STREAMING SATURDAY: You call that an update, Hulu? Shame on you!

I’m taking over for Jake Buckler to let you all know that the folks at Hulu have listened! And yet, they still messed up. Frequent readers of this blog will know that one thing Buckler and I agree on is that Hulu really fouled up its user interface update. What was once a boring but useful experience is now a mishmosh of gigantic letters and impossible-to-find content.

Instantly, it became functionally impossible to find anything. Moving from screen to screen took multiple swipes and button presses, and half the time you couldn’t even know what menu you were on. When you did get a bunch of icons on the screen, only the highlighted one was full-color… the rest were faded back. In short, if you hadn’t already found something on Hulu when the upgrade happened, you weren’t likely to find it, ever.

Last week Hulu rolled out a “fix” for its much-hated new experience. Really?

They did fix the issue where grids of icons were dimmed out. That helps, a little. But really the biggest change was the change from ALL UPPER CASE to Upper and Lower Case for most items. Like that was really the problem with the whole thing.

They didn’t change the fact that it can take up to 6 presses of the MENU button on AppleTV to get back to the home screen.

They didn’t change the browse experience, which seems to display only about 36 results to every category when I know Hulu has more.

They didn’t change the predictive search which is the slowest of all (luckily on AppleTV and other boxes you can do a global search which includes Hulu.)

So basically Hulu continues to be useless unless you actually go outside the app (for example to Apple’s TV app) to find and browse for the things you want. It also should be noted that Hulu doesn’t include CBS, so if you want that one network you have to pay as much as the entire Hulu service combined.

Look, say what you will but I’ve been consistent in complaining about Hulu. I thought it was a great idea at launch but as recently as last year I reminded you that I famously said I’d never pay for the service, that it wasn’t worth the money. I ended up eating those words.

I use Hulu to catch up on old shows that I’ve never DVR’d, but it’s really not worth the money these days. Certainly not if they keep hiding content. I sure hope they get their act together soon.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.