Gadget Bugg: Review: Hulu Desktop Beta

Monday, November 2, 2009

Review: Hulu Desktop Beta

If you are anything like me (and by me I mean you use hulu.com to catch up on missed episodes of "the Office", "Modern Family", and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") then you spend a good chunk of your internet time on the site. Recently released (10/29/09) is Hulu Desktop, a one stop shop for all of your Hulu content you normally surf to their webpage for. I downloaded the gadget and gave it a spin to see how the experience was compared to the traditional hulu.com experience.

The first thing you're going to want to do is to travel on over to the Hulu Desktop Beta site and download yourself a copy of the software. After the quick download and install you will instantly be cast into the world of Hulu on your desktop complete with all its fame and glory. The user interface is definitely a winner in my book and reminds me of the UI of Windows Media Center among other things.

One downside of the program is that my Hauppauge! T.V. tuner remote for my WinTV HVR-850 that works great with Windows Media Center doesn't do a thing when in HDB, which is a shame because the UI is set up in such a way that you can navigate through perfectly without a mouse and just using the directional keypad on your keyboard.

After using your existing Hulu account you can also keep yourself signed in to watch TVMA content, which is great.

I felt that the quality of the video was crisp and clear and no different from what I got from the .com version of Hulu, which is basically what I expected. Buffering was fast and easy and I was watching my favorite episodes in no time.


Final Thoughts:

Will I be using this instead of Mozilla Firefox to view my hulu.com content? Hard to say. There is not much of an insentive to unless you are using your PC specifically as a Media Center PC. If so, you will be drooling all over this. Also, I really feel as though Hulu Desktop Beta is really great, and hope that Microsoft has an update to integrate it into the Xbox dashboard. This would be a match made in heaven, but would most likely draw business away from Microsoft's "exclusive" partnership with Netflix, even though Netflix is thinking about cheating on Microsoft with Sony's PS3.

Usability: 8.5

User Interface: 10

Speed: 10

Footprint: 9.5

Rating: 9.5/10

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