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Skip commercials on Hulu in a web browser
Posted on 12-06-2018 00:15:38 UTC | Updated on 12-06-2018 00:25:22 UTC
Section: /software/chrome/ | Permanent Link

I signed up for Hulu on Cyber Monday at an unbelievable deal of $12/yr. This of course is their commercial tier, but it was worth it to give Hulu a shot. Currently, Hulu runs commercials in 2 ways. The first is one big commercial before the show, or multiple commercial breaks during the show. You can of course pay for a no commercial tier if you like Hulu, and I suggest you do that, if you don't like the commercials. But during your trial period you might want to help speed up a few of those commercial breaks,before you decide to pay for that higher tier. Here is how I do that when watching content through the Chrome web browser.

How this works

What I'm basically doing is using a browser extension that can skip through HTML5 video streams. Since all of Hulu uses HTML5 video (even the commercials), you can use hotkeys to skip however many seconds you want of video. This works during the playback of the show, and during the commercials as well. I'm telling you this because if you can find a browser plugin/add-on that can skip through HTML5 video, then you can do this same thing on other browsers.

Video Speed Controller

Go over to the Chrome store or the Firefox Add-ons site, and download and install the extension called "Video Speed Controller". After installing it click on the red icon and select "Settings" button. In the "Other" section you will see "Rewind Time (s)" and "Advanced Time (s)". Set Advance Time to 14 and Rewind to 10. Feel free to play with these values as needed. These values are set to hotkeys "z" (rewind) and "x" (forward). The hotkeys are of course changeable. Also, if your going to watch your videos at regular speed, set your "Preferred Speed (x)" to something like 4. Then you can hit the "g" hotkey and speed up the commercials that way. The g hotkey is a toggle so it will go back and forth from regular speed to whatever speed you set it to. Jump out of the settings back to your browser.

Testing it

Go over to Hulu's site and pull up a show and start to watch it. You will see the video speed controller on your screen in the top left (there is a setting that removes this). After starting the show wait for your first commercial. You will see the commercial countdown timer come on the screen from Hulu. This is where you can start hitting the "x" key on the keyboard which will start the skip forward. They can cram up to 4 commercials into one slot, each with a different lengths of time. Usually the shortest commercial time I have seen is 15 seconds, hence the 14 second skip setting. If you try to hit the skip button to fast you will not allow the next commercial to start playing, and it seems to skip back to the beginning of the commercial. This seems that this work best if you let each commercial finish cleanly, and transition to the next commercial, before starting to skip through the next commercial in the slot.

After skipping through the commercials, you will notice that your show is about 1 or 2 mins ahead of the commercial skip point. You can use the "z" key on the keyboard to skip back to where the commercial started, or just use your mouse and place the cursor at the beginning of the commercial break point (the break points have lines you can clearly see).

Another way to get through these commercials is using that "g" hotkey we setup which will speed the video up the instead of trying to skip through it. If you use this approach, just hit the g key when the commercial starts and it will start playing very quickly. Watch the countdown timer on the screen. When it gets close to 0 hit the "g" key again and it will go back to regular speed. You still have to watch the commercials, but you can watch them at 4x or whatever speed you set this to. A hell of a lot faster than 1x speed.

Conclusion

I just started using this method to get through these commercials, and it is not perfect, but it does get through the commercials a whole lot faster than any other method I've seen. Other methods try to block the commercials or skip through them, but the seem like to much trouble than this one. Of course the easiest way to not have to deal with Hulu commercials is just to pay for them to go away, which I hope you do. Until then, this should help you decide if you want to pay for that tier, and get you through those pesky commercials with the least aggravation.

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