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.
Roku Announces Content Partnership with Hulu
Hulu Plus Coming this Fall on All Roku Streaming Players
Saratoga, Calif. (September 28, 2010) Roku, Inc., maker of the best-selling and award-winning Roku streaming player, and Hulu™, the leading online TV service, today announced a partnership to offer the Hulu Plus™ service on all Roku players. The Hulu Plus channel will be available via subscription to all Roku customers later this fall.
Hulu Plus offers one of the deepest offerings of TV shows, both current and classic, on a streaming platform to subscribers in the U.S. Through Hulu Plus on Roku, TV lovers can watch every episode of more than 45 current hit programs from ABC, FOX and NBC like Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, Glee, Family Guy, The Office and 30 Rock. In addition, TV lovers will be able to enjoy full series runs and numerous back seasons of dozens of classic shows like The X-Files, Law and Order: SVU, Arrested Development, Saturday Night Live, Miami Vice, Ugly Betty, Quantum Leap, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Roswell and Ally McBeal. The Hulu Plus channel will be available via subscription to all Roku customers later this fall.
“We are excited to bring Hulu Plus to all Roku users,” said Pete Distad, VP of Content Distribution for Hulu. “With Hulu Plus on Roku, TV fans will have an easy way to stream to their TVs the shows they love, whenever they want.”
Roku pioneered the streaming player category in 2008, and recently launched its new line of HD streaming players starting at $59.99, featuring the largest collection of streaming entertainment available for the TV, and the lowest prices in the industry.
“We’re thrilled to be able to provide Hulu Plus subscribers with the most inexpensive device to stream Hulu content to their TVs,” said Anthony Wood, founder and CEO of Roku, Inc. “Hulu continues to be an amazing innovator in online entertainment, and Roku is an ideal platform to bring their content back to the living room and high definition televisions where it is best viewed.”
The Roku HD streaming player ($59.99) delivers video in high-definition and features built-in wireless and Ethernet for easy broadband connectivity anywhere in the home. The new Roku XD ($79.99) and XDS ($99.99) models add 1080p HD support (delivered over HDMI) and extended-range Wireless-N. In addition, the XDS model features dual-band Wireless-N technology and USB playback.
In partnering with Roku, Hulu joins major entertainment partners including Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Amazon Video On Demand (NASDAQ: AMZN), Pandora, MLB.TV, and Ultimate Fighting Championship®.
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