You’ve stayed true to the physical over digital for your entertainment needs, watching your DVD collection grow and faithfully recording your favorite shows on your DVR. But lately you’ve been thinking that maybe the streaming services aren’t all bad. Plus, you’re sick and tired of paying outrageous cable fees.
Streaming used to be an obscure word that few television junkies and movie lovers uttered before 2007. That’s the year that Hulu opened for business. It’s a year that changed the way we watch TV and movies forever.
What is Hulu?
Today there are three streaming giants: Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. Hulu is the streaming service of choice if TV is your top priority. The company launched their business with the goal of giving people instant access to television shows – no DVR or recording required. For people that had shunned cable it was a game changer.
Netflix already had the market cornered on movies, so Hulu turned their attention to television. They are far and away the leader in the streaming industry when it comes to viewing the current seasons of television shows. Hulu has also put major emphasis on making their services simple and user-friendly. There are a number of ways to customize your viewing and manage your account. Finding content is super easy and there are so many ways to watch you’ll never be without some sort of entertainment.
One BIG distinction that needs to be noted right off the bat is that there are two Hulu subscriptions. The regular subscription is free, but very limited. Hulu Plus on the other hand unlocks a whole world of television and movies.
What Hulu Provides and What You Need
Hulu provides access to a huge catalog of television shows. And by huge we mean thousands of episodes, and the database is continuously growing.
· Current season programming (including seasons from 5 of the 6 biggest broadcast networks)
· Original Hulu shows
· Past seasons of television shows
· Clips from shows
· Movie trailers
The experts over at Frontier Internet in Oregon note that there’s one thing that makes a huge difference no matter what streaming service you use – a solid Internet connection. Without it, streaming isn’t possible no matter which service you use. They suggest Frontier FiOS in Oregon, but the options all depend on your street address. For the best viewing experience you’ll want an Internet connection with at least 1.5 Mbps bandwidth.
If you plan to watch Hulu programs on your computer you’ll need to install the 11.1 or higher version of Flash and have a supported browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox).
When Can You Watch on Hulu
The beauty of streaming is that you’re in control of when shows can be watched on your screen. What you see in Hulu is available to watch instantly. The one exception to the rule is new episodes of current TV shows. Those become available about a day after their original air date.
Where Can You Watch It?
The short answer – everywhere. In addition to your television, your Hulu account can be accessed from any Internet connected device, including gaming consoles, smart phones and tablets.
How Much Does It Cost?
As mentioned above, you can choose a free account or a paid subscription. At this time there is only one subscription level for $7.99 a month. It’s a pretty small price to pay considering the amount of content that you’re getting access to. If you are planning to replace your cable with Hulu then a paid subscription is a steal that will save you around $50+ a month.
Why You Should Consider Using Hulu
If you primarily watch TV shows from the top networks, Hulu’s streaming service will save you a fair amount of money each month compared to cable. But the biggest benefit is being able to control when and where you can watch TV. That kind of convenience is priceless.