Hulu Brings TED to the Living Room

Online video service Hulu just announced that it will offer its users content from TED, the high-end conference featuring talks about tech, entertainment and design that makes many of its talks available online in the month following the yearly conference. Starting today, Hulu will feature about 50 of the most popular TED talks. The company promises to add more talks over the coming months, including ones from the upcoming 2011 TED conference. The material from TED will be available for Hulu and Hulu Plus users.

It’s worth noting that Boxee also offers a dedicated TED app that brings the conference’s content to the Boxee box and software.

hulu_tedAs the various online video providers like Hulu, Amazon and Netflix push to bring more content to their subscribers, the winners here so far are clearly the consumers. Amazon Prime subscribers can now get free streaming video for over 5,000 movies, Netflix just signed a deal with CBS (though it only includes catalog material and no new shows) and Roku is starting to offer more access to live sports, an area that has kept many consumers from making the move from cable to on-demand streaming video in the living room.

One area that definitely needs improvement, though, is discovery. While few of these deals are exclusive, it’s still hard to know whether a certain show is available on Hulu, iTunes or Netflix, for example, or whether Boxee or Roku offer dedicated channels for videos from a specific provider. Tools like Clicker aim to make this easier, but they are still not integrated well with the most popular set-top boxes.