Finally, Hulu Officially Comes to Apple TV

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Cable cutters rejoice! Hulu has finally come to the Apple TV. Yesterday, Cupertino very quietly put out the update, which brings Hulu+ to Apple fans. Officially, that is.

Keeping up with the latest episodes … on Hulu Plus just got a little easier. And my living room just got a whole lot happier.  Hulu Plus arrives on Apple TV today. – Hulu Blog

Savvy Apple TV owners who have jail broken their Apple TV have been able to watch Hulu for awhile.  But they’ve also had the hassle of having to restore their AppleTV every time there’s an update that blocks it, and then wait until another jailbreak has been figured out. So it looks like Apple has just gotten tired of the cat and mouse and decided to finally give everyone what they want, and they’ll enjoy a piece of the pie every month they do.

However, apparently, some outside the US are complaining that even if they have a US subscription, Hulu+ wont’ work outside the States.

The Geo Restriction is very much in place, much like it is with other services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer and contrary to what you read, I have done first-hand tests that it does not work- at least not in the UAE.  About the only things that do work on the Hulu Plus App on Apple TV are movie trailers- but I doubt anyone would want to pay eight bucks per month for that when you can watch them for free. – TBreak Technology Blog

That’s unfortunate.  I hate that geo restriction silliness.  But it’s usually due to licensing agreements with broadcasters in those countries.  It’s like not being able to watch Doctor Who or Sherlock when it’s on the BBC because of US agreements through BBC America and PBS respectively that make us wait an additional six months!   #FAIL!

But being in the states, I’m pretty thrilled that Hulu is finally on my AppleTV because I was looking to have to add yet another streaming box just to be able to do it.  I still want a Roku Box to play with it, but having Hulu on my Apple TV means I don’t have to, and probably won’t until the Roku stick comes out.

So why did Apple relent an let Hulu on board?  It may have been Hulu that pushed for the marriage.  With the advent of an Apple iTV on the horizon (maybe in 2013, but some speculate we may see it in the fall), it became important to establish a beachhead for those looking to cut the cable.  But also, OS X Mountain Lion offers Airplay Mirroring from desktops or laptops now, which may have prompted Hulu to worry about losing potential customers that would find other options streaming online.   I’m betting on the former as having some real estate on the AppleTV API will certainly position Hulu to get market share from those eager to get Apple’s upcoming smart HDTV.  And even though Apple takes a cut of that monthly $7.99 subscription fee, it’s money well spent.

So what do you need to do to activate your Hulu+ subscription on the Apple TV?  First, run the update.  When you turn on the Apple TV, you’ll have a message saying a firmware update is available.  So let it run and don’t unplug it while it’s updating or you may have a paperweight on your hands.  Once done, you can find the Hulu icon in the second row.  Open it and if you already have a Hulu+ account, you can link it by following the prompts and logging in.

New account holders can take advantage of a 7 day try, before you buy, trial. And you can buy it with Apple’s in-app purchasing feature with your iTunes account, which is really convenient.  Although you may have to go into iTunes on a computer to verify your credit card information (guess we’re not in that post PC era after all).  Once you’ve signed up for Hulu Plus through Apple TV (you can also sign up directly through Hulu), you will be emailed instructions on how to complete your registration so you can use Hulu Plus on all other supported devices.  If after 7 days you’re not jonsin’ on Hulu’s quest for galactic entertainment domination, then you can cancel.  If not, you’ll be charged just $7.99 a month (way better than HBO, IMHO).

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.


  1. Joshua Earles-Bennett says:

    Hopefully this means Hulu on Google TV.