Apple TV adds Hulu Plus to content line up

Apple TV
"Hobby" no more: Hulu Plus arrives on the Apple TV

Apple TV owners got a surprise Tuesday as the familiar green and white icon for Hulu Plus turned up on their little black boxes.

Without so much as a press release and thanks to a late night move from Apple, Hulu Plus is now available on second and third-generation Apple TV boxes, giving subscribers another choice for viewing their favorite television shows and other content.

Hulu Senior Software Developer Dallas Mahrt confirmed the integration with Apple on the company's blog, noting "my living room just got a whole lot happier."

For Apple TV owners who aren't familiar with Hulu Plus, the media streamer allows users to sign up from Hulu's website or create a Hulu Plus account directly from the comfort of their living rooms.

The service has been noticeably absent from Apple TV. Competitors Roku HD, PS3 and Nintendo Wii have all had Hulu Plus for awhile.

Bill it to iTunes, please

Signing up for Hulu Plus on Apple TV ties it to subscribers existing iTunes accounts, which will then be billed a $7.99 per month subscription fee after a free one-week trial.

The Hulu Blog also offers a how-to guided tour video for using Hulu Plus from the Apple TV device, which works similarly to Netflix, including the ability to access both favorites and queue titles with ease.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs famously referred to Apple TV as a "hobby" for the company, and the arrival of Hulu Plus comes on the heels of the Cupertino company's new OS X Mountain Lion operating system release last week.

Mountain Lion lets Mac users wirelessly AirPlay content directly to the black box - including