Hulu TV Review
Cord cutters have several main services they can subscribe to, to provide them with their television fix. One of those is obviously Netflix, and the other big one is Hulu. Hulu and Netflix used to be more different than they are today. Hulu was mainly for television shows, while Netflix was geared towards movies. Today, Hulu is still all about TV shows but has an increased emphasis on movies. Meanwhile Netflix has switched its role to more TV-oriented content, and even creating their own shows. But Hulu’s content is different than Netflix, and one of the biggest reasons for this is that TV shows that aired let’s say on a Sunday, can be available as early as the next day (Monday) on Hulu.
Hulu’s subscription services used to be named “Hulu Plus,” but they’ve recently dropped the name. One of Hulu’s big downsides is that its subscription service is split in two. The lesser version has (some) commercials. If you want to truly ditch commercials, you can spend more money and go commercial-less. The price difference is only $4 a month, but it does make Hulu more expensive than Netflix’s entry-level streaming price.
Hulu says the cheaper version of Hulu has a “modest” amount of commercials, so take that with a grain of salt. Hulu does have some shows that are available to anyone, not just subscribers, and these have full ad support.
The TV shows offered to you will vary based on if you have a paid subscription or not. Hulu does offer some free shows that anyone can watch; these are ad-based and generally there aren’t many of them. Now if you have signed up for their subscription service, you will find that Hulu has quite a lot of content to offer.
Major networks with content available for paid subscribers:
- National broadcast networks such as: Fox, ABC, NBC,
- Networks normal available via cable/satellite such as: Comedy Central, BBC America, Nickelodeon, SyFy, MTV, TV Land, The History Channel
- Add-on premium networks such as: Showtime, which is available to users for and additional $8.99 a month.
Major networks missing from Hulu’s paid subscriber list:
Now, Hulu may offer some shows from these networks for free, but they will have ads and there will only be a handful available for watch.
Some of the most popular shows on Hulu currently are:
- Modern Family
- The Simpsons
- The X- Files
Typically the show you want to watch will have the backlog of episodes available and if it’s still airing, the latest episode will be available a set amount of time following the initial airing. Generally you can find out how long the wait is by checking out the TV show’s description on the Hulu site.
Hulu has began putting a bigger emphasis on movies, and while there’s not a huge catalog of 100,000 movies available at the subscriber’s disposal, it’s still a pretty strong list. According to Hulu’s movie list, there’s just shy of 3,400 movies available.
Some of the big names available:
- Transformers: Age of Extinction
- Terminator Genisys
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Hulu’s collection of movies is a bit dated compared to Netflix, but it is loaded with good movies.
Hulu is available to stream on a variety of devices. Including Roku, Apple TV, Playstation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Wii and Wii U, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and the TV Stick, Nexus Player and TiVo Premiere.
Hulu is also available on a variety of smart phones and tablets, as well as your computer. There’s also several smart televisions that can run Hulu.
Drawbacks of Hulu
Hulu is great for many reasons, but also has it’s drawbacks. One of the biggest cons of Hulu is that not every TV show can be streamed to your TV. What this means, is if you wanted to stream a show on your Roku, it might not be available for that type of streaming. Meaning, you may only be allowed to watch it on your computer or a smart phone.
Why is this? It all comes down to what licensing agreements Hulu has with that particular network and that particular show. It could change at any time, but if it says you can’t stream it, then you can’t stream it.
Another negative is the movie catalog. While the movie catalog is okay, it’s not quite as robust as Amazon Instant Video or Netflix. This is not a big deal, given the fact that Hulu is about getting TV shows out to the public for streaming as quickly as possible. But if you are someone who wants the best of both worlds, Netflix may be the way to go.
Of course Hulu is not a direct replacement to cable. You won’t find sporting events on here, and really you won’t find all of the shows you would find on a cable. While this isn’t necessary a con to the cord cutter, it could be considered a con to those who are looking at cord cutting.
Finally, most shows operate on an eight-day delay. So the latest episode will become available eight days after it airs. There are some shows that can be available as early as the next day, but the majority fall in to the week plus category here.
How Much Does Hulu Cost?
Hulu offers two types of subscriptions as well as a free service. As previously noted, the free service has a lot of ads and only a handful of episodes available to users. Where Hulu shines is its subscription services.
The first subscription starts at $7.99. You get access to all of Hulu’s content, but there will be some commercials. The next subscription is $11.99. Again, you get access to all of Hulu’s content, but this one differs in that there are no commercials.
Is Hulu Right for You?
Hulu is best fit for those who enjoy watching current TV shows that are still on the air. It allows you to keep up with the show, without having to wait 6-12 months for new episodes like you find on Netflix. It’s also a good companion to Netflix for this very reason. The two can live in harmony for the right person, as it combines movies and a lot of TV shows for the user.