There is no doubt that live and broadcast TV is being replaced with streaming services. Many people have completely eliminated broadcast services like DirectTV, ATT U-Verse, and Charter from their homes and are a completely stream-only household. The two most popular streaming companies are, undoubtedly, Netflix and Hulu. Not knowing which service to get, I naturally got both to review them, so I will compare the two services and help you decide which is the best for you.
According to both company websites, both streaming services are supported by many popular devices, such as PlayStation, X-Box, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, smart TVs, many mobile devices, and Nooks. Both services are $7.99 a month. It may seem a little much at first, but it is cheaper than most cable or satellite providers. To put it in perspective, if you can find a quarter a day, you can afford Hulu or Netflix. If you are an avid movie or television show watcher, you should make the investment to at least one of these services.
Netflix Pros and Cons
Netflix has a larger library of movies and TV shows than Hulu. It releases a TV show’s entire season at a time, making their service easier to binge watch. It is advertisement-free after paying the fee. Since it is ad free, you get more into your show without as many interruptions, and you can watch more episodes in a row in a shorter amount of time. Netflix focuses more on the kids section than Hulu. If you enjoy going back and watching familiar and new kid shows, then you will probably like the kid section of Netflix. The layout of Netflix is user-friendly, and it is easy to find what you need.
A few cons of Netflix is that there is so much content, it can be a bit overwhelming. Sure, you can use “Max,” the annoying voiced robot that “helps” you find something to watch, but he is rarely helpful with finding shows or movies. Also, Netflix automatically goes to the next episode of the show you are watching. As convenient as that is, it can really waste your time. Sometimes an hour or maybe even two can pass because you’re not thinking and go “brain dead” when watching Netflix and lose track of the time. If they took the auto-play function out, it might help limit the amount you watch. Some older devices, however, do not include the auto-play version of the streaming application. Netflix also does not offer any TV episodes from the current season.
The Hulu Experience
Hulu Plus has more popular current TV shows, but fewer movies. Hulu gets new episodes the day after they air on TV, which makes it easier to stay current on your favorites. Pretty much any current show you can think of will be on Hulu, however they do not always carry the entire season’s catalog through to the end and often drop the earlier episodes later in the season. This makes it harder to binge watch with Hulu than Netflix. However, the concept of watching new episodes right away is awesome, and you can also subscribe to your favorite shows so that new episodes will show up in your queue the next time you log on.
The layout of Hulu is similar, but so different, to Netflix. With Hulu, at first the search bar was hard to find. I use my PlayStation as my streaming device, and I use the triangle button for the search for Netflix. With Hulu, I have to scroll to the top to a camouflaged search bar. The layout overall isn’t awful, but I like Netflix’s layout better. The biggest complaint is that the advertisements on Hulu are annoying at times. To watch a 45-minute show, you have at least five one-minute ads. I’m already paying $8 a month; I don’t want ads. I do understand they have less members than Netflix and need the extra money, but it is irritating nonetheless. However, there are fewer ads than if you watch each show when it originally airs on broadcast TV, so that’s a small plus. Another negative is that Hulu tends to hang more than Netflix, and often requires rebooting.
Both services are good, and you won’t be disappointed with either. If you like to watch current shows in your own time and don’t mind the occasional ad, then go with Hulu. If you like “older” TV shows or movies, and like watching them all at once because you have a lot of free time, then go with Netflix. Or, you could always subscribe to both, which is still cheaper than cable.