Why Hulu Plus is Worth $8 a month

Hulu Plus is a video-streaming service that allows you to stream full episodes and clips of TV shows and movies for $8 a month. I don’t watch movies on Hulu Plus just TV shows so I won’t be able to review what the movie variety is like.Hulu Plus logo
Basically when you sign up for Hulu Plus you gain the ability to watch any current season episode of primetime TV shows from most networks excluding CBS. Your favorite shows you like to watch and the day after the new episodes air on traditional TV they will be added to your Queue. I’m not really sure what time they get added although other users say around 5:00am.

The thing I like best about Hulu Plus is that it provides DVR-like access for only $8 a month. A traditional DVR from your local cable provider normally costs somewhere north of $10 a month. I pay $16 a month for mine. I use Hulu Plus to stream my shows from ABC, CW, FOX and NBC and use the DVR from the cable company to record shows that don’t stream. I find using both services together helps me to never miss an episode of one of my favorite shows.

Another thing I like about Hulu Plus is how many places you can watch your shows. They have apps for your tablet, phone, video game console, TV, blu-ray player and media set-top box. You can also stream on hulu.com on your computer. My set-up is PS3 for the living room, Roku streaming box for my bedroom and occasionally on my MacBook Air when the living room TV is in use.

The one thing I find a little annoying about Hulu Plus though is that they have commercials. Now for the most part they aren’t that noticeable on most shows since each commercial break normally only has 2 commercials and are in the same place as if you were watching them on traditional TV. For some odd reason though shows on NBC can have anywhere between 2 to 5 commercials each commercial break. But for $8 a month I’m willing to overlook this one caveat.

For cord-cutters Netflix and Hulu Plus together make for incredible value providing you a vault of older shows, trailing seasons of current shows and access to new episodes of your favorite shows provided they aren’t shows from CBS. You have to use cbs.com to watch The Big Bang Theory. Although CBS has created their own streaming service they don’t have apps for many devices yet.

For anyone who likes to watch TV but doesn’t want to pay for cable, Hulu Plus is a must-have. You get access to many shows you like to watch and can watch them on your time just like a DVR. Watching a commercial here or there is not too big of an issue and they go by very fast anyways. All in all Hulu Plus is great service worth having and makes keeping track of new episodes of your shows a breeze.

Why Netflix is Worth $8 a month

Netflix is a video-streaming service that allows you to stream as many movies and tv shows as you want for $8 a month. They also still offer dvd by mail rental plans. This review is just for the streaming part of Netflix.
Netflix
When you sign up for Netflix you get a My List which is a list of shows and movies for you to choose from that you want to watch. You add shows to your My List by clicking on Add to My List when checking out a title.

Netflix has so many choices available that you’d be hard-pressed not to find something to watch. Of course on the other hand with so many options to look through you might waste all the time you had to watch in the first place. Luckily they do show you recommendations on what to watch based on your interest in another title that’s similar.

The thing I like best about Netflix is the ability to binge watch tv shows. I always think I will get around to watching 3 to 4 episodes a night of a drama that’s around 42 minutes but I never do. 2 is usually my max for dramas and 4 for sitcoms. I guess I just like the idea that I can watch as many episodes in a row as I want.

I also like that Netflix is pretty quick at adding new episodes of a show within a year of their initial airing. Shows I currently have on My List that aired from Fall 2013 to Spring 2014 that were added to Netflix this fall are Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, The Originals Season 1, The Vampire Diaries Season 5 and The 100 Season 1. When new episodes of a show are added and you currently have the show in your list you receive an email saying new episodes have arrived for the show. Netflix even sends you emails for shows they think you would like to watch based on what you’ve watched in the past.

I know I mentioned Netflix also has movies to stream but I personally don’t watch movies as often as I do tv shows. The last movie I think I streamed was Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. I couldn’t tell you how long it takes for new movies to show up on Netflix streaming. I do know that Netflix DVD rental releases new movies 28 days after they come out on DVD and on-demand. It’s completely your decision on what you watch.

Another great thing about Netflix is the variety of devices that have a Netflix app; tablets, phones, video game consoles, TVs, blu-ray players and media streaming set-top boxes. You can also stream on netflix.com on the computer. My set-up is PS3 for the living room, Roku streaming box for my bedroom and occasionally on my MacBook Air when the living room TV is in use.

An interesting development with Netflix is their involvement in creating original series; Orange is the New Black, Hemlock Grove and even cartoons like Turbo FAST which is based on the DreamWorks movie Turbo. Two new shows coming this month are Marco Polo (meant to rival HBO’s Game of Thrones) and All Hail King Julien (an animated show based upon King Julien in the DreamWorks’ Madagascar film series). I predict in the next few years Netflix will have a line-up of pretty successful original series.

I like the way Netflix has evolved since its creation and hope it continues to change the television landscape. Netflix is a great service for cord-cutters and is also a great supplement to cable. Hopefully the great price of $8 a month holds for a long time to come. It would be a shame for them to jack up the price if their original shows take off in the ratings.

Original shows premiering this month on Netflix:

Marco Polo December 12th

All Hail King Julien December 19th