A new video on demand project called Hulu which allows users to watch mainstream films and TV shows for free, has gone live today in the USA. There’s nothing remotely illegal about it, either – the project is a joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corp which opens up their massive archive of programming – ranging from TV series such as The Simpsons to films such as The Big Lebowski – to millions of users.
The service, which is only accessible for internet users within the USA to begin with, offers full length episodes from the FOX and NBC channels as well as various others including Bravo and both the Sci-Fi and Sundance channels. Unfortunately, viewers outside of the USA can’t access any of its enticing content although they can surf the site. When you try to access a show or film however, you are presented with the message, “”Unfortunately, this video is not currently available in your country or region. We apologize for the inconvenience”.
The downside is that most movies are split into separate parts and although they are free to watch, they are interspersed with commercials although interestingly, users can select the type of genre of commercial they want to watch. The site does allow users to embed footage into their websites but some have already started to take advantage of this and create cloned Hulu sites, such as OPENhulu, which just re-post entire shows and films.