Hulu Plus On Apple TV: A Test Drive

Some things just don’t go together. Cookies and mustard, for instance. Minivans and coolness, for another. Add Apple TV and Hulu Plus to the list as well.

Earlier this week, Hulu announced its subscription service Hulu Plus was now available on the Apple TV. At first blush, this sounds like a smart partnership that acknowledges the need to pair up with competitors at times. The service is supposed to be easy to use too, Hulu said on its blog. “Existing subscribers can now find ‘Hulu Plus’ on the Apple TV home screen and enter their Hulu Plus username and password to start watching Hulu Plus shows instantly,” Hulu said. 

I decided to try the combo. I’m not a Hulu Plus subscriber, so my first step was to sign up for the service. But I couldn’t find the Hulu Plus icon on my Apple TV so I went online to sign up. That was easy enough with a few clicks on Hulu’s site. Then I turned on iTunes on my laptop (which is synced to the Apple TV), but there wasn’t an icon I could easily find for Hulu Plus in the application online to make sure the two were talking. I attempted to track down Hulu Plus on the TV set itself, turning the Apple TV back on.

Alas, the Hulu Plus icon was nowhere to be found on Apple TV either. I hunted through various screens of top shows, top movies, the iTunes store and search options to no avail. I even restarted the Apple TV several times, as well as downloaded the latest updates and verified all my settings. I did the same for iTunes on my computer. I still could not find a way into the service. Yes, I have an older Apple TV, but Hulu PR assured me that Hulu Plus should work with any Apple TV.

I then watched the tutorial video from Hulu. Supposedly, the Hulu Plus icon should simply appear as a link in the Apple TV main menu when you turn on the Apple TV.

If only it were that easy.

Maybe I did something wrong and everyone will tell me the step I missed. Or maybe it’s not a surprise that Hulu Plus is hard to find on Apple TV. After all, they’re competitors.

But just in case it was me, I decided to go for broke. I went back to the Apple TV and hit the factory restore option. I set up the Apple TV again from the ground floor. But it was deja vu all over again -- same problems, same challenges, same lack of Hulu Plus.

I went online and cancelled my Hulu Plus subscription and wrote this article instead. If you have better luck, let me know!

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3 comments about "Hulu Plus On Apple TV: A Test Drive".
  1. Steven Graff from Bloofusion Inc. , August 2, 2012 at 4:09 p.m.
    I will refrain from being snarky but you are right, there are going to be a larger number of AppleTV users chiming in here. The press release is correct, it should just show up on your AppleTV's main screen provided you are using the latest version of the AppleTV software, but some users have reported they have had to restart the AppleTV for it to show up. If you have turned "automatic updates off, you are not going to see Hulu Plus until you upgrade your software. Go to the settings menu and locate the upgrade option. Keep in mind that if you AppleTV is using the old menu system (rather than the current tile menu system) upgrading, in addition to getting you Hulu Plus, will give you a very iPhone/iPad like interface. INMO Hulu Plus on the AppleTV is a better experience than Hulu Plus on TiVo and much more like mustard and pretzels than mustard and cookies. :)
  2. Peter Garrity from garrity productions , August 2, 2012 at 4:15 p.m.
    The Hulu icon showed right up on my Apple TV. Signed in right on my TV screen and was watching Cobert via Hulu within 2 minutes.
  3. Jonathan McEwan from MediaPost , August 3, 2012 at 1:23 p.m.
    The first thing that crossed my mind when I read about the Hulu Plus offering was - There must be a new update to my Apple TV software... Nothing magically happens anywhere. Update your software and voila. Hulu Plus. And it works just fine.