Everyone has heard of Hulu – but how many know all the benefits it has to offer? Like any other streaming platform, it has its pros and cons, but Hulu is one of the most impressive. The service has many cost-effective features that almost every subscriber will love.
Although Hulu is one of the leading streaming platforms, it is still not the most popular. However, maybe more people should give it a chance. Whether it’s a TV show or a movie, if you’re looking for something new, Hulu certainly won’t let you down.
Hulu: A Brief History
Hulu was released in beta form in 2007, but debuted to a wider, more public audience in 2008. It was an early pioneer of the streaming service model, which offered paid programming with advertisements for a lower subscription price.
Disney acquired Hulu in 2019. This allowed Hulu to integrate with numerous other platforms and subscriptions under The Walt Disney Company. This resulted in more deals and bundles, including Hulu bundles with Disney+ and ESPN+, as well as deals for gamers. This kind of packaging makes it an interesting streaming platform unlike its predecessors.
How much does it cost?
You can choose Hulu packages based on your household needs, just like other streaming services. It sometimes offers great deals that can attract viewers for a fraction of what they would normally pay, such as a student discount that gives students Hulu’s basic plan for just $1.99 a month.
All other times, Hulu costs about $7 per month for its most basic plan, which includes great features:
- Hulu’s streaming library of thousands of movies and TV episodes can be watched the day after most new episodes air.
- Directory of Hulu Originals service
- Ability to stream via phone, laptop, TV or tablet
- Up to six user profiles with the ability to watch on two different screens at the same time
The ad-free plan costs about $13 per month, which isn’t a bad price compared to other options. This plan also lets you download and watch Hulu’s streaming library.
A Hulu + Live TV plan including Disney+ and ESPN+ is available for a little more per month. Still, at around $70 a month, you’re paying for an extensive library of 75+ channels that you can’t get with many cable providers for the same price, including Unlimited DVR access. Hulu is an affordable option and a great replacement for cable TV.
What Content Is Available?
Hulu has all the content you’d expect from a streaming service. It hosts a variety of TV shows and movies, and even includes Hulu’s self-developed live TV options and original content. Here are some of the things you’ll find in his library:
Hulu is known more for its TV shows than anything else. It has a vast library of both contemporary programming and classic shows from decades ago—a catalog unmatched by almost any other streaming service. Check out some of the most popular TV shows on Hulu:
- The Handmaid’s Tale (Original Hulu)
- This is us (ABC)
- Sweets (Original Hulu)
- New Amsterdam (ABC)
- Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
- Normal People (Original Hulu)
- Abbott Elementary (ABC)
- Wide City (Comedy Central)
- We are dope (Original Hulu)
- Dropout (Original Hulu)
- Dave (FX)
- Master Chef Junior (FOX)
Hulu’s movie selections are less well-known, but they’re still interesting. Hulu hosts movies from every genre—drama, comedy, horror, and more—which means you’ll almost certainly find something to match what you’re looking for. The streaming service also creates original movies. Here are some of the best movies you can watch on Hulu:
- Ghostbusters: Afterlife
- Bounty Hunter
- Poison: May the carnage
- Death on the Nile
- La La Land
Sports and Live Channels
If you’re looking for an opportunity to get rid of your cable subscription, Hulu makes a great deal. You can see almost every game or match you watch on cable, and you can also have more than 70 live channels. The only complaint a lot of people have is the interface – it works less like a guide and more like the rest of Hulu, meaning it can be difficult to navigate if you’re not used to it.
There are different live channels available depending on where you live. When you switch from cable to Hulu, you can enter your zip code on its website to learn more about the channels you can receive. If you feel like you’re paying too much for cable, it’s worth the investment.
If you have a Hulu plan with Live TV, you’ll have access to over 75 live TV channels. This includes popular ones such as:
- ABC, so you can keep up with the drama on shows like Bachelors or Bachelors
- Adapting to shows like Adult Swim Rick and Morty
- Kids channels like Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network
- Interest channels like History Channel, National Geographic or Food Network
On the sports side of things, you can watch basketball, football, golf, you name it – with Live TV, Hulu probably offers that. Here are some of the popular sports channels you can get:
- ESPN 2
- NFL Network
Remember that these sports and live channel lists are not exhaustive, as Hulu offers much more for you to browse. The official Hulu website has a complete list of channels offered for sports and live TV.
What devices can you watch Hulu on?
Hulu can be streamed on almost anything with internet access. It can find a home on every device, from smartphones (Android/iOS) to tablets and TVs. Here are all the devices you can watch Hulu on:
- Desktop browser
- Android phones or tablets
- Android TV (select models)
- Apple iPhone and iPad
- Apple TV (4th generation or later)
- Contour 2 and Contour Stream Player
- Echo Show
- Fire tablets
- Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
- iPhone and iPad
- LG TV (select models)
- Nintendo Switch
- Mac and PC browsers and applications
- Game station
- Roku (select models)
- Samsung TV (select models)
- VIZIO SmartCast TVs
- Xfinity Flex Streaming TV Box and X1 TV Boxes
Some devices may only be compatible with classic Hulu, meaning they won’t be able to access live TV, among other bonuses and enhancements. These items are usually older models of TVs and systems, such as outdated Blu-ray Disc players or third-generation Apple TVs. You can still stream your favorite TV shows using the classic app, and you can always upgrade in the future.
Where is the Service Available?
Hulu is not available internationally. Currently, its extensive library is available only to households within the United States, including Puerto Rico and US military bases. However, households in only the 50 states can experience live television as a substitute for cable. Hulu may expand to be available in more locations in the future, but for now its locations are limited.
Hulu states on its website that most of its foreign-language content sometimes has English subtitles and Spanish subtitles. Unfortunately, not all languages are supported by Hulu, but depending on the show or movie, you can change the language of the subtitles or audio.
Thankfully, changing the language of a TV show or movie on Hulu is pretty easy. Here are the instructions on desktop or mobile.
- Desktop: Click the gear in the lower left corner of the show or movie you’re watching. Here you can change the language to any option listed or add subtitles.
- Mobile App: Click the gear icon in the upper right corner and change the default language by selecting one of the available options or adding subtitles. Scroll down to return to your show or movie.
How does Hulu compare to other streaming services?
Since Hulu has as many options as live TV, it’s one of the most valuable streaming options out there. Depending on the content you’re looking for, your options may vary. How Hulu compares to other streaming services in terms of price:
- Netflix: Netflix’s basic plan starts at $9.99 per month. Netflix has never required subscribers to watch ads. Most Netflix subscribers go for the Standard plan at $15.49 and the Premium plan at $19.99.
- Paramount+: The Essential plan on Paramount+ is $4.99, making it a competitive option. The next level is the Premium plan at $9.99 per month.
- Disney+: One advantage of the Disney+ plan is that you can bundle it with Hulu and ESPN for one final price. By itself, a Disney+ subscription is only $7.99 per month.
- HBO Max: HBO Max has two plans: ad-free and ad-free. The ad plan is $9.99 per month and the ad-free plan is $14.99 per month, which can be a big difference for some subscribers.
- Peacock: Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, has three plans. Its first plan is free with limited ads. The next plan is Premium which costs $4.99 for limited ads. Finally, the Plus plan is ad-free for $9.99 per month.
Remember, if you’re outside the US, you likely won’t be able to access Hulu. Instead of working with a VPN that Hulu’s technology can detect, consider checking other streaming services that may cover the same types of shows. You never know – you might find your favorite app somewhere else!
If you can access Hulu, it’s worth the price. Ditching your cable subscription and paying for Hulu instead can give you access to a similar library of ads for a fraction of the cost. It’s still a competitive option for live TV. If you want a vast library of movies, TV shows, and original content that can rival other streaming services while providing you with more features than cable at a lower price, consider paying for Hulu.