It’s been a few weeks since the streaming platform, Hulu, release Hulu Live in beta. (nerd alert) For those of you who may not know, a beta test is a phase of testing in which a product is made available to a sampling of the intended audience, and the sample audience tries it out.
During this phase, developers take feedback from the sample audience and make final changes to the product before releasing it to a wider audience.
With that being said, it’s been a few weeks since the initial launch of the TV streaming platform, Hulu Live, and Hulu has made a few updates to the platform since then.
- The app now shows an “all caught up” message to let the user know that there are no more new episodes to watch in a series.
- The app will also let the user know when a new episode is available.
- New content (not to be confused with new episodes of current shows) will be flagged with a green marker.
- Hulu is allowing users to disable the continuous play feature.
- The Chromecast button has been moved higher so it’s easier to find,
- Hulu has addressed several bugs and fixed issues with crashing for Apple TV users.
A Unique Feature
In regards to Hulu Live, CTO Tian says so far, so good. Overall the service does what it was designed to do. It lets the user watch live TV. Although Hulu is delivering a service similar to that of Sling TV or PlayStation Vue, it sets itself apart by attempting to offer a more tailored viewing experience. Instead of a channel-grid based guide, Hulu offers show recommendations based off of your viewing habits.
Hulu’s unique approach has met friction from TV networks. A traditional channel guide is a potential space for more ads (and more ad revenue). Keeping with old traditions makes sense because it has proven to be effective for so many years. Lim wants to try something that might be a better approach to ads. Instead of blanketing everyone in ads for shows that they might not want to see, Lim wants to use viewer data to market directly to the individual user.
Area For Improvement
Although there have been changes and updates, there is room for more improvement. The current frame rate of Hulu Live is 30 frames per second. Increasing frame-rates from 30 frames-per-second to 60 frames-per-second can make for a better sports viewing experience. According to Tian Lim, a higher frame rate was available in private beta tests but “wasn’t stable enough” for public release.
Hulu Live currently supports Apple TV (4th Gen.), Xbox One, iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as Chromecast. Hulu is working to add support for Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Sticks and Samsung smart TVs.