After trying out Netflix for a couple months, I decided to try out Hulu, another one of the big online streaming services. Like Netflix they offered a free month trial so I decided to give it a go to see how it compares. Setting up an account was pretty easy but it was about to only give a 2 week trial for some reason. I managed to reload it and got the 30 day free trial as advertised.
I started with the basic $7.99 plan which has commercials. I quickly found out that waiting for commercials for online content like this is very annoying and pretty much unbearable. Luckily they allow you to upgrade to the $11.99 no commercial plan during the 30 day free trial. So I switched to the no commercial plan which was much better.
One thing that is nice about Hulu is they have new episodes for many of the current on air shows. So for example if you miss an episode on tv, you can often watch it commercial free on Hulu. This is one of the differences I found when compared with Netflix which tends to add full seasons at one time either after the series has aired or if it is an original show.
Navigation of the shows and movies is pretty easy. The top menu seems to be a bit limited until you get into the categories. I think it could use a little reworking to show more options in the menu. Like Netflix, they offer the convenient option of adding shows to your Watch List to save for later.
I found the selection of tv shows and movies to be pretty good. They have a rotating selection like Netflix as new content is added and older content is removed. I found Hulu to be a little bit like Youtube in the fact that they have a lot of clips and trailers in addition to full episodes.
Use with a streaming player such as Roku on a tv is very easy. After logging in the first time, it is saved so loading it back up is very fast. Hulu keeps track of viewing history like Netflix as well so you can see what you have watched in case you want to go back and review. Also Hulu has the option to set up profiles in case you have several people in the household using the same account.
There is a 5 star rating system like Netflix but the reviews section seems to be more limited. I noticed they have the option to comment on the shows and movies but there did not seem to be much activity going on in the comments.
Overall I have been pleased with Hulu and it is a good compliment or alternative to Netflix if you don't mind the extra price for the no commercial plan. In terms of value, Netflix still has the edge with their basic no commercial plan starting at $7.99. If Hulu could match this price for the no commercial plan, it would be a very even match. I always look for the best deal so if I had to pick just one service, I would probably go with Netflix.