I was all jazzed up this week when Hulu, the free streaming video site went public. Since their movie service hasn't gained as much attention as their hyped-up TV service, I decided to take it for a test drive by connecting my MacBook Pro to my 50-inch HDTV for the full movie-watching experience. The movie selection isn't the greatest, but they plan to add many more titles as time goes on.
After selecting the Kevin Spacey movie K-Pax, I was required to sign-up for an account since the video had "mature content." Sign-up was quick and painless, and the movie started right away. To see what I thought about the sound quality and commercials, read more
Sound quality: Was excellent while listening through an external stereo receiver, and the video quality turned out to be OK. It was probably on par with normal TV, although it looked like there were fewer frames (probably 20) when there was alot of action, as the picture looked choppy.
Commercials: Probably about 8-10 throughout the entire movie, and they were much louder than the actual movie (you can't help but pay attention). Ads are much shortly than normal TV (about 15-25 seconds), and ticker ads would periodically appear at the bottom of the screen. . . but they weren't overly distracting or annoying. Overall, for a free service it was pretty good, although I don't think I'd want to expense out for this service anytime soon unless the picture quality improved.