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Hulu rolled out a huge update to its website user interface today, increasing the size of its video player by 55 percent.
The updated look makes a lot of sense since Hulu’s number one draw is current season TV shows from major broadcast networks like ABC, NBC, Fox, and the CW. The company seems to understand that plugging other videos and shows isn’t going to get people to watch more videos on Hulu, which is why you only see the “related videos” links at the end of a program.
In addition to the larger size player, the site also implemented a number of design changes to emphasize the content. All the details — like the name of the show, episode title, running time, etc. — have been moved underneath the video player. It seems odd at first but I’m guessing the majority of people won’t even notice once their show starts playing. Also, the background surrounding the video player is much darker.
Hulu has apparently removed some viewing features with its refreshed UI design. Users can no longer “dim the lights”, which basically made everything on the screen darken except for the player. Initially, I thought Hulu had also removed the ability to pop out the video player into its own window, but it’s actually just been moved to the “more” button (next to the sharing options).
One thing I did notice about the new player is that the video picture was getting cut off on the right and left side when I tried to watch Community via Firefox. Not only that but some of the control buttons also get cut off. Apparently I’m not the only one, as a handful of other people commented about the problem in Hulu’s official blog post. The problem didn’t happen when I switched to Google’s Chrome browser.