Who Offers More Bang for Your Entertainment Dollar?
Netflix or Hulu Plus is a question that many Americans face as they try to determine which online streaming service offers the best value.
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 answer.
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 original programming.
A Quick Comparison
- Hulu 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.
- Netflix costs $7.99 per month for a streaming-only subscription.
- No commercials or ads are displayed.
- There is no annual commitment.
- 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 movies.
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 WWE.
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 winner.
User Experience and Accessibility
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.