Are you wondering why people opt for Hulu as their primary source of TV and movies service? Here’s our guide on this popular streaming service with some pros and cons:
Everything in life is now on-demand, whether you’re trying to shop for clothes to groceries, hitch a ride or even watch television.
With the demand for instant gratification through the roof, the supply of platforms to access on-demand anything has gone up too.
Specifically talking about on-demand streaming services for television, people are more and more inclined to sign up for these relatively cheaper subscription-based platforms over cable.
With the popularity of the services, there are now several platforms offering them, so how does one choose which one to sign up for?
There’s Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime, Crackle, Youtube TV, Sling, Disney Plus and Hulu, just to name a few. Here, we will take an in-depth look at one of these platforms, Hulu, to see why it’s worth signing up for!
What is Hulu?
Hulu is a US-based premium streaming platform for live and on-demand TV shows and movies. Hulu is owned by The Walt Disney Company and Comcast and offers its services in the US and Japan only.
This service was launched in 2008. Initially, Hulu used to offer a small selection of its content to users for free (just like other services), with the help of ads, but in 2016 the platform converted to an entirely subscription-based model.
Hulu differentiates itself from other streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime in a few different ways.
Firstly, Hulu focuses on getting newer TV shows and original content out to viewers, rather than on movies and documentaries like the other platforms do.
Second, the platform uploads new episodes of TV shows from multiple networks a day to a week after it is released.
Hulu has started focusing on original programming as well. It has launched award-winning series, such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Emmy nominated shows like The Looming Tower and The Act.
Apart from original content, Hulu also offers the additional perk of live TV, unlike its competitors. You can watch live news, entertainment and sports from 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company, CBS Corporation, Turner Networks,The CW, A+E Networks and Discovery Networks!
How it Works – Plans
Hulu technically has two models that you can choose from. The first is the basic streaming service where you can get access to all the shows and movies the platform has to offer.
If you sign up for the basic package ($5.99/month), you can stream any of the available content, but Hulu’s service is only as reasonable as it is because they work through an ad-based model.
However, you can choose to pay a little extra every month ($11.99/month) to get the service ad-free (Hulu no-ads plan). This model also has the option of add-ons like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and Starz.
Apart from add-ons, Hulu is now also offering the chance to bundle your subscriptions with Disney Plus and ESPN to save on 25% of what it would cost you to subscribe to these platforms separately.
Hulu + Live TV
The second model is the Hulu + Live TV. This service is offered for those who are looking for a replacement for their cable service along with on-demand content on the platform.
The service starts at $54.99/month and gives you access to over 60 channels that include sports, news and entertainment.
The Live option allows you to record your favorite shows for up to 50 hours, plus it has add-ons to increase that time constraint.
Other add-ons include adding more screens, more channels in entertainment and also top-rated Español channels.
Hulu can be watched on its website, through smart TVs or on the available apps for iOS and Android.
Moreover, there is also Hulu+Live TV (no-ads) which is $60.99/month.
What We Love – Hulu Pros
Great Price on the Basic Plan
Hulu’s subscription starts at $6 compared to Netflix and Amazon Prime, both starting at $9 per month. However, you will be seeing ads also along with the movie, something that many people don’t care much as long as the basic price is low.
Quick Updates on New Episodes
Hulu updates their platform with new episodes of TV shows as quickly as a day after they are aired. This is very quick compared to Netflix that updates TV shows once the season is completed.
Quality Original Programming
Hulu has a lot of original content that is known to be great. One of the most recognizable Hulu originals is The Handmaid’s Tale, but there is a lot more to choose from.
Bundles and Add-ons
Hulu gives you the options of bundles and add-ons so you can stream from other channels and platforms without the need for multiple apps and programs. Plus, you save money by bundling!
What We Don’t Love – Hulu Cons
If you don’t opt for the “no ads” add-on, where you end up paying an extra $6/month (at the time of this writing), you are going to be shown clips of ads before and after each video.
Small Selection Comparatively
Hulu has a much smaller collection of content compared to Netflix and other competing platforms. While Netflix has over 100,000 movies and TV shows, Hulu offers just above 5000.
Inconsistent Selections from Older TV Seasons
Though Hulu is current on its newer TV shows, that is not the case with older shows. There are often missing seasons for old shows on the platform.
Limited Downloading Ability
Hulu only added the ability to watch offline in October 2019. It currently only lets you download on iOS and iPadOS.
No simple pricing scheme
Although some customers prefer to have various payment options, many others find Hulu’s pricing plans a little complicated. Also, Hulu increased their prices recently and they are higher than other competing services (unless you subscribe to the basic plan).
Summary of Most Important Pros and Cons
|Low price for the basic plan||Ad-supported (unless you pay extra to remove ads)|
|50 hours of cloud DVR storage||Only two screens included unless you pay extra|
|Quick Updates on New Episodes||Expensive add-ons|
|Provides a wide variety of TV content from several sources.||Multiple pricing schemes and plans|
Hulu is still a great option if you are looking to stay up to date on your shows and also want to opt for live TV.
Hulu original content
Hulu not only streams movies and shows but also produces original content. From TV series to documentaries, Hulu Originals are now trending among those who love to watch out-of-the-box shows. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular original content available on Hulu.
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- Difficult People
- The Wrong Mans
- The Mindy Project
- The Path
- Hotwives of Orlando
Both critics and the audience rate these shows highly because of their superb storyline and acting. You can watch them after buying a $54.99/month subscription.
Which channels does Hulu + Live TV have?
Hulu offers live local channels like FOX, ABC, CBS, and NBC. But what does Hulu + Live TV offer to its viewers? Here are some of the channels you can watch on the Hulu + Live TV package:
- ABC News Live
- Animal Planet
- Big Ten Network
- CBS Sports Network
- Food Network
- National Geographic
- Marquee Sports Network
- Discovery Channel
- CNN International
- Investigation Discovery
- ESPN Bases Loaded
- ESPN Goal Line
- ESPN College Extra
- Fox News
- Golf Channel
- Universal Kids
- YES Network
- USA Network
- Smithsonian Channel
- Olympic Channel
- NASA TV
- Nat Geo Wild
- Cheddar Business
There are a total of 65 channels in this package along with more than 80,000 TV episodes and movies on demand. You also get up to 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage that supports two simultaneous streams and 6 user profiles.
Hulu with Live TV – Supported devices
Hulu works with almost any type of device that comes to your mind. Just make sure you have a stable internet connection to enjoy uninterrupted streaming services. Given below are some of the supported devices where Hulu Live TV plays smoothly:
- iPhones and iPads
- Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
- Selected models of Samsung TV
- Android phones and tablets
- Amazon Fire Tablets
- 4th generation Apple TV
- Nintendo Switch
- Roku and Roku Stick
- LG Smart TV with webOS
- Xbox One
- Xbox 360
Apart from these devices, you can also view the streams on your preferred web browser if you use Hulu’s beta website.
Does Hulu With Live TV Include DVR?
What if you cannot watch an episode from your favorite show while it’s streaming live? You always have the option to record it and watch it later.
Hulu allows you to record your favorite shows or movies like many of its competitors. It provides 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage. But you need to select either the base subscription or anything higher than that to avail this service.
However, it would also include the commercials. You can’t fast-forward the commercials and record only the selected parts of an episode. But you can opt for no-commercial TV by paying $6.99 extra per month. This would also give you 200 hours of Cloud DVR storage.
One of Hulu’s principal problems is their difficultly in maintaining the platform. Have the premium plan and it suffers intermittent outages on specific channels as well as on total platform. And worse is their customer service – as in none. Obviously I am cancelling subscription.