After announcing a virtual reality app that would be available this past fall, Hulu has at last delivered. Although the VR app has arrived in the Oculus store much later than expected, it offers a unique experience. Not only are users able to use it with the Samsung Gear VR to watch Hulu’s entire 2D library in immersive 360-degree environments, they can also watch the streamer’s nearly 30 360-degree films, including some Hulu exclusives.
The team claims the app’s delay was due to Hulu’s desire to deliver the quality the company envisioned and an experience people would continue to enjoy even after the novelty wears off. “We really wanted to build an experience that we believe in,” Hulu Head of Experience Ben Smith told Variety. In a post on its tech blog, Julian Eggebrecht, vice president of device platforms, highlighted some of the challenges, including the focus the team put on preserving video and sound quality in the virtual environments.
The VR app allows viewers to watch TV shows and movies from a virtual living room, movie theater, or even a beach. The environments are all interactive, with “Easter Eggs to discover and play around with,” according to Eggebrecht. Users can even adjust the ambiance to get the look and feel they desire. (Hulu VR and chill, anyone?)
Compared to its competitors, Hulu is now currently at the head of the pack. Amazon’s VR app is still in the works, and Netflix only offers an immersive environment for watching 2D content. Hulu, on the other hand, boasts dozens of exclusive and premium titles from the likes of Showtime Networks, The National Geographic Channel, Viacom, and more, with plans to increase that number over time. Best of all, VR app enthusiasts can watch the titles without a paid subscription.
You can find the app in the Oculus store using a Samsung device. The Hulu VR app is supported on Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus, meaning that it works with the headset and Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Note5, S6 edge+, S6, and S6 edge phones. We’ll see additional supported devices and platforms added in the future.