Is Hulu Worth it? We’ll help you decide with a look at what you need to know before you sign up.
Hulu is a great Netflix alternative if you like binging TV shows more than movies and it is an excellent cable alternative that lets you choose if you want to see commercials while watching the latest TV shows. You can even get a Hulu Live TV option that streams many of your favorite channels to almost any device.
You can sign up for a free Hulu trial to test the service.
This is what you need to know about the Hulu free trial, Hulu deals, Hulu packages and other things to consider before subscribing to Hulu for on-demand and for live TV.
Before you sign up for Hulu, there are a few things you’ll want to know about the service, options, and plans. Instead of trying to make sense of a long FAQ from Hulu, we are here to walk you through everything you need to know before you give Hulu any money. We’ve been using Hulu for years, and testing various plans and options to find out how to get more from the service, where to look for deals and other tips.
How Much is Hulu?
Hulu is $5.99 a month with ads or $11.99 a month with no ads. Hulu Live TV is $54.99 a month or $60.99 a month with no ads. There is a Live TV only plan for $53.99 a month that doesn’t include the traditional Hulu plan at all.
From there, you’ll find an array of add ons that we’ll cover more in-depth in the pricing and package section. There is no commitment, and you can cancel Hulu at any time without penalties, hassles or even a phone call.
You can also get Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month.
You can also find some Hulu deals that drop the price if you are a student, or if you bundle it with another service.
When Do New Episodes Go on Hulu?
We typically see new episodes of current shows go on Hulu the next day, early in the morning. This isn’t a hard and fast rule though. Sometimes shows arrive a 2,3 or even five days later depending on the show and the contracts negotiated with Hulu and the network.
You can typically watch the current season and potentially part of an older season, but you won’t often find the full run of a show on Hulu if it is still in production. There are times when you will see all episodes of a newer show, but this tends not to be typical.
If you miss the last few episodes of a series, it may not be there when the new season hits, so you need to plan accordingly. I recently had to buy a few episodes of the first season of A Million Little Things which I hadn’t caught up on when Season 2 dropped.
With some premium programming you will get a selection of older seasons, but not all of them. For example, Hulu offers five seasons of Homeland, while there are currently seven seasons.
There are two main Hulu plans to choose from. The first is a $5.99 a month plan that includes streaming shows and movies, but you will see ads interrupt your viewing experience. The second is an ad-free version for $11.99 and allows you to watch without seeing any ads.
You can also choose if you want Live TV, which bumps the price of the cheapest plan down to $54.99 and the price of the no ads option to $60.99. You will still see ads during Live TV viewing. The no ad option is for the part of the streaming that you can do on Hulu without Live TV.
You can also add Enhanced Cloud DVR to the Live TV plan for $9.99 a month and Unlimited Screens for $9.99 a month, or add both for $14.99 a month. Without this option, you can only watch Live TV on a limited number of devices at the same time.
We used to see Hulu deals drop the price to $5.99 a month, but that is the standard pricing. You can score an epic Hulu deal if you are a student that also wants Spotify. You can subscribe to Spotify Premium and Hulu with ads for $4.99 a month. That is an epic deal and you can start the process on Spotify. You will need to cancel any subscription you have to Spotify or Hulu through a carrier or app store to use this deal.
Pay attention to Hulu deals throughout the year that can offer Hulu for as little as 99 cents a month. This typically happens during Black Friday, but we could see it return in the Spring.
Are Hulu Add-Ons Worth It?
You can upgrade your Hulu plan with add-ons including HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and Starz. You can add these to any of the Hulu plans, including the ad-supported ones or plans with Live TV. The pricing is the same as if you subscribed to these individually, but it may be cheaper than if you go with the plan through a cable company, so double-check that if you use Hulu in addition to paying for cable.
Hulu Show List
You can check out the Hulu show list without subscribing to see if your favorite shows are on the service. This page includes a link to all the shows on Hulu and a list of the seasons and episode count. You can watch big hits like Seinfeld, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, This is Us, Rick and Morty, The Golden Girls, Bob’s Burgers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Futurama and many others.
You can also filter to only see shows that are still on the air. This will help you decide if it is a good alternative to paying for cable. You will not find most CBS shows on Hulu since CBS would rather sell you CBS All Access plans.
Does Hulu Offer Movies?
While most of us think about Hulu for TV, the service also includes movies. There are documentaries like the Fyre Festival documentary Fire Fraud and other original content. It’s a mix of old and new movies, but the catalog is nowhere near as deep as Netflix. You can check out the Hulu movie listings on this page.
What is included with Hulu Live TV
The Hulu Live TV plan includes access to the standard Hulu streaming options as well as more than 60 Live and On-Demand TV channels. This includes sports, news, and entertainment. You can record up to 200 hours on a Cloud DVR if you pay $9.99 a month for the option.
With Hulu Live TV you get major networks including; ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and many other networks including channels like CW, Discovery, A&E, FX, and USA to name a few. You can check out the full listing and enter your zip code to see which local channels you get with Hulu.
From a sports standpoint, you get Fox Sports 1, the Big Ten Network, ESPN, TNT, NBC Golf, CBS, NBCSN, Fox Sports 2 and others. You can watch a lot of sports with this plan. With this information, you can check to see which of your events are on Hulu.
It’s a good idea to use the free month alongside your current option to see if Hulu Live TV has enough channels that you like to make it worthwhile.
How Many People Can Use Hulu At Once
With the Hulu and Hulu no ad plans you can only watch one stream at a time. You can install the app and sign in on as many of your devices as you want, but you can only use one at a time.
With the Hulu Live TV plan you can watch on two devices at the same time. If you need to add more streams you can upgrade to the unlimited Screens option for Live TV. This gives you unlimited streaming on your home network, and three mobile streams. This is a $9.99 a month option.
What Does Hulu Work On?
Hulu works on a wide range of devices. There are two versions of the Hulu app still ins use. You can use the current version on most modern devices and a classic Hulu app that doesn’t include Live TV access. You can use the latest Hulu app with Live TV on the following devices;
- Android phones and tablets
- Apple TV (4th generation or later)
- Echo Show
- Fire Tablets
- Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
- iPhones and iPads
- LG TV (select models)
- Nintendo Switch
- Mac and PC browsers
- PlayStation 3*
- PlayStation 4*
- Roku and Roku Stick (select models)
- Samsung TV (select models)
- Windows 10
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
The classic app is available on older devices and on many Smart TVs. These include;
- Android TV
- Apple TV (2nd & 3rd generation)
- LG TVs and Blu-ray players (select models)
- Roku and Roku Stick (select models)
- Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players (select models)
- Sony TVs and Blu-ray players
- Wii U
- VIZIO TVs
The odd devices out are the PS4 and PS3, which feature the latest Hulu app, but not Live TV. If you want to watch Live TV and use the latest features, you may want to buy the latest Apple TV or Fire TV Stick 4K.
Is Hulu Worth It?
Is Hulu worth subscribing to in 2020? With a price below one iTunes movie rental each month, it is a very tempting option for many users. I subscribe to Hulu alongside cable because it offers the best way to watch many of our favorite shows. I’m still considering switching to Hulu + Live TV and ditching cable, though with the DVR add on I’ll be spending a decent amount each month.
I also spring for the ad-free version because I get sick of seeing the same ads over and over again. Being able to watch many of my favorite shows without worrying about DVR issues and clunky on-demand set-top boxes is worth the price.
The value really kicked in when I discovered Homeland, which Hulu offers seven seasons on demand. This was a massive saving over buying them or subscribing to Showtime just for those episodes.
Ultimately it will depend on how you watch and what you watch if Hulu is worth it, but if you get the value of one iTunes movie rental a month out of it, the version with ads is a very good value.
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