The Future of TV: Hulu Comes to the Desktop

A new "lean back viewing experience" for Windows and Mac frees Hulu from the confines of your Web browser

Hulu has been deemed the way forward for television on the Web since it started serving on-demand episodes on a little over a year ago. But now, a new desktop app brings us all closer to the what-we-want (and only what-we-want), when-we-want-it future of Internet TV.

It helps a lot that the free Hulu Desktop app is beautifully designed in every way. It’s intended to be operated with a remote (either the little white Apple Remote or any Windows Media Center compatible one), and the interface is perfectly intuitive–browsing shows, scrubbing through an episode with a nifty pop-up still, seeing recommendations and even rating and queuing shows to your own Hulu account are all possible with a few button presses.

The video quality is superb (although you’ll need a relatively fast, dual-core processor to run to it), and advertisements are handled just as they are on, but with a nice added counter in the upper left telling you how much longer until your show resumes.

It’s not quite the pay-for-only-the-20-channels-I-actually-watch cable plan that I’ve always wanted, but if you’ve got a computer in the living room hooked up to your TV or a nice widescreen monitor in the bedroom, your on-demend TV and movie options just got a lot more fun.