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8/1/2012
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Apple TV Gets Hulu Plus Streaming Video

Cord cutters celebrate the on-demand TV and movie service's arrival on Apple's set-top box.

Apple iPhone 5 Vs. Samsung Galaxy S III: What We Know
Apple iPhone 5 Vs. Samsung Galaxy S III: What We Know
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Cord cutters just got another reason to break out the scissors. Hulu Plus, which offers thousands of current and classic TV shows on demand, is now live on Apple TV.

"Keeping up with the latest episode of Family Guy, MasterChef, and New Girl on Hulu Plus just got a little easier. And my living room just got a whole lot happier," said Dallas Mahrt, a senior software developer at Hulu, in a blog post Tuesday. "Hulu Plus arrives on Apple TV today."

Current Hulu Plus subscribers can simply launch the service from their Apple TV home screen and enter their log-in and password to start watching. New users can create an account online with Hulu, and then login on their televisions. iTunes customers can also use their account details to sign up for Hulu Plus directly through Apple TV.

The service appears to be available only to Apple TV owners in the United States, at least for now. International users are reportedly being blocked when they attempt to launch programs on the service.

Hulu Plus charges users $7.99 per month. For that, it offers access to thousands of past and present television shows and other content. Hulu Plus subscribers "have access to back seasons and full runs of some of TV's greatest shows, including many that were not available online before, in HD whenever possible," said Mahrt.

[ Consumer tech is big business. See Google Glasses: Does This Make Sense? ]

Shows available include South Park, Law & Order SVU, and Parks & Recreation, as well as hundreds of movies--though many of those are of the straight-to-DVD variety. Apple launched Apple TV in 2007, and earlier this year introduced the latest version of the appliance, which can play HD content in resolutions of up to 1080p.

Apple TV and Hulu Plus are just two of a growing number of online entertainment services that are threatening traditional broadcast networks and cable TV providers--which have been slow to adopt new technology and have developed a reputation for poor customer service.

Google last week said it planned to introduce a pilot version of a service called Google Fiber next month in Kansas City, Mo. The service will offer download speeds hundreds of times faster than the fastest cable Internet service, and will offer content from Netflix, YouTube, and a number of movie and television studios.

Microsoft, meanwhile, offers numerous streaming options through its Xbox Live service.

Convergence Consulting Group estimates that between 2008 and 2011, 2.65 million U.S. residents ditched their cable subscriptions in favor of streaming services in a phenomenon known as cord cutting.

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