So many Hulu Plus users were bombarded by news that Showtime's on demand streaming service was coming out of the internet closet and all of us Hulu subscribers would have a chance at a free month long trial.
Yay right? Lots of new content, movies, and Showtime original series. So what could be bad?
Well there are several bugs with this Premium Add-on as it is being touted. The biggest problem, in my opinion seems to be the fact that there is no option to maintain what show you are watching. Unlike normal Hulu and other streaming services, this one seems to think that after watching just one episode of a show that you want to switch to something else. After several hours of watching one show, having to stop and back up to switch back to that show, only to have to do it again, this is getting annoying.
Another persistent problem seems to be Flash Player related. While I didn't encounter this issue with normal Hulu playback, while trying to stream in full screen the annoying "Press ESC to exit fulls creen" overlay doesn't fade away. The only way to get rid of it is to recycle the page.
Then of course there is the bigger issue of constant playback errors. In the short time I've been using the service I've encountered a rather annoying repeating issue where the playback will suddenly be arrested and an Error message will cross the screen demanding a reload of the page. (It literally just happened again as I was typing this article, the error reads "Sorry, an error has occured while streaming this video we apologize for any inconvenience." and it is partially obscured by the ever annoying "Press Esc to exit full screen mode" message that still hasn't faded away.)
Of course the add-on isn't compatible with either the PS3 nor the PS4, and isn't compatible with older Roku boxes.
These issues aside the service has potential. The ability to watch Showtime Live is also a plus and will certainly put shock-value on the service and will appeal to the cord cutters out there.
If HBO Go could offer that level of access to content it might be worth it to pay for their service.
Time will only tell if the Showtime add-on will be worth the extra eight bucks a month. Sadly, if the new trend for Hulu is to add premium content as add-ons at eight bucks a month for each, soon we might see Hulu turn way of the cable companies. I have no interest to cut the cord with one company only to be saddled with the same sort of burden with another company, lots of content that is junk and having to pay a hefty fees to access the content you want.
For now the trial continues.