Hulu TV is a great way to keep current on your favorite TV shows and even movies, but you should know the details behind this streaming service before you sign up. What is Hulu Plus and do you do it? What’s the different between Hulu and Netflix? What doesn’t Hulu offer? Read on to find the answers.
Hulu TV: Free or Plus?
When watching Hulu, you have an option to use either the free version or pay for Hulu Plus, which costs $7.99 per month to use. Obviously the free version has its own benefits, but Hulu Plus offers much more content.
It helps to think of the free Hulu as a preview of what you get with Hulu Plus. Yes, you can watch full episodes of many popular current shows and clips from trending videos as well as movie trailers…but that’s about it.
With Hulu Plus, you get the full backlog of all available Hulu TV shows, including a broad number of past seasons and shows that are no longer airing. You also get access to all the movies that Hulu is currently showing. You can take a look at everything Hulu Plus offers and search to see if it has your favorite show at this web page.
Hulu vs. Netflix
The comparison has to be made – both Netflix and Hulu offer popular streaming apps for TV show. However, the two services are actually very different.
Netflix has no free service option, so you have to pay to access any Netflix content. However, while Netflix depends on contracts and similar arrangements to get the rights to stream content, like Hulu, Netflix specializes in a mixture of older shows and movies. Typically, you will have to wait at least several months after a show season has ended before it appears on Netflix. Netflix also lacks the many trailers that Hulu shows. However, Netflix also has a few advantages: Notably, its selection is often broader than Hulu’s in both movies and TV shows. The Netflix app is also available across a broader number of devices.
Hulu TV, meanwhile, benefits from its aggregation-like services. When network sites release shows to stream online (anywhere from a day to a week after they air live), Hulu is there waiting to add them to its own database, letting you watch them immediately and keep current on your favorite shows. However, this comes at a cost. Hulu’s backlog, even with Hulu Plus, is not quite as impressive as Netflix, and it simply doesn’t have same contracts for all the networks. Want to watch The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad? Netflix can help you out, but Hulu is less likely to offer either show. Hulu is also available on fewer devices, which can be annoying
You can read more about the differences between the services – and Amazon Video – here. However, keep in mind that streaming rights change constantly. You can only get a good idea of what Hulu offers by going to the Hulu site in real time and seeing what shows they have for free and Plus.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Hulu
Try out these tips when using Hulu TV to avoid disappointment and get the most from the service.
- Search for Shows: It can be difficult to know if Hulu has the show you are looking for unless you actually spending some time searching for it. Fortunately, Hulu allows you to do this even before you sign up. Take advantage of the feature and do a little research.
- Know the Limits: It’s smart to know what Hulu can’t do before you jump in. Many cable networks, such as HBO and Showtime, do not contract with Netflix or Hulu, so no Game of Thrones going this route. AMC notably contracts with Netflix but not Hulu, so no AMC shows either. Other shows may also be off the list for similar reasons: However, this can vary a little based on where you get your cable from.
- Use the Queue: Put shows and movies in your Hulu Queue. This will give you handy notifications, such as warnings when Hulu is preparing to drop that particular show in favor of a new season.
- Pay Attention to Emails: Hulu sends emails with handy updates on its movies and TV shows, so reading them may be worthwhile.