Hulu gives its living room UI a facelift

Hulu Plus living room

Developers and designers at Hulu have revamped the user interface for Hulu Plus subscribers, rolling out the update today to users watching the streaming service on Samsung smart TVs, select Blu-ray players and Roku boxes, with the Nintendo Wii soon to follow.

This cosmetic change comes after last fall’s launch of the living room UI, and the main aim here appears to be a melding of design and functionality, presenting “more vivid” artwork and navigation that points you straight to the shows you like to watch. This “tray-style format” lays out recommendations, popular shows and movies, top 100 clips and movie trailers for you to scroll through. “Shows You Watch” works as a sort of a shortcut to your favorite shows by letting you jump right into the latest episodes of the ones you view most.

Search has been improved so that results appear automatically right below the query. Playback controls have been simplified — up or down to display the playback menu, or left or right for rewind and fast-forward. Hulu Kids has been added to the UI with access to commercial-free children’s content. New users can also sign up for a Hulu Plus account directly from within the app.

More details can be found on Hulu’s official blog regarding the UI facelift. There was no mention of when the new look might come to other set top boxes like Apple TV and other video game consoles.

Hulu doubled its subscriber base to four million from a year ago by the end of the first quarter, signaling that it was becoming a popular alternative to cable. It has also been frequently mentioned in the rumor mill regarding a possible takeover, the most recent of which was Yahoo reportedly readying a bid to scoop up the service.