canned, so I didn't get a chance to navigate it myself. From the looks of it, Hulu has done a good job of mixing together live and on-demand content into a single interface, although it's questionable if they ever should have been mixed in the first place.

Similarly, when Apple mixed together on-demand music streaming with downloads in Apple Music, it stepped into a minefield. It eventually rolled back the UI to better separate the two things the app does. Will the same thing happen to Hulu?

Curiosity surrounding the new live TV service from Hulu has been building ever since it was rumored last May. As of now, Hulu's cord-cutting service includes partners CBS, Walt Disney, Time Warner, Fox, and NBC. When it launches sometime in the spring, the service will enter the market to competitors including Sling TV and DirecTV Now, but Hulu won't have to worry about competition from Apple's own live-streaming service since it has long been shelved after the company failed to make inroads with network programmers.

Tag: Hulu

Top Rated Comments

TurboPGT! Avatar
93 months ago
When are these companies going to learn that no one wants these curated recommended UIs. Give me a guide, show me whats available, let me pick. Enough with TOP PICKS FOR YOU with crap I will never watch.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Carmenia83 Avatar
93 months ago
At least DIRECTV Now set the bar really low so no matter what Hulu comes out with, it will be much better.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nightowl Avatar
93 months ago
$40/month and still chocked full of commercials.
There's a ton of programming you just can't get from traditional Hulu or Netflix, and you need some form of cable TV to get, and then there's live sports and other live programming.

If the service offers all of the programming you are looking for, $40 a month is much better than $120 for cable or satellite, and could be a great price if you are able to consolidate your OTT services. When I had Vue, I was able to cancel both Hulu and CBS, so saved $13 a month and 2 less subscriptions. If DirectvNow gets their act together, I might be able to cancel them again.

So, if Hulu hits the mark with their service, there are a lot of people who could upgrade their Hulu plan, eliminate CBS, eliminate DTVNow, Sling, and/or Vue, and, for some, eliminate Netflix. All told, some could just pay $40 a month for all of their TV programming needs.

I'm still not holding my breath for this to be the right service, but hoping that it improves upon what is already available and sets the bar just a little higher than the 3 main services have done so far.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
weave Avatar
93 months ago
I don't care about all this crap, I just want it to work.

Have it work reliably and I'll sign up.

DirectTV Now has been a freakin nightmare.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
weave Avatar
93 months ago
So the your problem is caused by your ISP not PS Vue. Have you asked your ISP why they keep changing your IP address?
Dynamic IPs are pretty normal with ISPs. Also, Direct TV Now seems to have figured out how to implement region restrictions just fine using billing address and doesn't have this issue. Unfortunately, Direct TV Now reliability is currently horrible otherwise I'd ditch Vue. Just can't win. :-(
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MadeTheSwitch Avatar
93 months ago
I know that Cable TV might be good for many people, but the costs really add up, and the flexibility is not nearly as good as streaming.
Depends. This weekend I could not stream The Golden Globes on any device..it's not available for streaming. So in this case, streaming was not flexible. Much to my dismay.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Apple Logo Spotlight

Source: Apple to Announce New Products This Week

Sunday March 3, 2024 11:38 am PST by
Apple plans to announce new products with press releases on its website this week, a proven source familiar with the matter told MacRumors. While the products that Apple plans to announce have not been disclosed, there are rumors about new iPads, Macs, and accessories. It is unclear exactly what will be announced this week. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman today reiterated that Apple is planning new...
Apple Maps vs Google Maps Feature

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which Is Better?

Friday March 1, 2024 7:10 am PST by
Apple Maps has been providing navigational guidance to Apple users for almost 13 and a half years now, and much has changed about the app in that time. However, according to data from Canalys, the overwhelming majority of iPhones in the U.S. still have Google Maps downloaded as an alternative to Apple Maps, which comes preinstalled on all iPhones. We want to hear from MacRumors readers. Which do...
apple tv plus banner

Apple TV+ Gains Over 50 Movies for a Limited Time

Friday March 1, 2024 6:29 am PST by
Apple TV+ today gained over 50 movies, adding to its back catalog of content for a limited time. The collection includes a large number of popular and classic titles. Subscribers can access the movies in a "Great Movies on Apple TV+" section in the Apple TV app. Some titles are also available in 3D. Movies in the collection include: 21 Jump Street 300 American Sniper Argo ...
iPad Air 12

Gurman: No Apple Event Planned for Upcoming iPads and Macs

Sunday March 3, 2024 5:09 am PST by
Apple does not plan to hold a traditional event to unveil new iPads and Macs, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Instead, he said Apple plans to announce the products on its website with a "series of online videos and marketing campaigns." If this plan is accurate, we can expect the new products to be announced with press releases on the Apple Newsroom website. Gurman expects Apple to...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New Beta Firmware for AirPods Pro 2

Thursday February 29, 2024 11:41 am PST by
Apple today introduced a new beta firmware update for the AirPods Pro 2, both the USB-C and Lightning versions. The new firmware is version 6E188, up from the prior 6B34 firmware released in December. Apple does not often provide details or notes on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware, so it is unclear what's new. Note that this software is limited to developers at the...