The Roku streaming media set-top box appears to be close to offering Hulu Plus support, which would mean unlimited streaming TV shows from ABC, NBC, and FOX for $10 per month.
One person claims to have confirmed “with two of Hulu’s content partners that Roku owners will soon be able to get Hulu content,” while NewTeeVee claims to have stumbled upon a Hulu-specific page on Roku’s website.
That page has since been removed, but apparently had the title “Roku Netflix Player | Watch HULU Movies and TV Shows Instantly on your TV” while the underlying code of the page contained the following snippet of text:
“Instantly watch Hulu+ instant movies and TV shows on the Roku player directly to any TV. No extra cost to your Hulu+ fees. Hulu+ ready devices are easy to set up.”
Roku sells three different versions of its set-top box, ranging in price between $60 and $100 depending on optional features such as 1080p playback, extended-range wireless connections, and video outputs. There’s an impressive amount of available content, too, from the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and MLB.tv. Getting Hulu Plus access would be icing on the cake.
You’ll recall that Hulu Plus was announced in late June and offers full seasons of shows from ABC, NBC, and FOX in streaming form for $10 per month. Aside from playback on computers, the service has been rolling out support for several hardware devices—PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iPad, etc.—so the idea that it’d be available on the Roku box isn’t too far-fetched at all.
It could spell trouble for the upcoming Apple TV device, which at launch features streaming TV content from only ABC and FOX. Each streaming episode purchased through Apple TV will cost 99 cents and will be rental-only. This Hulu Plus deal on the Roku box would be unlimited streaming of any available ABC, NBC, and FOX episodes for a flat $10 per month. The main downside of the Hulu Plus service is that, despite paying the monthly fee, Hulu still inserts short advertisements within the episodes.
UPDATE: Roku has officially announced that Hulu Plus access will be available “later this fall.” Full press release after the jump.