Hulu seems to be making noises that it could be nearing the
end of its beta period on its Hulu Plus service. The company has announced
another pair of set-top boxes that will begin carrying the service soon.
Tivo has signed on with the company to bring Hulu Plus to
its Premiere DVRs in the coming months, and all Roku streaming media players
will begin carrying it this fall.
That could put a fair bit of pressure on Apple TV. Roku has
been aggressively pricing its box recently, with devices starting at $59 for a
device that supports both Netflix and Hulu Plus streaming, along with several
Hulu Plus previously announced streaming deals with the
forthcoming Boxee Box and the PlayStation 3. Sharp Internet-enabled TVs also
carry the service and the Xbox 360 plans to begin carrying it next year.
It’s not enough to make cable companies truly nervous just
yet – but it’s certainly another thing for them to watch as the threat of low-cost
streaming programming continues to grow and threaten their customer base.