Hulu to Start Requiring Pay TV Subscriptions?

Could your days of using Hulu as an alternative to shelling out for cable be nearing an end? According to a new report, the streaming service is considering requiring viewers to log in with their cable or satellite account number — thus proving that they have a pay TV subscription — in order to access content. If Hulu goes ahead with the plan, it’d mean a massive change for its business model. But there’s reason to be optimistic that Hulu won’t be moving toward authentication, as it’s called, anytime soon. More after the jump.

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Watching movies on your computer has long been a convenient option that comes at the cost of quality. But as Hulu’s video player gets a size upgrade and iTunes launches 1080p videos, digital media is looking better and better. After the jump:

  • Hulu unveils a shinier, cleaner new UI
  • Cablevision subscribers can now sign up for HBO Go and Max Go
  • Discovery Communications brings 3,000 more titles to Amazon
  • The difference between 1080p and Blu-ray may be smaller than you think

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As Netflix makes its first foray into original programming with Lilyhammer, competitor Hulu has entered the fray as well, with workplace mockumentary Battleground. Directed by actor J.D. Walsh (Two and a Half Men) and produced by Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man) and Hagai Shaham (The Details), Battleground centers around a lively group of campaign workers in Wisconsin who labor to get their third-place candidate into the Senate. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a time to get everyone together and remember just how crazy and messed-up your family can be. But if you’re a Hulu Plus subscriber, you can spend this holiday ignoring your wacky relatives and hanging out with someone else’s instead. Sort of.

The streaming service has just acquired the rights to 11 sitcoms from Casey Werner TV Distribution including The Cosby Show, should you want to see what a warm, loving family is supposed to look like, and 3rd Rock From the Sun, should you want reassurance that no matter how bizarre your clan gets, they could be worse. More details after the jump.

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Things are heating up in the streaming video space. All the major companies with a stake in digital content streaming are trying to find new revenue streams, and new ways to compete for audiences as Netflix voraciously increases the amount of content it offers, especially with respect to television series.

Three of the major streaming players — Netflix, Hulu and YouTube — have made new deals to provide content to users, and a fourth company, Redbox, is raising prices after testing an increase in limited markets, but is also planning to launch a streaming service by the end of the year. Read More »

When streaming content gets better and more abundant every single day, it’s pretty obvious we’re living in the streaming renaissance. What might have began with YouTube and Netflix is continually expanding, minute by minute, leading one Hollywood CEO to say that online distribution monopolies are a greater threat to the movie industry than piracy.

In other news, XBox Live will soon get a large quantity of streaming channels this holiday season and Hulu has just signed a deal to broadcast content from Univision, the popular Spanish language station. There’s more on all of these stories after the jump. Read More »

In today’s extra-cinematic edition of TV Bits, a film franchise gets adapted into television series, a classic show turns into a movie, and a certain brilliant-but-cancelled television series that’s been trying to get a big-screen sequel off the ground looks increasingly likely to make a temporary return to the small-screen. After the jump, read about:

  • Hulu and IFC’s interest in new episodes of Arrested Development
  • The big-screen adaptation of the classic talking horse series Mr. Ed
  • The development of a series based on film franchise Universal Soldier

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Morgan Spurlock has never been one to take a break. You’d think after releasing the awesome Pom Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (now available in your home) he might take some time off. But no. He’s got Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope premiering at Toronto later this month, the TV show 50 Documentaries To See Before You Die on Current TV as well as the Hulu sponsored A Day in the Life where he spends a day with famous people giving us a glimpse into their lives. You might have heard about this one when he was shooting with Mr. Brainwash but now, after the jump, you can watch the first three episodes of the show which follow billionaire Richard Branson, musician Will.i.am and comedian Russell Peters. Read More »

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