Hulu Plus vs. Netflix: Who Offers More Bang for Your Entertainment
Netflix or Hulu Plus is
a question that many Americans face as they try to determine which online streaming service
offers the best
Finding the answer isn't always easy, and the
decision depends largely on the type of programs that you watch. If you've been wondering who
will win the Hulu Plus vs. Netflix battle, it's time to find the
Netflix has been offering subscription-based
entertainment services since 1999 and has been streaming since 2007. Today, the company has more
than 30 million members worldwide. Its large catalog of TV shows and movies makes it the most
popular on-demand entertainment company ever.
Hulu joined the streaming market in 2008 and
launched its premium Hulu Plus service in November 2010. This venture was funded by NBC Universal,
Fox Broadcasting, The Walt Disney Company and private equity partners. This link to the television
business helped Hulu and Hulu Plus grow an unprecedented collection of historic and current TV
shows. Today, Hulu is one of the most watched streaming sites. Hulu Plus has more than 4 million
paying subscribers in the United States and Japan. Since 2012, Hulu has also produced and aired
Plus costs $7.99 per month with no commitments.
- Hulu Plus offers premium subscribers
42,000 episodes of 1,600 TV shows.
- Many TV shows are available online the
day after they premiere.
- Subscribers can access more than 3,600
classic films and new movies.
- Commercials, ads and surveys are
included in most paid programming.
- Hulu Plus content is only available to
Internet customers in the United States and Japan.
- Mobile viewers appreciate the site's
seamless streaming experience.
costs $7.99 per month for a streaming-only subscription.
- No commercials or ads are
- There is no annual
- Subscribers have access to a massive
catalog of films and TV shows available instantly.
- The service is available throughout
North and South America and 40 countries.
- Netflix produces acclaimed original
programming that's not available anywhere else.
- Customers have the option to add a
separate DVD subscription.
At $7.99 per month, both streaming services
cost the same and offer similar no-commitment billing agreements.
The main difference lies in the selection
that subscribers receive and the quality of the service. Due to the nature of Hulu's primetime TV
selection, ads are displayed on free and premium content to keep subscription costs low. For
customers who want to try either service, Netflix offers the best deal with a free one-month trial.
If you want to try Hulu Plus, you'll get one week of free access. Both services allow subscribers
unlimited streaming, and users are free to cancel their subscription at any time.
Another thing to consider is the amount of
free programming available directly through Hulu.com. Non-subscribers can usually access the most
recent episodes of select network and cable shows. As a Hulu Plus subscriber, you'll get access to
the entire library of shows, including all episodes in current and past seasons. On the other hand,
you have to be a Netflix member to view their complete catalog and stream shows or
If you can't get enough TV shows and
primetime drama, Hulu Plus is the best option for you.
In addition to carrying new episodes of the
most popular current programs, Hulu Plus has a growing selection of movies, including classics from
the acclaimed Criterion Collection. Hulu is the best online source for programs from FX, A&E,
History, Syfy, USA, Oxygen, E!, AMC, Food Network, truTV, NBC, ABC, Fox and Fox Sports. You can
even view previously recorded college football games and sports events, including
If you love movies, documentaries and
foreign TV shows, Netflix might be the better option. Netflix has the largest catalog of on-demand
programming online. However, its strong point is films, not primetime TV shows. Netflix customers
have to wait three months to a year to view the most recent episodes of their favorite programs. If
you compare the selection of children's programming and original shows, Netflix is the clear
User Experience and
Netflix and Hulu offer users a similar
viewing experience with several minor differences.
Both services are compatible with computers,
HDMI TVs, mobile devices, gaming consoles, Roku boxes, Apple TV and other viewing systems. Netflix
uses Microsoft Silverlight for streaming, and Hulu Plus uses Adobe Flash.
Hulu Plus offers high-definition 720p
programming to subscribers and requires a minimum download speed of 1.5 Mbps. High-definition
programming on Netflix is available in superior 1080p when bandwidth is sufficient. This service
requires a minimum bandwidth of 0.5 Mbps for streaming. TV shows and movies on Netflix are
available in standard DVD-quality resolution, high-quality video or high-definition. Video quality
also depends on bandwidth. Audiophiles prefer Netflix because it offers 5:1 surround sound. Hulu
Plus only offers stereo.
Exclusive Features and
Despite the obvious differences and
strengths, there are other reasons why you might consider Hulu Plus over Netflix or vice versa.
Netflix currently offers subtitles on 90 percent of its online programming. The site also makes it
easy to filter children's shows by rating. Original programming is another area where Netflix
Hulu Plus is making an effort to compete and
currently has exclusive rights to "All My Children." TV show clips, sneak peeks and
behind-the-scenes specials are also exclusive to Hulu. Although ads are shown on most Hulu Plus
features, its children's programming is ad-free. Due to the company's close relationship with cable
providers and TV networks, Hulu Plus restricts certain programs and requires some members to sign
in through their cable providers to gain access.
Mobile viewers prefer Hulu's sleek
interface. However, if you live outside the U.S., Netflix might be your only option. In conclusion,
movie lovers love Netflix. Parents and audiophiles do too. Netflix offers the best value, selection
and viewing experience, but if you want to see your favorite primetime shows on your schedule, Hulu
Plus is the place to go.