HuluPlus vs Netflix Streaming

I subscribe to both HuluPlus and Netflix (streaming and the dvd) and I get asked regularly what the difference is. So here’s my two cents on them:

What I like about Netflix is the fact that I can watch older seasons of tv shows and it’s without any commercials. They also stream movies, but I don’t watch the movies nearly as much as the tv shows. I’ve used Netflix to watch Prison Break, Bones, Hot in Cleveland, and most recently House of Cards. My daughter, who is almost 12, watches endless kids shows, and Mythbusters, on it too. We can stream it to our iPads, my husband’s Samsung Galaxy Tablet, and we watch it on our tv through Wii.

Hulu was a more difficult sale to talk myself into, but to be honest, I use it a zillion times more than I do Netflix. Hulu is like my very own DVR and I watch it a lot on my iPad or my computer, however there is also an app for it on the Wii so I can stream it through to the tv. The cost is minimal, $7.99 a month, and with that I’m able to watch current seasons of tv shows the VERY NEXT DAY that they air. For instance, let’s say that I subscribe to The Following, Monday night’s episode shows up in my queue on Tuesday. The downside is that not every network is on Hulu, for instance CBS doesn’t have current shows, and AMC is definitely not on there (sorry Walking Dead fans).

When I was training for all of those half marathons last year, the Goofy Challenge, and even the Lakefront Marathon in 2011, it sure was handy to be able to watch current shows while I was on the treadmill to make the time go by faster. However, Hulu does show commercials and there’s a countdown to let you know how long the commercial will be. I use that as a perfect time to speed up the treadmill and get some sprints in for 20, 45 or 60 seconds.

A big perk with Hulu is that it’ll breakdown the SNL skits for you so if you only want to watch the Weekend Update, hey, there it is for you. An even bigger perk is that it releases brand new shows days and weeks prior to when the tv does. I believe I watched the first few episodes of Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23 a full month before the show premiered. Also? Red Widow, that was on Hulu two weeks prior as well.

To conclude, if it’s last season tv shows and movies you want, then Netflix is for you. The exception is House of Cards, which by the way, I finished on Sunday and it was awesome! Netflix released the entire season of that show all at once, it’s not being shown anywhere else.

If it’s last night’s episode of Bones, The Following, The Office, New Girl, Grey’s Anatomy, etc… you want? Then Hulu is for you.  If you are interested in a two week free trial please click here. No pressure. Any questions? Let me know and I’ll be happy to answer what I can.


Kimberly writes and podcasts at Outside My Head and That's My Answer.

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