Very early impressions:
- Noticed the Hulu plus sponsored mode on the dashboard around 5:45 AM DST.
- Took me a few clicks and one failed Google search to find out how the hell to download the stupid dashboard app. Eventually found it by going to the only obvious place in the dashboard where such a thing would be.
- The dashboard app had an update, this was installed instantly and with no interruption.
- I already have Hulu Plus, logging-in was painless and did not involve going to hulu.com to authorize the device.
- Usage is consistent with the UI for things like Netflix and the Zune Marketplace. It took me less than a minute to get up to speed.
- Watched a Daily Show clip, looked fine even if the volume was a bit off. And yes, there are ads even if you pay for Plus, which is the same experience as using a browser or the Roku HD.
- Watched a trailer for Priest in HD. It looks perfect, which worried me since it is one of those movies with a trailer that is just TOO GOOD and makes you wonder if they simply crammed all of the good stuff into the trailer and the rest of the movie is going to suck.
- Checked out my queue, both of my shows still there are web-only, which really irritates me. Why the hell Archer and COPS haven't released rights for non-browser viewing? Hello? We are almost halfway through 2011!
And that's it. It took me maybe a minute to install the app, login was a non-issue and the UI is consistent with the way other video apps work in the console. The user experience is no worse than using the Roku HD. And don't forget that Hulu plus is free until next week since the launch was sponsored by Jack Link's Beef Jerky.