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One of the best sites for catching up with your favorite TV series whenever you want is moving beyond computers to TV sets and Blu-ray Disc players. If you already own certain 2010 models from Samsung, you may be able to download an upgrade enabling free Hulu sample content and an invitation to subscribe to the new Hulu Plus service. If you're shopping for a set, BD player or theater system, Internet-connected Samsung models just became more fetching.
Those who use the free Hulu service tend to be fans of shows (broadcast mainly by ABC, Fox and NBC) that their DVR missed. Some users have consciously avoided set ownership altogether and use their computer and broadband connection to cherry-pick programs their TV-owning friends or bloggers recommend. Until now, Hulu has been supported exclusively by commercials inserted in the stream. Though you couldn't fast-forward or skip over the ads as you could with a DVR, the commercial breaks were shorter. Also, series episodes tended to be limited to the three or four that were broadcast during the past month, and if you wanted to watch the most recent episode freshly broadcast, you might have to wait a week before Hulu had it.
Hulu will continue as a free service, but on June 29 Hulu announced Hulu Plus. You'll still have to watch commercials (or leave the room), but for $9.99 a month you'll be able to access a lot more content. That means the full current season for shows like Glee (above), The Office, 30 Rock, Grey's Anatomy, Saturday Night Live, Parks & Recreation, House and Family Guy. Hulu Plus subscribers will also have access to previous seasons of Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives and every season of such classic series as The X-Files, Arrested Development, Law & Order: SVU, Ally McBeal, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Roswell.
Hulu Plus isn't just for your PC or Mac. Hulu Plus subscribers who own select Samsung Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray Disc players like the BD-C6500 (right) will be able to download a Hulu Plus application from the Samsung app store and start streaming Hulu Plus directly. Hulu Plus subscribers using a Samsung Blu-ray player or TV will be able to stream all native high-definition content in 720p.
B&H offers a large variety of Samsung TVs with Ethernet connections capable of streaming Hulu. According to Samsung, Hulu Plus will work on the majority of 2010 Samsung TVs that are 40 inches and larger. For example, the Samsung UN55C8000 (left) is a 55-inch 1080p 3D LED-LCD TV. Its Samsung-Apps feature has already provided access to Netflix, Pandora, Twitter, USA Today, Vudu and Associated Press content. The operative phrase is "many more to come," and now that includes Hulu. The same remote that controls the TV enables you to choose and control the program streaming into your living room from Hulu's remote server.
Some Internet-linked home theater systems, which include a Blu-ray Disc player and speaker system, will also be Hulu Plus compatible. Later in the year you won't have to download the Hulu app to 2010 models, since it will be embedded in the firmware of products when they ship.
Is this entertainment option appealing to you? Would you purchase a Samsung television for this new streaming feature? Let us know your thoughts or opinions in the Comments section below.