Earlier this year word swept the internet that the Criterion Collection was in the process of shifting its streaming product from Netflix Instant to Hulu+. The news was met with varying opinions. But regardless of what you think of it, it’s happening (happened?) and if you own an XBOX 360 and wanna see for yourself how it’s all gonna work, then now’s the time to do it, as the XBOX Live Service and Hulu+ are giving XBL Gold Members a week-long free trial of the service.
As you can see in the picture above (that’s my TV, y’all!), the channel is live and active and while they’re still far from having the promised 800-title Complete Criterion Library there are already several (understatement) movies to choose from and more being added all the time. At any rate, one of the biggest points of contention with fans was the ad-supported nature of Hulu+ and after a quick little spin around the service, I don’t see that being a problem, at least on the Criterion side of things. I pulled up Hausu and let it play while I was doing other things and, other than a roughly 3-second bump at the top of the movie (3, not 30), there was no commercial interruption or graphical shenanigans (in the form of a Hulu corner bug) at all. I also watched an episode of 30Rock and there were indeed a few spots sprinkled in, so take that for what it’s worth.
The rest of the service I felt was severely lacking in terms of choice, so what it will probably come down to is whether or not you want to pay the $8 per month for a Criterion Streaming Channel. And if that’s a question you’re not entirely sure how to answer at the moment, then take this week and decide. If nothing else you’ll have a free week of streaming Criterion movies in HD.