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Hulu is one of the most versatile video-on-demand (VOD) streaming services on the market, with packages that include live TV streaming and on-demand services. Hulu lets you tailor your viewing experience with channel add-ons, multiple package-types, and upgraded DVR storage. It serves as a hub for various TV networks offering popular titles like “30 Rock,” “Broad City,” “Community,” along with several other choices. The service also has plenty of binge-worthy, original content with award-winning series such as “Ramy,” “The Act,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
As an entity owned by Disney, Hulu enjoys a seat in the Disney+ bundle alongside ESPN+. It also features past and present FX series. New exclusives include “A Teacher,” “Devs,” and “The Old Man” — all set to appear on Hulu after premiering on FX and FXX. It should also have a few Marvel series in the near future.
Hulu Packages at a Glance
|Price||Free trial length||Catalog||Ad-free|
|Hulu with ads||$5.99/mo.||30 days||85,000 episodes + movies||No|
|Hulu (no ads)||$11.99/mo.||30 days||85,000 episodes + movies||Yes|
|Hulu + Live TV||$54.99/mo.||7 days||85,000 episodes, 60+ channels||No|
|Hulu (no ads) + Live TV||$60.99/mo.||7 days||85,000 episodes, 60+ channels||Yes|
*Live TV channels include commercials and certain shows have promotional interruptions
How We Evaluated Hulu
As the landscape for video on-demand (VOD) services continually changes, with new ones launching while others merge and reshape, it can be difficult to determine which is best for you. Catalogs gain and lose cherished content to and from competitors on a whim, making it hard to stay on top of what you can watch on any given service. As a result, we decided to concentrate on available packages, features, and overall usability in this review.
Hulu vs. Other Video Streaming Services
|Hulu||Amazon Prime Video||Apple TV+||Netflix|
|Base Price||$5.99/mo.||$8.99/mo. (or free with Prime membership)||$4.99/mo.||$6.99/mo.|
|Free trial length||30 days||30 days||7 days||7 days|
|Simultaneous viewing||2||3||6||Up to 4|
|Streaming quality||Up to 4K||Up to 4K HDR||Up to 4K HDR||Up to 1080p HD|
Enjoy a range of content
For $6 a month, the basic plan gives you access to Hulu’s 85,000 licensed and original ad-supported catalog. If you loathe commercial interruptions, opt for the $12 per month, no-ad plan. Or if you want to watch live, Hulu + Live TV gives you 50 hours of DVR storage and the opportunity to watch 60 live channels, including CBS, ESPN, NBC, and many more. You can also stream college and professional sports live, such as NBA, NCAA, NFL, and NHL games — with the usual blackout restrictions.
Interestingly enough, NBC’s soon-to-debut streaming service, Peacock, won’t immediately affect Hulu’s NBC content. Hulu will continue featuring NBC content for two years, and maybe longer.
Hulu lists various add-ons that will elevate your experience. Improve Hulu’s basic package with premium channels like Cinemax, HBO, Showtime, and Starz. Hulu + Live TV features the same channel add-ons as the basic plan while offering Cloud DVR storage and unlimited screen upgrades. You can purchase bundles like the Entertainment add-on package for $8 a month to get access to Discovery Family, SCI, and several other options. The Español add-on costs $5 a month and includes channels such as ESPN Deportes and UNIVERSO.
Personalized and aesthetically pleasing interface
When creating your account, you can pick the channels, genres, and shows that you want to watch. From there, Hulu will ensure your My Stuff area is filled with your preferences. The interface is intuitive, with favorite content appearing on the homepage, a browsing tool that helps you dive deep into categories and genres, and a search menu.
Hulu only offers offline downloads with its ad-free plans ($12 per month for on-demand and $61 per month for live TV). Subscribers to those plans can download 25 select videos, including originals, on five separate devices. Hulu gives you 30 days to view recorded content, but once you start watching, you only have two days before videos are deleted. Hulu + Live TV lets you keep downloads as long as you have an active subscription. You also have the option to pay an extra $10 a month for an additional 200 hours of DVR storage.
The Bottom Line
With Hulu’s various price tiers, vast library of movies, series, originals, and live TV, we think you’ll be happy whether you want to supplement your streaming experience or cut the cord altogether. But if you’re not interested in paying for Hulu’s premium plans and want features like ad-free and offline viewing, there are alternatives like Netflix that offer more.