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|Access to the entire library, which is presented with limited ads.
|Access to the entire library without ads.
|Hulu + Live TV with Disney+ and ESPN+
|Hulu with commercials and live television, includes subscriptions to Disney+ and ESPN+
|Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV with Disney+ and ESPN+
|Everything in the Hulu library without ads, plus live television and subscriptions to Disney+ and ESPN+
What Is Hulu?
Considered by many critics to be a top player in the streaming world, Hulu is an excellent choice for viewers who insist on a large catalog of television series. The operating system works dependably no matter which streaming device or platform you use, and there’s even a cloud DVR option for those who opt to include live television.
Hulu is great, but it’s not perfect. It doesn’t have as many high-quality, buzzy original shows as Netflix, and the base plan forces you to watch commercials. Moreover, you can’t watch offline downloads unless you spring for a premium plan.
Still, viewers seem to love Hulu for the depth of its on-demand streaming library and solid options for enjoying live television.
How Much Does Hulu Cost?
One of the attractive things about Hulu is that it boasts a relatively diverse selection of plans. True, the basic plan forces you to watch commercials, but it only costs $6.99 per month. At that price, a few ads seems reasonable.
If you’d prefer to watch television without interruption, then step up to Hulu without ads. It’s only $12.99 per month, which is pretty modest considering how much content you’ll be able to view.
Hulu has some attractive package deals as well. Partnered with Disney+ and ESPN+, Hulu provides plenty of viewing options. Plus, while Hulu’s original programming tends to be hit or miss, the original series on Disney+ are almost uniformly outstanding, making these packages sure winners.
These packages also include live television, which means that you can watch a wide assortment of traditional television channels with your subscription. Hulu has excellent channel coverage, so you’ll find all of your local networks and much more than you’d probably ever want to watch. With a cloud-based DVR, you can record hours and hours of live television for later viewing.
If you opt for Hulu with ads in this package deal, you’ll pay $69.99 per month. For just a few dollars more at $75.99, you can get Hulu without ads, which seems like a better option. Keep in mind that while the on-demand Hulu streaming programming can be watched without commercials, you’ll still have to sit through ads when you’re watching live TV.
How Can You Watch Hulu?
Hulu also is an attractive streaming option for many households because it’s available on pretty nearly every platform. That means that you can access your account from almost any device and regardless of whether or not you’re at home. Stream Hulu directly on the web or use the app on your Android or iOS device. Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast and Apple TV all have Hulu as do smart TVs and a variety of game consoles.
Extra Channels and Add-Ons
Hulu offers a great deal of flexibility to viewers through its basic plans, but these are not the only options. Choose partner add-ons from ESPN+ or Disney+. ESPN will run you an additional $6.99 per month, but the truly excellent Disney+ is only another $2.99 per month. With original programming and classic shows as well as feature films from Star Wars, Pixar, Disney, Marvel, National Geographic and more, this is a spectacular add-on for a minimal price.
You have the further option of premium add-ons from HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime and Starz. While Starz is just $8.99 per month, you can get Cinemax for $9.99 per month, Showtime for $10.00 per month and HBO Max for $14.99 per month. These add-ons can be subscribed to or cancelled at any time without affecting your Hulu subscription.
Live TV add-ons are available as well. These include an Espanol add-on for just $4.99 per month and an Entertainment Add-on for $7.99 per month. A Sports Add-on and an Unlimited Screens Add-on are each $9.99 per month.
Although not as popular and well-known as original programming from the likes of Netflix and Amazon, Hulu nonetheless has some respectable options. The Handmaid’s Tale garnered a large and enthusiastic audience, and other original series like Marvel’s Runaways, Veronica Mars, High Fidelity, Castle Rock, Little Fires Everywhere, Helstrom and Harlots performed well. Fans have happily received Only Murders in the Building and Y the Last Man. Golden Globe awards were bestowed on the The Act and Ramy, showing that Hulu is powering up its original programming game.
What Else Can You Watch on Hulu?
Hulu’s catalog has always placed a heavy emphasis on television series, though it includes movies as well. You’ll easily find hundreds of seasons of shows from many of the major networks. As NBC’s Peacock and the Paramount+ service have debuted, these network-specific services have cut somewhat into Hulu’s library. Still, Disney keeps its 21st Century Fox content on Hulu, ensuring that it retains plenty of depth and breadth.
Animation fans will find offerings that include Bob’s Burgers, Archer, Futurama and Adventure Time. When you’re in the mood for drama, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The X-Files, The Orville, Killing Eve, Bones, Castle, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Criminal Minds and CSI: Miami are just a few of the choices.
Comedy series include newer favorites like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 30 Rock, Scrubs, Malcolm in the Middle, Letterkenny and Broad City along with classics like MASH, Cheers, I Love Lucy, The Bob Newhart Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
FX shows also are found on Hulu. Full seasons of completed series such as Justified, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Better Things, Atlanta, Archer and Snowfall are readily available.
One of the great reasons to choose Hulu is that you’ll get access to current entries from ongoing series within days of their broadcast. Compare that with the months that are required to get the latest seasons of cable and network series on Netflix, and you’ll see that it’s a pretty big advantage.
In addition to television shows, Hulu has a fairly good library of films. You’ll find mainstream hits like Taken, Rocketman, Space Jam, Sonic the Hedgehog, Parasite, Black Swan, Nomadland and The United States vs. Billie Holiday among many others. From Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles to more recent releases like Death on the Nile, there’s something for everyone.
Even kids get plenty of choices with Hulu. A varied selection of series and movies caters especially to them. Thanks to parental controls and the ability to have several profiles, it’s a cinch for adults to control what their children are able to view.
How Can You View and Manage Your Account?
When you subscribe to Hulu, you’ll be asked to enter an email address and a password. If you ever need to view your account or make changes to it, the easiest way to accomplish this is by signing in to the website on a computer or tablet.
After logging in, you’ll see your Hulu home page. Click on the icon on the upper right-hand side of the screen. The icon usually consists of your first initial in a circle. From the icon, you’ll have the option to choose to manage your profiles, review your account, visit the help center or log out.
The overview is where you can manage your account. This screen shows you your upcoming charges and shows you your current subscription. If you would like to change your plan, simply click on “Manage Plan.”
Just below this is a box where you can manage add-ons, making it really easy to subscribe or cancel any of these services.
This page also has the info for “Your Account.” This includes your name, birth date, gender, email, password and devices. Helpful links make it a breeze to change or update any of these data.
Moreover, this screen is a one-stop shop for viewing or updating your payment information, pausing your subscription or even canceling it. Just click on the appropriate button to make your selections.
What About Customer Support?
Hulu is a pretty outstanding streaming service, but that doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong. If you ever find yourself with an issue, getting help may be as easy as visiting the Help Center, which you can access from your account.
Many problems can be resolved simply by typing your question into the search box at the top of the Help Center screen. Several links also are presented on this screen under general topics such as “Billing & Plans,” “Using Hulu” and “What’s On Hulu.” Just click on the highlighted links below these categories to find some useful information.
A library of Help Center articles further is available if you still need more information. Many people find the “Ask the Community Feature” to be extremely helpful, but if you would prefer professional assistance, you can always use the “Contact Us” link on the main page of the Help Center. You’ll be asked to choose a general topic before being presented with some generic suggestions. Below these are options to chat with a virtual assistant, chat with an agent or call Hulu.
Is Hulu Worth It?
With its availability on virtually every platform and device and impressive library of television shows and movies, Hulu hits it out of the park for most streaming enthusiasts. Its basic plans, whether with or without ads, are pretty inexpensive, making it a budget-friendly option as well.
Although Hulu’s original programming isn’t quite as good as that being offered by competitors like Netflix and Amazon, these series and films definitely are gaining ground. Even if you choose to avoid any Hulu Originals, you’ll still have endless hours of entertainment to keep you busy.
It’s also worthwhile to note how easy and inexpensive it is to add Disney+, ESPN+, Showtime, HBO Max and other services to your Hulu subscription. With the addition of live television, you could have pretty much everything you could ever want for a competitive price.
If you’re still curious about Hulu, consider signing up for a free 30-day trial. That should give you a better idea of whether or not this streaming service is a good fit for you.
In many ways, Hulu takes the place of a traditional cable subscription. You could easily cut the cord on your cable and still have plenty of quality entertainment with Hulu and its optional add-ons.
People frequently are reluctant to cut the cord with their cable company because they don’t like the idea of completely abandoning live television. This is totally understandable, and Hulu doesn’t require you to make this sacrifice. For more money each month, you can get Hulu and live TV with a great mix of available channels. Chances are good that this will cost you less than what you were paying your cable provider anyway.
There’s been a great deal of buzz about the Disney Bundle over the last few years, and it truly is a good deal if you’re interested in the programming on Hulu and Disney+. The Disney Bundle is available to all subscribers who are over the age of 18. It includes not only Hulu and Disney+ but also ESPN+. Disney+ grants access to content that includes Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, National Geographic, Disney and more, and ESPN+ broadcasts all of the sports content that you could ever desire.