Hulu Desktop App Enhances Full-Screen Viewing for Mac Users

NBC’s digital platform, Hulu, recently introduced a desktop application for Mac users, enabling them to enjoy Hulu’s offerings directly from their desktops with complete compatibility with the Apple Remote. This development is quite unexpected, especially considering the previous conflict with boxee.

For context, Hulu has been in a tug-of-war with boxee, a media center application that enhances the experience of watching online content on larger screens. The most recent update to boxee significantly altered how it accesses Hulu’s content, complicating Hulu’s efforts to restrict its usage.

Hulu argues that its content is intended for browser-based viewing, not for a living room environment. However, the slogan for Hulu Desktop, “Lean-back viewing for your PC,” suggests a different narrative, particularly with its enhanced remote compatibility. It seems Hulu may be underestimating the appeal of their application for users connecting their computers to TVs.

From my initial tests, the application performs splendidly.

It’s fantastic, and I’m eager to see if it can be adapted for use on Apple TV.

The user interface of Hulu Desktop is intuitive and responsive. Initially, it doesn’t occupy the entire screen on a 22″ monitor, but hitting ‚åò-F enables full-screen mode. The application window is quite large by default, which might automatically provide a full-screen experience on smaller displays.

The Apple remote integration is seamless, although I did encounter issues with my screensaver activating during playback, unlike with FrontRow. Also, the application did crash during my testing, but that’s not unexpected.

Finding and switching between programs is straightforward and quick, much like the original Hulu on boxee. Fast-forwarding is smooth, a significant improvement over previous experiences with Hulu’s playback on other platforms.

By default, playback quality is set to high, and it looks superior to browser-based viewing.

The Quality

The visual quality is impressive. While watching “Glee,” the clarity wasn’t quite on par with HD from iTunes, but it was very good. Older shows like “NewsRadio” and children’s programming like “Sesame Street” looked excellent with no noticeable lag. This is a notable improvement over using Hulu on boxee for Mac.

The Convenience

Hulu Desktop enhances the ease of discovering new shows and networks added to Hulu, offering a more user-friendly interface than navigating the website. Even as a frequent Hulu user, I found content I was previously unaware of.

If you have a Hulu account, you can manage your queue, subscribe or unsubscribe from shows, and rate content directly within the app.

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Mary is a dedicated writer for TUAW, your go-to source for all things Apple. With a deep love for technology, Mary brings insightful and engaging content to the blog. She has a knack for breaking down the latest updates on the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, making them accessible to all readers. Mary’s expertise and enthusiasm for Apple products shine through in every article, helping readers stay informed and excited about the tech world.