Hulu, owned by The Walt Disney Company with NBCUniversal which is an equity stakeholder, is an OTT platform that came into being in America. Currently, it is co-owned by Comcast and The Walt Disney Company. It was founded on October 29, 2007. The name Hulu is adopted from Mandarin Chinese. The website went live in the year 2007 without any content. In its initial stage, it invited users to register using their e-mail to test out the beta version.
Hulu is extremely popular among people in the U.S and Japan as it contains a unique and appealing range of content varying from US TV shows to Japanese anime. The main focus of Hulu is to stream content from popular network broadcasters, independent films, documentaries, blockbusters, and original content. Hulu had 38.8 million viewers as of December 1, 2020, and had 4.1 million Hulu + Live TV users as of December 1. 2020.
Hulu recently has been trying to update its user interface frequently. Sometimes these updates aren’t exactly positive like the recent one wherein they tried to change the menu option to make it comfortable by eliminating the transparency effect that drastically reduced the legibility of text. A positive update was the addition of dislike and like buttons that helped Hulu in personalizing your viewer experience by taking the feedback from the customers themselves.
Hulu is different from other OTT platforms and cable services and this is how.
Platforms like Amazon Prime and Netflix are also available in the market that somehow provides the same kind of service. Hulu differs from these services as it focuses on giving early access to famous and viewer favorite series from multiple traditional broadcasting networks. The users roughly have to wait a week to watch new episodes of TV shows that recently aired.
Another perk of using Hulu over cable services is that there are no extra costs that involve installation charges, hidden fees for a channel subscription, equipment rentals, etc. Hulu is readily available to be used either at home or any streaming device that an individual prefers.
Hulu added the feature of offline watching in October 2019 that helped it compete with other services in the same genre that were already providing this service. It allows the viewer to download up to 25 titles. The titles can be downloaded across five different devices and remain in the application on the device for up to 30 days. This, however, is a feature of Hulu’s ad-free plans.
The concept of Hulu + Live TV
Hulu + Live TV is a $55-per-month service that is bound to increase to $65 eventually that allows the user to subscribe to watch on-demand TV programming that is streamed live for more than 60 channels and includes sports, local news, etc. This service also includes all the other content that is included on Hulu like documentaries original content, etc.
We can draw a parallel between Hulu + Live Tv and other services like YouTube Tv or Sling TV. These services also allow users to access live programs without any satellite or cable subscription. Just like any other live streaming service, Hulu + Live TV also has its shortfalls like the reduction of streaming quality which isn’t as good as that of satellite or cable service.
Devices that can be used to access Hulu
Hulu and Hulu + Live TV are available on almost all widely used streaming devices and operating systems like Android and iOS. Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Samsung smart TVs, select LG, Mac, Android TV, Google’s Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Fire tablets, Roku and most likely PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are other devices and platforms that are compatible with Hulu.
Older devices like PlayStation3, however, do not support the latest update of Hulu. Other devices that are still stuck on class Hulu app are some selected TiVo, Blu-ray players from Samsung, Sony, and LG, Vizio TVs, and Wii U. It is highly unlikely that they will ever gate a newer version because of the viewers demand to upgrade to new devices and versions.
Pricing and Subscription of Hulu
Hulu at a particular point in time used to offer its library content for free but this isn’t the case anymore. The platform switch to being entirely subscription-based in 2016. Hulu recently partnered with Yahoo and moved some of its free content to Yahoo View.
Different kind of subscription packages available:
- $6 version: This version is the cheapest and shows a fair amount of advertisements.
- $12 version: This version eliminates all the ads.
Hulu + Live TV
- 50 hour DVR: This pack allows the user to fast forwards some commercials but certainly not all of them.
- 200 hour DV: This pack allows an individual to fast forward everything that is recorded on the platform.
One should note that no pack version is entirely free of advertisements just like any other cable or satellite service.
Signing up on Hulu and Hulu + Live TV
You can easily signup on Hulu using your computer or smartphone. You just need to visit hulu.com/welcome and follow the instructions that are displayed on the screen. The Hulu account can be linked to an Android or Apple account for the convenience of Payments. The mobile and TV app has a built-in feature for signing up and activation of an account.
Internet Speed requirements to stream hassle-free on Hulu
The quality of Hulu can easily be adjusted both manually and automatically according to the user’s convenience and internet speed. Hulu recommends having an internet connection with a download speed of a minimum of 8 Mbps for Hulu + Live Tv and 6 Mbps for Hulu in HD.
The standards definition of the video can easily run at a download speed of 1.5Mbps, 720p HD runs at a speed of 3 Mbps, 1080p HD at a speed of 6Mbps, Hulu + Live TvV at 8Mbps, and Ultra HD 4k at 16 Mbps.
Getting around the app and how convenient is it?
Hulu + Live TV is fairly easy to use. It has a clean layout and has simpler options and an interface for searching live programming, movies, record shows, and on-demand content that one can avail of after subscribing to the service.
Recently in 2020, Hulu updates their interface which made it easier for viewers to discover new content. The table of contents can be easily personalized and tabs like ”Keep Watching” make it more convenient for the user to pick from where they left.
You can keep content you like under one place by adding them to the “My stuff” category.
Channels that one gets with Hulu + Live TV
- ABC News Live
- ABC Network (ACCN)
- Animal Planet
- Big Ten Network (BTN)
- Cartoon Network
- CBS Sports Network
- CNN International
- Cozi TV
- Discovery Channel
- Disney Channel
- Disney Junior
- Disney XD
- ESPN College Extra
- Food Network
- Fox Business Network
- Fox News Channel
- Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
- Fox Sports 2 (FS2)
- Golf Channel
- History Channel
- Investigation Discovery (ID)
- National Geographic
- Nat Geo Wild
- Olympic Channel
- SEC Network
- Smithsonian Channel
- Travel Channel
- Universal Kids
Original Hulu Content
- The Mindy Project
- The Path
- Hotwives of Orlando
- The wrong mans
- Difficult people
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- Marvel’s Runaways
- Castle Rock
- Pen 15
- Little Fires Everywhere
Best shows and movies to watch on the platform
- The X-Files
- Little Fires Everywhere
- The Hardy Boys
- Animaniacs (2020)
- Grey’s Anatomy
- Killing Eve
- Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
- The Prestige (2006)
- Bombshell (2019)
- The Nice Guys (2016)
- I Am Greta (2020)
- Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
- Seuss’ The Grinch Musical (2020)
Hulu Pros and Cons
|The on-demand streaming library is included with the subscription.||The DVR needs to be upgraded to fast forwards through the commercials.|
|It has a very good collection of entertainment networks, sports, news, and local channels.||The add-ons are comparatively expensive|
|It allows the individual to allow 50 hours of cloud DVR storage||Unless you upgrade, you can only use two screens|
|Offers low prices for the basic plans||You cannot remove ads unless you pay extra|
|The updates on new episodes are quick||The add-ons are comparatively expensive|