Video: A First Look at Hulu Plus on Roku

Hulu Plus rolled out its subscription service on Roku early this morning as part of its general launch. Roku users can now access the Hulu Plus channel through the channel store. There’s a one week free trial for new subscribers, after which it will cost $7.99 per month. Wondering if it’s worth it? Check out our first look at Hulu Plus on Roku below:

Hulu Plus offers its users two ways to activate their account on Roku: You can either sign in with your user name and password, or enter a special code on the Hulu website similar to the way devices are activated for use with Netflix. However, that’s pretty much where the similarities end: Hulu Plus looks very different than Netflix on Roku or other embedded devices. Apparently, Hulu decided to go for a look that’s closer to its desktop experience instead. Check it out.

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Vid-Biz: iPlayer Worldwide, YouTube Takedowns, Samsung’s Google TV

Visible Measures Has a New Tool to Measure Impact of Branded Videos; the company just introduced a new tool for brands and agencies to measure how much “share of choice” their branded videos are earning online. (Beet.tv)

The British are Coming: BBC Readies Global Launch of the iPlayer; the global introduction will be a commercial venture and will include a range of non-BBC content providers. (Beet.tv)

MLB Issuing Tons Of YouTube Takedowns; a whole bunch of YouTube videos containing short clips of Major League Baseball games were taken down recently. (Techdirt)

LG Electronics Unveils Its First 3D LCD HDTVs, LED HDTVs for Commercial Applications; TVs targeting hotels use cheaper, polarized glasses. (press release)

Report: 4% of Hulu Users Subscribe to Hulu Plus; 88% of paying Hulu users also subscribe to Netflix. (Video Nuze)

Genachowski: Broadcast’s Successful Past Could Impede Broadband’s Successful Future; FCC chairman stumping for spectrum incentive auctions in speech to National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. (Broadcasting & Cable)

Study: Younger generation leading Web TV growth; 39 percent of all broadband users watch television on the Web or via their mobile devices, up from 34 percent of respondents who said they did so in 2009. (CNet)

Samsung to Make January Announcement on Televisions With Google’s Software; Samsung is planning to make an announcement in January about introducing TVs using Google Inc.’s software, as the company aims to spur demand. (Bloomberg)


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Rupert Murdoch Talks Tea Party, China, And Fox Business…On Fox Business

Fox Business loves to hear media moguls talk about Fox Business. Last week, they had CNN thinker-upper Ted Turner show up to talk about new Fox Business employee Lou Dobbs. Now they’ve invited their leader Rupert Murdoch to discuss the most pressing matters of the day—like how awesome Fox Business is. “Fox Business, Fox News” are News Corp.’s “best growth engines,” he said. “Seriously.”

But it wasn’t all roses for Murdoch, who was in D.C. for the The Wall Street Journal CEO Conference, to which my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. He spoke of being spooked by China’s rapid economic expansion:

What was really scary was when Larry Summers said [that] when we look back [from] the end of this century, people are not going to talk about this recession. Their going to talk about the rise of China. And how in the last 100 years or so, the standard of living in America has doubled every 30 years. In China, it’s doubling in less 10 years, every ten years.

Murdoch also expressed his alarm at the fact that there’s a Chinese town out there whose population exceeds that of Spain. “[The Chinese] already have enormous economic power,” he concluded. “I’m not saying they’d use it to hurt people, but they would use it certainly to help themselves.”

After giving Fox Business the skinny on the Far East, he turned his attention to domestic matters, giving a run down on our recession and our tax policies. When asked if the American economy could turn around in a year, he replied, “No, no, no, no. We’re still in a very deep recession.” Well, how do we get out? “Company taxes have got to come down” for the U.S. to stay competitive, he said. He mentioned lowering personal taxes too, while implementing a general 10% sales tax. Ultimately, he thinks that:

Government’s got to take a smaller part in our lives. That’s really what the Tea Party’s about. They’re not extremists, they’re moderate centrists.

But, perhaps most importantly, Murdoch also talked about the strongest sector of the U.S. economy: the Avatar industry. He confirmed,

Yes, well, [Avatar 2] will take three years to make. That’s coming, and Avatar 3. We are making them together.

Finally, some good news. Watch the interviews for yourself in the Fox Business clips below. The first one covers China and Avatar, while the second focuses on our own economy.

Shufflr Gets $3M For Social Video Discovery

Bangalore-based Althea Systems is announcing a $3 million Series A funding from Intel Capital today. The startup recently launched its social video browser Shufflr this summer, and it has also built a video discovery platform dubbed ShuffleFeed that it plans to open to developers soon.

Shufflr is an Adobe Air-based desktop app that serves up personalized stream of videos on your PC. The company has also been developing applications for smart phones and connected devices, and Althea CEO Vinod Gopinath showed me a beta version of their Android app at NewTeeVee Live last week. Shufflr currently utilizes Air to target these platforms, but Gopinath told me that the company isn’t married to Air and that other platforms will be supported in the future as well.

Gopinath also said Shufflr will eventually be available as a web application. When asked about the viability of such a product in light of YouTube and others rolling out social interfaces like Leanback, he brought up an important point: Smaller publishers like the New York Times want to handle their video assets independently from YouTube, which is why they’re more likely to work with platforms like Shufflr than support third-party advertising with Google. It remains to be seen, however, whether users and device manufacturers will take that leap as well.

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Vid Biz: South Park Lawsuit, Netflix vs. Hulu, Cord Cutting Activism

Do Online Viewers Watch Less TV? New Poll’s Findings Might Surprise You; Nielsen thinks online viewers watch more linear TV, Evercore Partners calls NewTeeVee Live “the epicenter for cord cutting activism.” (The Hollywood Reporter)

Comcast’s Top Digital Exec Amy Banse to Open New Silicon Valley Equity Fund for Cable Giant and NBC; the president of Comcast Interactive Media is shifting into a job as head of a new Silicon Valley-based equity fund aimed at making digital investments for the television cable giant. (BoomTown)

‘South Park’ Sued for Stealing from YouTube; the producers of the animated hit, including Viacom and Comedy Central, are being sued for allegedly ripping off a copyrighted music video for the viral phenomenon What What (In the Butt). (THR, Esq.)

How to Sell on YouTube, Without Showing a Video; by making comments, companies can engage potential customers in conversation. (WSJ)

Netflix Unbound; Will burgeoning video force hasten Hulu’s demise? (Mediaweek)


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Surprise! Broadcasters Don’t Block Boxee Box — Yet

Glee? Check. CSI? Check. Grey’s Anatomy? Check. Owners of the Boxee Box, which started to ship late last week, can currently access a treasure trove of free TV content, thanks to the websites of the major broadcasters. ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC are preventing Google TV devices from accessing their online offerings, but none of them has put measures like this in place to block Boxee Box users.

We checked out a number of online TV offerings over the weekend, and it looks like the only site currently blocking the Boxee Box is Hulu.com. That site recognizes the device when accessed with the Boxee Box browser and tells its owners that Hulu is “working hard to bring (the) Hulu Plus subscription service to (the) Boxee Box.”

Boxee Box owners shouldn’t celebrate just yet: Broadcasters tend to have general policies against displaying their online content on connected TVs and Internet set-top boxes, and it’s just a matter of time until block is extended to the relatively new Boxee Box. In fact, even Boxee CEO Avner Ronen recently predicted that the networks will block Boxee. However, he also argued that they shouldn’t, and pleaded to instead monetize online video, regardless of the screen size. Here’s what Ronen told us last month:

“We think that it makes much more sense for the business model to be based on the content and not on the device or the screen size. If someone paid for a video (or is watching the video with ads) it should not matter which device (or) browser he is using.”

Check out my Boxee Box unboxing video below, and come back later this week for a full review of the device.

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