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Hulu Plus Joins Chromecast Lineup

Boots Up Apps for Android Devices and iPads; iPhone-Optimized Version ‘Coming Soon’ 10/02/2013 7:11 AM Eastern

The Google Chromecast added an important piece to its video streaming puzzle Wednesday with word that the hot-selling dongle has added an app for Hulu Plus.

Hulu Plus is kicking off its Chromecast integration with an Android app for phones and tablets and a version for the Apple iPad. An app optimized for the iPhone is “coming soon.” Hulu confirmed this summer that it was “actively working" with Google to develop an app for the Chromecast.  

The integration will enable Hulu Plus subscribers to use their mobile device to fling video to the TV over the home Wi-Fi network. The “core” of the integration is a custom remote control that enables basic trick-play functions (play, pause), along with a ten-second rewind of the Hulu video player, Karan Nischol, Hulu’s senior product manager, explained in a blog post announcing the integration with the Google device.

“Our teams in Santa Monica and Beijing, working closely with Google, have developed the Hulu Plus app for Chromecast to be a seamless experience that offers a new and exciting way to engage with the shows you love most,” Nischol wrote.

Hulu announced it had surpassed 4 million paying subs in the first quarter of 2013.

The $35 HDMI-connected Chromecast device launched in late July with integration with YouTube, Netflix, Google Play and the Chrome browser, with the promise of future apps and integrations with other video streaming services. Roku, which now considers Google its biggest threat, currently supports more than 1,000 channels/apps.

HBO is also exploring a way to bring HBO Go to the Google device, but hasn’t announced an anticipated launch date for an app. Time Warner Cable is also taking a look at Chromecast and how it might fit into the future development of the TWC TV app, which delivers both live- and on demand video to several IP-connected platforms, including iOS, Android, Web browsers, the Xbox 360 and newer Samsung Smart TVs.

MediaMall Technologies, meanwhile, is working on PlayCast, a lightweight version of its PlayOn PC-to-TV media server software, that will enable the Chromecast to work with dozens of streaming video services, including HBO Go and Aereo. That product is expected to become available later this year.