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Full-length episodes of "The Simpsons" can be viewed on Hulu  (Source: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)
NBC-Universal and Fox's joint venture video site launches today

Online video streaming site Hulu.com officially opened its virtual doors today. A joint venture between NBC-Universal and Fox, Hulu has $100 million in venture capital funding under its belt and partnerships with over 40 content providers.

Hulu features a slick, clean interface that is direct and to-the-point. The website isn’t cluttered with many advertisements and its (so far) easy to find movies or TV shows. Load times for videos are also speedy and quality is impressive.  

As can be expected, content is the key factor that will determine Hulu’s success, and the site has plenty of it. According to Hulu, the company has created partnerships with numerous big names including Sony, Warner Brothers, NBC Universal, Fox and MGM.

Hulu allows users to stream full-length TV shows such as The Simpsons or The Office, along with full-length movies such as X2: X-Men United or The 40-Year-Old Virgin. In total, Hulu says it offers over 100 feature-length films for free. Although the movie catalog might not be as large as a Blockbuster’s, it’s free and a decent start.  

To add to its appeal, Hulu also gives the option to search for content that isn’t directly hosted on the service. For example, Hulu currently doesn’t have a partnership to stream CW’s hit TV show Smallville. However, searching for the show via the site’s search function yields links to the CWTV Smallville website, which features full-length Smallville episodes.

At the moment Hulu doesn't permit users to download videos to their hard drives.

Advertisements on Hulu aren’t very intrusive. In-video ads feature a short pre-rolled advertisement and a limited amount of interrupting commercials. In DailyTech’s testing of the service, most advertisements didn’t exceed the length of 15 seconds, and also didn't occur very often. In addition, small pop-up flash advertisements are also occasionally displayed in shorter video clips.  

Prior to its launch, Hulu spent 18 months in private beta testing. The service cost over $15 million to develop.





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