If you’re a Cablevision subscriber, you can fire up your set-top box and choose Hulu from amongst the channel offerings as if it, too, were an ordinary channel. This marks a big milestone for Hulu, and boils down to a convenience factor for Optimum TV subscribers — rather than needing a separate device, such as a Roku player, customers can fire up Hulu using the service provider’s own set-top box from within the channel guide.
The integration has been used by other service providers for other streaming services — for example, Dish Network lists Netflix within the channel guide, and selecting it pulls up the Netflix interface. Cablevision’s new Hulu integration works in a similar way, and marks the first time Hulu has been offered by a pay-TV service provider in this manner.
Of course, Hulu will still run the same way it does if accessed through the mobile app or a different set-top box — the content is still on-demand and selected by the user. Cablevision subscribers can find Hulu on channel 605 through the Optimum service; subscribing (at $7.99 USD) becomes more attractive for those who are intrigued by the on-demand content, but aren’t interested in buying a separate device.
If you have a current Hulu subscription, you’ll be able to log in the first time you fire up channel 605 — for everyone else, you’ll have to sign up for a trial or subscribe. At the moment, only some Cablevision subscribers can see the Hulu channel; that will change over the coming weeks, though, as the service provider rolls it out more broadly.