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Hulu Freshens Up Living Room Look

Hulu’s future appears to be up in the air as acquisition rumors continue to heat up, but the company's software engineers remain squarely focused on the here and now as Hulu rolls out a new “Living Room” platform for its subscription-based TV streaming service. 6/03/2013 07:45:00 AM Eastern

Hulu’s future appears to be up in the air as acquisition rumors continue to heat up, but the company's software engineers remain squarely focused on the here and now as Hulu rolls out a new “Living Room” platform for its subscription-based TV streaming service.

The new interface, which features larger “more vivid” artwork and improved navigation, is being rolled out today to “millions” of Samsung smart TVs and select Blu-ray players and Roku boxes, Dave Herman, Hulu’s senior product manager, living room, announced on the company’s blog. A similar revision for the Wii console will be “coming soon,” he wrote.

The update follows last fall’s initial launch of the Hulu Plus living room UI.

The upgrade for couch potatoes also includes an new search function that lists results directly beneath the search window, a simplified playback feature, and access to the Hulu Kids section. A new tray-style format lets users scroll through recommendations, popular shows and movies, the top 100 clips, as well as movie trailers and a personalized “Shows You Watch” element that automatically pulls up the latest episode of regularly watched TV series.

Hulu Plus ended the first quarter with more than 4 million subscribers. Hulu’s been the topic of acquisition rumors, with recent reports identifying Yahoo, former News Corp. president Peter Chernin, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, and Guggenheim Digital Media among the interested suitors.

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