In the ’80s, there were chairs in my local airport that had little TV sets attached to them. For a 50 cents per half hour, bored passengers could catch up on soap operas with crappy resolution and enjoy the luxury of personalized TV away from home. Nowadays (God, I feel old), we can tune in to a favorite episode of Lost (or Shark Tank, or Law and Order: SVU) from our mobile phones any ol’ place we choose. And it’s getting better. Hulu, the popular streaming-video TV site responsible for countless hours of zoned-out fun, announced an upgrade to their subscription service. Called Hulu Plus, the service will provide more programming than the free version of Hulu.
Hulu Plus is only $10 a month (er, $9.99), and will give viewers access to full seasons of popular network shows (rather than the limited selection now available). It won’t likely replace your regular cable service — unless you’re willing to kiss news and sports and telenovelas goodbye, heaven forbid. It would, however, make a nifty boob tube supplement for your mobile devices, turning an iPad into a primetime treasure trove.
There is one glitch critics can’t seem to get past: Hulu Plus still streams advertisements in its programming. Because a 15-30-second interruption of Glee or The Office is too unbearable, lots of would-be customers might just hold off shelling out their ten bones. Plus, you’d have to be pretty dedicated to a fair share of shows to need them on your person at all times.
That said, it sure does make for a sophisticated time-killer in an airport setting.
Photo courtesy of Dhammza via Flickr.
Caroline Walker is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer and editor. She has worked in both the entertainment and the nonprofit sector. Walker holds a BA from the University of Southern California and an MA from New York University’s Gallatin School.