Hulu has announced that Hulu Plus, the $9.99 per month subscription TV service (unfortunately the $5 rumor has yet to be verified), is now open to everyone in the US. The service has been in a limited public preview since late June. "As we scale our infrastructure throughout the preview period, we want to open the service to a larger subscriber base," the company said in a statement. "To make it easier for people to try out Hulu Plus, you no longer need an invitation to subscribe."
In addition to having to request an invitation to join the service, Hulu Plus was available only on your computer, a handful of Samsung connected TVs and Blu-ray players, and Apple's iOS mobile devices. It is now coming to Sony's PS3 game console as well as newer Sony Bravia HDTVs; an upcoming update to the Hulu Plus PS3 app will enable access for all Playstation Network users. Hulu Plus is also expected to come to Roku set-top boxes this fall and TiVo Premiere DVRs later this year. Microsoft's Xbox 360 console will get it early next year.
In related news, Hulu's model of giving users access to TV shows shortly after they air is bad for the TV industry, according to Dish Network VP of Online Content Development and Strategy Bruce Eisen. Eisen would prefer that all online video content be locked up behind the industry's TV Everywhere initiative, with Hulu content only made available for free a month after it airs.
"If I can watch Glee tomorrow morning and I don’t have to pay a pay TV service – I think that's bad," Eisen said during a panel about cord cutting at the Streaming Media West conference, according to GigaOm."If people decide that they don't have to pay for pay TV, then one of the pillars (of the TV industry) starts crumbling."