The Hulu Plus for iPad and iPhone update creates a second screen experience. More and more, I have been thinking that Hulu Plus is the best way to watch TV. Hulu Plus for iPhone and iPad has just been updated to version 2.5. This new upgrade optimizes video quality for the iPad 3 and adds a new menu when used with AirPlay on an Apple TV. Watching Hulu Plus on my TV through my Apple TV just got a lot easier and the picture quality is much better!
The Hulu Plus Update 2.5
This week's Hulu Plus update creates a new viewing experience when mirroring your iPad 2, or 3rd generation iPad, to an Apple TV. Using the AirPlay feature on my iPad 2 (click on the rectangle with the arrow and choosing Apple TV), you can mirror what is displayed on your iPad on your Apple TV. Mirroring is not available on the original iPad or phones prior to the iPhone 4s.
After updating Hulu Plus, instead of mirroring what is displayed on the iPad, you can choose "Split Screen." The video will play on your Apple TV while the iPad will display other information—episodes or related shows—making it easy to switch to watch another episode or TV show.
This way of navigating on your iPad while watching a TV show is referred to as "second screen." In Hulu Plus the second screen provides navigation. Soon, other apps will use the second screen on the iPad to display information about the TV show, actors, and other related content available on the web.
Another feature available in the update Hulu Plus for iPad and iPhone is that it "optimizes video quality" for the high quality retina screen on the 3rd generation iPad. The better quality video on the iPad 3 has resulted in better quality high definition video when sent to the Apple TV and viewed on your bigscreen HDTV.
What is Hulu and Hulu Plus?
Hulu is the website where you can stream TV shows and (mostly classic) movies. Hulu Plus is the app on Android and iPhones, tablets, media streaming devices, and Smart TVs. Hulu Plus requires a $7.99 monthly subscription and offers some shows that are not available on Hulu. Many networks make current TV show episodes available to view on Hulu Plus (but not free Hulu) the day after they broadcast. The biggest difference between Hulu and Hulu Plus is that you must watch Hulu on your computer, and Hulu Plus can be watched in its full TV-watching glory.
Why I Love Hulu - The TV Shows
One reason I am such a fan of Hulu Plus is its content. If I miss a TV episode of a show I like, I can watch it the next day, in high-definition, without paying an extra rental fee for each episode. Whether it's the newest Once Upon a Time, or the series finale of Desperate Housewives, I can watch it with, as the announcer claims at the beginning of the show, "limited interruptions." While there are still commercials, they are limited to two 30-second spots instead of five minutes per break. Currently I have no HD network channels on my DISH network, it's a pleasure to be able to watch a good picture by using Hulu Plus.
Hulu also has a number of shows for when I want to wax nostalgic. I can watch old reruns of: Father Knows Best, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, McHale's Navy, Rockford Files, Remington Steele, 8 Simple Rules, Night Gallery, Adam-12, and The Bob Newhart Show. There are also newer classics like Heroes and Quantum Leap, and recent popular shows cancelled before their time—The Event and Eli Stone. If it was on TV, I encourage you to search for it on Hulu.
Certainly, Hulu is not the only way to stream TV shows from online to watch on your TV. Still, it is easy to use, has most of the content I could ever want, and is shown in high definition. For me, it is worth the $7.99 per month to not have to worry if I set my DVR to record.