What is Hulu?
Hulu is a video-on-demand streaming provider that has been operational for over a decade. With over 40 million users, it is one of the best and largest streaming platforms in the United States.
Hulu is also a good cable-cutting choice for many traditional cable consumers. It not only offers a massive collection of over 2,500 movies and over 40,000 episodes from thousands of TV shows, but it also plans to stream live TV via the Hulu Plus Live TV program (more on this farther down).
The usage of advertisements is one contentious feature that distinguishes Hulu from most of its competitors.
The most affordable subscriptions (and packages) include adverts throughout the content, comparable to what you might watch on network television. Paying for a service and still seeing advertisements may be frustrating for some consumers, but it does assist to keep the cost low.
Those who do not want to see advertisements will have to pay twice as much. Unlike many other streaming services, you can pay for premium add-ons such as unlimited simultaneous streams, TV channels, and more separately.
How does Hulu Work?
Hulu is a little more difficult to use than other streaming services, especially if you have a Hulu Plus Live TV subscription. Essentially, it operates the same way, with a distant server hosting the material.
You connect your device (mobile phone, tablet, smart TV, etc.) to this server and begin streaming.
No matter the plan you select, you must first answer a few questions before you can begin streaming for the first time. This is mostly to assess what kind of stuff you’re interested in so that recommendations can be made, and it may be skipped if you want to start streaming right away.
Here’s a complete breakdown of Hulu’s price.
- Hulu Basic costs $7 per month ($70 annually) and includes advertisements for the platform’s on-demand movie collection. You can also add the Disney Bundle to this subscription for an extra $7 a month to get access to Disney Plus and ESPN Plus, or just get Disney Plus (without ESPN Plus) for $3.
- Hulu (No Ads) costs $13 a month and provides ad-free access to the service’s library. When you combine this option with the Disney Bundle, you’ll pay a total of $20 a month.
- Hulu with Live TV features an on-demand library as well as live streaming of more than 75 channels, and the ad-supported version costs $70 per month. Disney Plus and ESPN Plus are complimentary with your subscription.
- Hulu (No Ads) with Live TV costs $76 per month and provides access to the Hulu streaming library, live TV channels, plus Disney and ESPN Plus. It should be noted that some video that is not part of Hulu’s certified streaming collection may nonetheless contain advertisements.
There are Many Menu Options on Hulu
Hulu’s menus on the TV applications provide numerous options to find what you’re looking for but can be difficult to navigate. When you launch the app, you’ll find a personalized home page with several categories at the top: Home, TV, Movies, News, My Stuff, and Hubs (if you’ve created one). Continue scrolling down to discover other categories that change based on what the service thinks you’ll like, such as Bingeable TV, Hulu Picks, ’90s Nostalgia, Teen Shows, Comic Book Heroes and Villains, and Newly Added TV and Newly Added Movies. Keep in mind that the Keep Watching section on Hulu’s home page does not greet you at the top, but rather a few rows down.
Save items to your My Stuff folder, which you can access at the top of the page. Browse by Network, TV programs, Movies, Hulu Originals, FX on Hulu, Kids, and more genres, or simply search for the show you want. The search function isn’t as refined as Netflix’s, so if you search for a specific actor or title, expect to see results that aren’t a perfect match. Navigate to My Stuff to find a channel in your personal lineup, where you can also add other networks to your rotation.
The Hulu app is equivalent in content and layout across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV Stick.
It’s a little wider on iPhone and Android phone screens for better navigation, but otherwise it’s the same.
When you choose a show or movie to watch, you can fast-forward or rewind (except through ads). You can add subtitles, alter your audio settings or video quality, and toggle Autoplay on or off by clicking the options gear. For faster access, the stuff you select will also appear in your My Stuff section at the top of your homepage.
But first, a word about Autoplay. Sometimes you’ll be watching a TV show or a movie when Hulu cuts it off and starts playing the following video.
Whether it’s a program episode or a movie, autoplay can interrupt the final few minutes of the viewing experience. As a result, it’s worthwhile to disable the feature utilizing one of our Hulu tips and tricks.
Profiles and hubs are awesome. Boo: There isn’t much 4K content (and only a little HDR)
To get tailored suggestions and watch lists for different family members or others on a single account, you can add up to six user profiles to your Hulu account. To help the service’s recommendation engine, rate shows and movies with a thumbs up or down. Hulu also notifies you what movies and episodes are coming out in the next month and which are about to expire immediately on its website, something Netflix does not.
While Hulu’s search algorithms and layout can be irritating at times, its Hubs option is a welcome addition for those of us who prefer to keep things organized. It’s simple to navigate to networks like Bravo, FX, or Cartoon Network, to the sports area, or to streaming collections like Black Stories, Anime, and Hulu Originals. There’s also a hub for titles that have Audio Description activated, which is a feature that allows the visually handicapped to access content through audio narration.
Hulu’s video quality can reach 4K and fluctuates depending on what you’re seeing and what device you’re using. The quality also varies depending on your available bandwidth.
If you don’t want Hulu to consume all of your data, you can alter your data consumption settings using the instructions outlined on its website.
Hulu’s 4K Ultra HD content collection is expanding and covers the majority of Hulu Originals, but it still falls well short of the 4K libraries of Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney Plus. On select devices, Hulu viewers may now stream select Hulu Originals in HDR, including HDR10, HDR10 Plus, and Dolby Vision. This is useful since we’ve discovered that HDR actually improves picture quality more noticeably than 4K resolution, especially on a good TV.
Hulu is a video streaming website that uses the Flash framework to provide video content.
As a result, no video content is downloaded to your computer or device. This means that you can only see the video live if you have an Internet connection. When it comes to offline viewing, the Hulu Plus monthly subscription provides no further benefits.
As the demand for offline Hulu viewing grows, software apps have been created to fill the need. These programs capture the live broadcast and save it to the computer to be viewed later. Replay Media Catcher 3.0 and StreamTransport are two such programs. The files are downloaded in FLV format, which may be readily viewed on a computer by using Flash Player.
To convert the video for playback on other systems, however, a tool such as VLC Media Player or Videora iPod Converter is required.
Hulu Shows and Movies: What Can You Watch
An entry-level Hulu membership allows you to binge entire seasons of hit shows, view new episodes the day after they air, enjoy kid’s entertainment and Hulu Originals, and watch TV shows and films from big studios both old and new.
- Castle Rock
- Future Man
- Little Fires Everywhere
- Palm Springs
- The Act
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- Woke and Ramy
Older shows from dozens of networks, including A&E, AMC, VH1, MTV, TNT, Disney Channel, and Discovery, are also available on the platform.
So shows like Sons of Anarchy (FX), Modern Family (ABC), Broad City (Comedy Central), and cartoon oldies like Bob’s Burgers and The Simpsons are just a click away (Fox). Whatever you choose, you’ll have a great time viewing it.
Of course, you may supplement your content library with the well-known Disney Plus Bundle. It combines a staggering number of famous TV shows from Hulu, blockbuster films from Disney+, and live sports action from ESPN+ – all for a very reasonable fee.
What Can You Watch With a Hulu + Live TV Subscription?
Everything listed above, PLUS over 75 live channels covering sports, news, lifestyle, entertainment, movies, documentaries, and children’s programming.
Subscribers receive both local and national channels, so depending on your location (a New York City zip brings back well over 80), you may receive well more than the advertised number, including:
- Big Ten Network
- Cartoon Network
- CBS Sports
- Disney Channel
- The CW
- Turner Classic Movies
- Universal Kids
Is There a Free Trial Period?
Oh yes! And it’s a monster. If you want to experience Hulu basic or Hulu (No Ads), you can get a 30-day Hulu free trial, which allows you to explore the platform’s thrillingly diversified programming for a month.
How to sign up to Hulu
Registering to Hulu is pretty simple!
- Go to the Hulu website (opens in new tab)
- Click the ‘Start Your Free Trial’ button
- Choose a plan
- Enter your email address, password, and other information
- Click ‘Continue’ and enter billing information Submit your information and begin streaming.
What devices can you watch Hulu on?
The following devices support the current Hulu app and all of its features, including Live TV and Premium Add-ons:
- Android mobile phones and tablets
- Apple TV (certain models)
- Amazon Echo Show
- Fire TV & sFire TV Stick
- Android TV (4th generation or later)
- Fire Tablets
- iPhones and iPads
- LG TV (selected models)
- Mac and PC browsers/apps
- Nintendo Switch
- PlayStation consoles
- Roku (selected models)
- Samsung TV (selected models)
- VIZIO SmartCast TVs
- Xbox consoles
- Xfinity Flex Streaming TV Box*
- Xfinity X1 TV Boxes
* While the current Hulu app is available for the PlayStation 3 and Xfinity devices, they do not enable live TV programming.
Hulu in 4K with HDR
If your hardware supports 4K Ultra HD, you’re in luck because some of Hulu’s top series are accessible in this format. Given that Hulu has over 4,000 programs, it’s a rather limited selection. However, it still produces approximately seventy, which results in a clearer image, deeper color, and 8 million pixels pummeling your eyes.
Almost all Hulu Originals are now available in 4K resolution, including the supernatural thriller Helstrom, the science-fiction comedy Future Man, all seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale, and the horror anthology series Into the Dark.
There’s also a slew of FX shows to love, like Mayans M.C., Black Narcissus, and the star-studded drama Mrs America. On the details page, any content accessible in this format will have a “4K” badge.
Apple TV (5th generation and above), Chromecast Ultra, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, LG TVs (2017 UHD models and above), Roku, Vizio SmartCast TVs, and Xbox One are currently capable of viewing 4K UHD video (S and X models).
However, because HDR is not yet enabled, all 4K UHD video will be delivered in Standard Dynamic Range (SDR).
Hulu vs Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video vs HBO Max
Netflix is the most popular VOD platform, with over 5,000 films and TV shows available.
Every year, it releases hundreds of Netflix Originals, including Oscar-nominated films and hugely successful shows like Stranger Things. However, at $8.99 a month for an entry-level plan that includes one SD-quality stream, a Netflix subscription isn’t the best value. Hulu has fewer material, but for a few bucks less per month, you receive thousands of fascinating titles, two concurrent streams, and access to HD and UHD video.
Amazon Prime Video (opens in new window) is even more expensive than Netflix. However, with around 18,000 titles, its content library is larger than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. Although the general quality is poor, Prime Video does contain a plethora of amazing Amazon Originals such as The Boys as well as high-quality movies both old and new.
Yes, it costs roughly twice as much as Hulu. However, the advantages of a subscription, like as free delivery, Prime reading, and ad-free music streaming, outweigh the higher price. On the flipside, you’re restricted to three streams per account (with Hulu, you can purchase “Unlimited Screens”), and when it comes to recreating the cable experience, Hulu + Live TV is considerably more cost-effective than adding individual Amazon Channels.
HBO Max is the most expensive VOD service available. Even with the recent introduction of its ad-supported plan, which allows you to stream to three separate devices at once, it’s the most expensive of the quartet. If you enjoy HBO’s programming – and who doesn’t? – then signing up is a no-brainer.
However, in addition to groundbreaking dramas such as Six Feet Under, The Wire, and Game of Thrones, users receive a diverse selection of titles from Warner Brothers, their subsidiaries, and third-party enterprises.
This includes fast access to all Studio Ghibli animations, DC Comics films, The Lord of the Rings films, and a curated selection of classic films courtesy of TCM. You could also simply add HBO Max as a Premium Add-on to Hulu.
Daniel Pateman is a freelance writer who has written for periodicals such as Aesthetica, Photomonitor, The Brooklyn Rail, and This is Tomorrow. He also offers text-writing services to specific curators and artists around the world, and his work has been published abroad.
His favorite film genre (come on Scream 5!) is horror. He also enjoys listening to Absolute 80s on the radio.
Hulu and VPN
You should try to utilize a VPN on all of your devices and for all internet-based activities. However, certain video streaming sites, such as Hulu, will attempt to prevent you from streaming content if you are using a VPN or proxy. For example, Section 15.1 of Hulu’s terms of service states, “We are a firm established in the United States and provide our Services to users in the United States.” Hulu’s goal is to provide you with as much content as is legally permissible.
However, we are constrained by the permissions granted to us by our content programmers.” Hulu is unlikely to be able to determine your true location if you use a VPN.
We attempted to stream Hulu video after connecting our test devices to Mullvad VPN servers in the United States but were unable. Even if your VPN and video streaming service are currently operational, they may not be in the future. You should choose a VPN for its security and performance.
- Large range of TV shows
- Extensive live TV channel lineup
- Robust cloud DVR option
- Available on practically every media streaming device
- Ads are included in the base on-demand plan
- The offline downloading function requires a premium membership
- There are fewer high-quality originals than competitors
- Most SportsNet and Bally Sports RSNs are missing.
Netflix is the dominant streaming service, with an unrivaled archive of original and syndicated content.
With over 200 million subscribers globally, Netflix remains the top premium streaming provider.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is another strong challenger, with a large collection of material and a few worthwhile originals.
Amazon Prime Video provides streaming access to thousands of movies and TV episodes.
It may seem unusual to compare Hulu with Disney Plus because they are both owned by Disney, but they provide separate offerings. They share many of the same fantastic streaming series, but each has its own exclusive originals.
Apple TV +
Apple TV Plus is one of the newest streaming services, and it has yet to make a significant impact on users. Nonetheless, it offers a distinct style that makes it an excellent option to Hulu and others.
YouTube TV, like Hulu Plus Live TV, is a streaming service that incorporates live channels. The service has over 85 channels, which puts it slightly ahead of Hulu, but it lacks Hulu’s vast library of on-demand material.
Use YouTube to access live TV. Without the huge cable corporations, you may choose your own channels and binge.
How many people can watch Hulu simultaneously?
Two people can stream at the same time on the standard plan. Unlimited streaming are available for an additional $9.99 per month on ad-free and live TV plans.
Does Hulu have 4K episodes and movies?
While unique series and movies are available in 4K resolution, most syndicated programming is only available in HD.
Can you download Hulu shows?
Shows can be downloaded, but only on ad-free plans.
Is it possible to share a Hulu account with friends and family?
You can, indeed, share an account.
Why does Hulu include advertisements?
It features advertisements on its cheapest plan in order to keep the price as low as possible.
How can you get rid of your Hulu history?
It is simple to remove your history from the service.
Is it possible to use Hulu with a Chromecast?
Yes, it works perfectly with all Chromecast devices.
Should you subscribe to Hulu?
Hulu costs between $7 and $13 a month for the streaming service, depending on the plan you choose, making it a competitive choice if you want to keep up with new series and find a solid collection of old and new movies. If you want to try out the streaming service, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial.
Hulu is a trustworthy alternative for streaming new and vintage episodes, as well as live TV, on practically every platform. It is one of the best video streaming services available.