Hulu Sneaks a Peek at OTT TV Service

Hulu is starting to shed more light on the look of an OTT TV service that’s expected to launch sometime in the first quarter.

In addition to screenshots and a short video that offers a brief glimpse of the new offering in action, Hulu has also been demoing the service at this week’s CES confab in Las Vegas.  Take a look:

Those additional images followed an update from Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins, who spoke Wednesday at the Citi Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas.

He said Hulu, which just secured a deal with CBS and is in talks to add programming from Hulu part-owner NBCUniversal, will launch a slimmed down pay TV service that will cost less than $40 per month, and tie in Hulu’s $8 per month SVOD service (the version with limited ads) and a cloud DVR offering.

Hulu’s new service will compete with traditional MVPD offerings, as well as other virtual MVPD services such as Sling TV, Sony’s Playstation Vue and AT&T’s recently launched DirecTV Now, which is set to drop the $35 per month promotional on its 100-plus channel “Go Big” tier after January 9. YouTube is also working on an OTT-TV service called YouTube Unplugged.

As for the glimpse being shown at CES, Business Insider called it a “very controlled demo” that still left many details about the coming service  unanswered, including the size of its VOD library and how much storage will be supported by the cloud DVR.

But early images show that Hulu’s offering will allow subs to personalize the experience and make recommendations based in individual tastes. Reports also indicate that the interface will focus on the service’s blend of live TV and on-demand fare, and that Hulu is moving to utilize the metadata technology that Hulu got via its acquisition of the Video Genome Project last year.

Gizmodo reported that the new service will launch with support for several platforms, including iOS, Android, Apple TV (fourth generation), Xbox consoles and Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter, and follow with Roku and others.