Streaming video online is a great way to enjoy favorite TV programs and video. Many online subscription services deliver great content. However, only one such service delivers high-quality streaming video of the currently running, shows from all the most popular television networks. The service is referred to as Hulu. Hulu is available in two versions: Hulu Plus and Hulu.com.
Hulu.com simply referred to as Hulu is a free service while Hulu Plus attracts subscription fees of $7.99 per month. The question, therefore, is why choose to pay for the service when you can enjoy a free version. The answer to this question lies in the differences between Hulu Plus and Hulu.com. So, what are these differences and how can they influence your choices? Is the cost of Hulu Plus worth your investment?
Comparisons between Hulu Plus and Hulu.com
Only by understanding the differences between the two iterations can you make an informed choice. Let us look into the features responsible for the differences:
1. The volume of content offered
Both of these Hulu iterations offer a similar selection of television program titles from a similar number of networks; however, only Hulu Plus offers you the opportunity to dig deeper into the back catalog of your favorite shows. The free version allows you the opportunity to enjoy only the latest episodes of any given show.
In other words, the premium version gives you access to the most recently televised episodes. It also gives you the opportunity to go back in time to watch all the past episodes of interest. For instance, Hulu Plus will allow you to watch the latest episodes of the third season of Leftovers and Catastrophe as well as old classics such as the Simpsons.
2. Compatibility and Availability
Besides the differences in volume of content offered, another major difference between Hulu Plus and Hulu is compatibility and availability of platforms in which you can tune in Hulu. The free platform only allows you to view programs on your personal computer through a web browser. At the cost of Hulu Plus, you would expect some flexibility. True, the premium iteration allows you to watch your favorite programs on a wide variety of devices.
Hulu Plus is compatible with a variety of devices including Windows 8, Android and iOS devices. Furthermore, Hulu Plus apps are available for Fire Phone, Kindle Fire and Banes & Noble Nook users to stream shows and movies their devices.
Another great feature of Hulu Plus that Hulu.com lacks is compatibility with Smart TVs, Gaming Consoles, Blue-Ray players as well as streaming media players including Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast. Hulu.com video is usually streamed in standard definition.
3. User Friendliness
When it comes to user friendliness, both Hulu.com and Hulu Plus feature well-defined, intuitive operation. Each provides a search field is available to help you find the specific TV shows by title or actor. Besides, there are search filters that enable you to search for entertainment in various genres, categorized by TV, kid-oriented or movie offerings.
The interface is very clean, well laid, and therefore very easy to navigate through. Apart from the movie and TV listings, you will find links to the trending entertainment stories, famous movie trailers as well as short clips that are specifically designed to offer you sneak previews to less experienced viewers.
4. Streaming Convenience
As many people have realized free is not always strictly free as such. You will have to contend with certain commercial advertisements. For paid services, however, most you would expect to enjoy the ad-free experience. Both Hulu Plus and Hulu.com do not obey this rule. Both versions include commercial ads for all their streamed content.
According to the providers of Hulu service, such ads are necessary to help reduce the cost of monthly subscriptions while at the same time compensating their content partners – the studios that own the TV shows offered. Commercial adverts included in Hulu Plus are similar to those included in Hulu.com and they seldom change which can be quite annoying.
As you may have noticed from our discussion, Hulu Plus is the service to go for if you want to enjoy streaming the latest as well as the classic TV shows and movies with any compatible internet enabled device. However, you must be ready to dig deeper into your pocket to pay for the cost of Hulu Plus. Nevertheless, Hulu.com is still good enough if your interest is to stream the latest TV shows on your computer or laptop browser.