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What Is Hulu And Hulu Plus

The Internet has permeated every corner of our lives. It has seen a large number of online streaming services become available to the masses. Today, people can watch content on the go as opposed to how it was a couple of years ago where one either had to watch what they wanted to later or be there to watch it as TV stations beamed the program. Now, with just a touch of a button and a strong internet connection, you can watch any show you want at any time and as many times as you want.

If you are keen on experiencing what various streaming services have to offer, one the main streaming services you ought to consider is Hulu. This online video streaming services offers you access to a wide variety of content. So what makes Hulu so different from other streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime? What are the major packages that I have access to as a consumer of Hulu? What are the main advantages that come with getting a Hulu or any of Hulu’s packages for my home? What are the main disadvantages, if any, do I have to contend with when I buy a Hulu package?

This article is designed to dig deeper into what you ought to expect when you subscribe to Hulu. It’s designed to help you understand the facts and weigh for yourself whether or not it is the right package for your consumption.

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What Is The Hype About Hulu?

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Hulu was an ad-supported internet TV service that was started in 2008. It was launched by NBC-Universal as a means of expanding their reach in the large online market that was still at its infancy. The main aim why it was started was to enable users to stream movies, shows and sports, just to mention a few from their computers, smartphones, smart TVs and tablets.

Hulu received mainstream recognition after running a very stellar and powerful Super Bowl campaign in 2009. The star of that campaign was Alec Baldwin in a role as an alien looking for brains. From then on, Hulu’s popularity skyrocketed with the first huge milestone coming in January 2010. In that time, the service had garnered a whopping 903 million views monthly, second only to YouTube.

With the growing demand for more content and better service, Hulu then moved to ensure that they grew their market share exponentially by tapping into as main devices as possible. Its paid subscription model was launched in November 2010. Hulu continues to grow as a company and has still stuck to its forced advertising model.

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Watching Hulu With Live TV

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The Hulu with Live TV package is a recent addition that allows you as the user to access live and on-demand content on your television. You can access over 50 and more television channels and unfettered access to the huge Hulu library available. You even have access to Hulu original series and movie, just to mention a few.

All you have to do is just access the Hulu website and enter your zip code. Thereafter, you will see the channels available in your area. Alternatively, the Hulu on-demand library offers a catalog of content. This service allows users to customize their package. If you would like access to HBO, Cinemax or Showtime, you can include them as part of your package and set up a payment plan for them.

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Cost And Commitments Of Hulu Summarized Vs. Other Services Vs. Dish Services

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Below is a simple overview of what you should expect when you get in on the Hulu family. In a nutshell, you are not subject to any of those long term commitments that other streaming services and satellite dish providers subject you to. Most companies want to tie you down to either a year or two-year contract just so that they can protect their bottom line. Hulu is different. If you want to cancel your package without being hassled or penalized, then Hulu is the right fit for you. It is free and if you want access to exclusive content, you can pay for it on the Hulu Plus.

Hulu is a company that offers users a way of conveniently cancelling their membership. All you have to do is get in touch with Hulu through the website or social media. They will in turn take care of you swiftly. Other services tend to be very vindictive when it comes to making cancellations. Some dish services will give you the run around or flatly refuse to cancel your subscription to their services. They hope to tire you out quickly so that they can keep you on the hook for the future. When you are paying for a product or service, you come first as a customer before anything else. If you want to cancel your package, they should accept your request without giving you problems. Hulu understands this and they strive to provide the best customer service that responds to their requests in a timely manner.

In order to enjoy Hulu, all you have to do is simply have a smart device or computer with a reliable internet connection. Nothing fancy just those two things. Some streaming services are yet to offer users a chance to operate on multiple devices and platforms. They have dedicated equipment that users have to buy in order to get the service they want. This means and added cost of equipment as well as subscription. When you use Hulu, you keep simple. The basic package is free and you do not have to set up appointments to have special equipment installed.

As long as you have an app installed on your device, you can stream content any time you want. In fact, the content you stream can be done without any hassle occasioned by weather changes as with satellite providers. Satellite providers often remind their users that their products are very susceptible to changes in weather, especially storms. Content might be virtually gone or unwatchable making for a terrible watching experience.

If you are keen on experiencing top of level content on Hulu, you can pay something extra. This will be explored further in later sections of this article. That extra you will pay will not have hidden charges unlike those in satellite dish content providers or other online streaming service. Satellite providers have been known to lock people in long contracts and then change the prices of their packages at any time. They might even levy additional charges and then give you a long winded story about the charges, and you being customer craving for restoration of their service will have to comply. Such a state of events can be mildly or totally exasperating depending on your level of patience and quite frankly unacceptable. At least with Hulu, they are very straightforward about what they charge you.

Since Hulu is ad-loaded streaming platform that is free, you might want to consider whether the pain of living with ads is worth it before you dive in.

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The Hulu Basic Package

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When it was starting out, Hulu used to be free for consumers but it was loaded with a lot of ads. Even now, with their paid models available for users to choose at their discretion, this online service has what they call a commercial free option. However, the aforementioned option is not entirely commercial free.

In order to sign up for Hulu, all you have to do is simply go to their site, fill in your details in the sign up form and create your account. The essence of this process is to ensure that Hulu is an position to personalize your content. After all, if there is something new that the search algorithm finds would be appealing to you, would you not want to be the first among your circle to try it?

As you sign up, you have the option of adding your family members as well. Since each member will have a separate profile, the recommendations Hulu sends you will not be negatively affected. Their website is very easy to navigate. Its intuitive design ensures that users can check out content without any difficulty by simply hovering the mouse pointer over it.

As for the content, Hulu basically has anything and everything you might want to watch. Whether you are looking for current episodes of those new and eye-catching series you like to watch or past episodes you missed out of the current season for binge-watching, they have it. All the major players in the TV and movie game are on Hulu: players like AMC, ABC, CBS and Disney, just to mention a few.

Not only that but also Hulu produces very good shows as well. The most talked about show in the TV blogosphere is an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. If you are worried about your young one’s accessing content that is age-inappropriate for them, Hulu has parental control options you can use. It is very easy to set up and tough for even them to crack. When you sign up for Hulu, you are get the complimentary one-month trial.

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Device And Platforms Compatibility

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The following are the main platforms and devices you have access to when you want to use this Hulu service. For computers, any web browser will do. Hulu has packages that are compatible with Windows and Mac OS systems. iOS and Android can install Hulu apps for your favored smartphone, iPad or tablet.

Smart TVs from different manufactures can install the Hulu app for access to great Hulu content on the large screen.

The Pros And Cons Of Using Hulu

It is important that when you are looking to get this service, you be objective about it. When you want to use this service, you must weigh the pros and cons so that you can ensure you get value for your money. This section explores the pros and cons of using Hulu in depth.

Pros

The first pro that comes with using Hulu streaming service is the wide range of devices you can connect through. Some services tend to be very skewed and limited in the number of platforms you can connect with. Unless you have special device to connect your TV with or computer with, you won’t enjoy the service. With Hulu, you have a lot of options to choose from.

It cannot be reiterated enough that if you are looking for a place with loads of content right to your Internet-enable device, Hulu is the place to be. The Hulu app works well and without any hitches to ensure a smooth viewing experience for you and yours. Even the most popular ones are there where you can set up a playlist and binge-watch them at your leisure.

Cons

Much as we might like to glamorize what Hulu has to offer, there are certain cons that come with the package, first one being commercial advertising. As a user of Hulu Basic you have to deal with loads of commercials. These tend to kill the vibe if you were watching something riveting and eye-catching. If you are keen on getting uninterrupted content, you might want to consider other options as well. The Showtime package is expensive and it is the only add-on package available. This means, that if you were looking for exclusive sporting events, you will have to fork out extra just to get it.

With that said, it is basically up to you and whether you will like unfettered access to great content at the price of watching commercials. There is no provision for Showtime add-ons. If you would like access to exclusive Showtime add-on to your current Hulu package, you will be among the first people to access new Showtime content and premium content as well.

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Hulu Plus

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If you are looking a service that is loaded with even more content; something exclusive and quick, then Hulu Plus is the package for you. It basically builds on what Hulu offers and then some. Hulu plus has access to content generated by Fox, CBS, ABC and NBC in addition to exclusive in-house content produced by Hulu.

Hulu Plus is free only to a certain extent. When you sign up for this package, you are only allowed a one-week free trial. Thereafter you have to pay for it. Payment bouquets come in basic and premium options. As for the basic options and premium options, they are very affordable coming in at USD7.99 and USD16.98 monthly. If you are not into paying, you can revert to your free Hulu account for the content you want. However, you will be depriving yourself of the ability to watch previous seasons of a show that is absent when you watch Hulu for free. At least with Hulu Plus, if you are just catching up with an ongoing season of a program and want to know how the series started, you can without any hassles.

Device And Platforms Compatibility

Just like Hulu, you do not need any device to get connected to great content offered on Hulu. As long as you have a smart device and a good internet connection, you can access content good content all the same. Here are the main devices and platforms on which you can enjoy the best that Hulu Plus has to offer.

If you have a PC, any web browser will do if you do not want to download, the software to it. The software package is compatible with Windows and Mac Operating systems. Smartphones, game consoles, tablets and Smart TVs have provisions for downloading the app that you can use to view Hulu plus content.

Pros

First of all, Hulu plus offers you a chance to stream content on a multitude of devices. Its app is light and very powerful. Additionally, you do not have to buy a dedicated device just to watch the content. All you need is a smart and Internet-enable device.

Just like Hulu, Hulu Plus offers loads of recent episodes of the various TV shows in cycle. The only point of departure is that Hulu allows you access to past seasons making it a binge-watcher’s paradise. You can catch up with the current story line if you did not watch series before.

When you want to watch international series, you can do it hassle free and without paying extra on top of what you are already paying. In fact, there are over 450 international shows ready for your consumption. A great way of experiencing what different parts of the world have to offer for your entertainment.

Cons

Hulu Plus also has some very compelling cons as well. For starters, it is still loaded with ads. Even if you upgrade to a commercial free option, pesky ads will put a damper on your viewing experience. You will have to continuously pay just to get access to top content. There is no sugarcoating it. Failure to pay on your Hulu Plus sets you back 8 to 30 days before restoration of the content you were previously enjoying.

At times, some of the content on Hulu will appear to you inconsistently. Some seasons of your favorite series might be missing making for a very unnerving experience. At times, you might just give up on watching the series altogether if you are very particular about following stories.

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Hulu And Hulu Plus Compared

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Hulu is basically Hulu Plus without the zip and flair. As far as what you want to watch is concerned, Hulu plus users have more freedom and control over what they watch than Hulu users do. If they want to binge-watch a series, they can do it comfortably. Even recent episodes are easily accessible. On Hulu, you get what you get. If you miss an episode, you just have to find some other way of watching it. In short, if you are a Hulu user, you have zero options and are at the mercy of Hulu. Quite a disconcerting feeling if you have favorites on there you cannot miss.

Paying For Hulu Plus And Hulu Plus Commercial Free

So you have decided to pay for Hulu Plus and its Commercial Free counterpart? Well this part of the article explores the various ways and means you can use to pay for your subscriptions. It is worth noting that Hulu offers users a chance to customize their package by including add-ons in it.

The first alternative of paying and managing your Hulu subscription is through the site itself. There you will find the ‘My Account’ page, which you should click on to gain access of the ‘Your Subscription’ page. From there you can select the ‘Manage’ tab that takes you to ‘Add-ons’. On this page, you can opt to either switch on or switch off the add-ons. The choice is yours. After making your selection, you then confirm your choices by clicking on the ‘Continue’ button.

If your Hulu billing is taken care of through third-party sites, like Amazon, Roku, iTunes, Sprint and Spotify, there are different steps you must adhere to. Normally, such sites have a dissimilar process of managing billing and your add-ons at your discretion. When the time comes, do not leave the process to chance and assume you have it. Learn the intricacies of the various processes so that you can do it effectively. There is usually a guide on how to go about it without any hassles whatsoever on your part.

With so many options to access Hulu, it is worth considering if you want to take your viewing experience to the next level.

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Final Words

When you want to sign up for Hulu or Hulu Plus, you should ensure that you read the Terms and Conditions that most people gloss over. These Terms and Conditions, change at times and as a new user, you need to know where things stand. This way, you can ensure you are getting value for your investment later one.

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