Hulu Plus ushers in subscriptions and more access

After months of speculation, Hulu has launched a subscription service. The new service called Hulu Plus will not replace the free version of Hulu that we have all come to enjoy, but instead will offer more ways to watch your favorite TV shows and in some cases provide more shows to watch.

Hulu Plus, which launched today for a limited number of users, is a premium -- but still ad-supported -- version of Hulu that is $9.99 a month. For this subscription fee Hulu Plus users will be able to watch entire seasons of shows, unlike the limited number of episodes shown on the free Hulu service.

In addition to these new shows, Hulu will also be easy to get onto your TV. Whereas you needed to hook up a computer, or a service like PlayOn, to get Hulu going on your big screen, the Hulu Plus service will work with Samsung Blu-Ray players initially and later provide support for Blu-Ray players and HDTVs from Vizio and Sony this Fall. Additionally, the PS3 will get Hulu Plus support in July and the Xbox 360 in early 2011. The content will be streamed in 720P HD.

If you can't wait for the Xbox 360 support, a PlayOn spokesperson confirmed in an email to WalletPop that anything that can be played on Hulu will be viewable on PlayOn; adding that the company would be launching, "additions that will compete with Hulu Plus coming mid-to-late July." Earlier this month we looked at how to cut your cable bill with PlayOn.

Hulu Plus will also be available on-the-go as an app on the iPhone over 3G and WiFi, on the iPad and on the iPod Touch all included in the subscription cost. You will be able to start a show on one device and pick it up later on another at the same spot, much like your Kindle books currently do.

The Hulu plus service is currently invite only. You can request an invite from Hulu and if you follow Hulu on Twitter or "Like" Hulu on Facebook, you'll get faster access.

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