What is Hulu and how does it work? While it is possible that this service becomes more popular every day, to the point of competing with Netflix, there are many people who still do not know some important details such as: rates, type of programming and what differences it has with a standard cable package. But calm, that again, we have arrived to help you. Next, we tell you all about the Hulu platform and the new Hulu Live TV service.
And if you are interested in this service, but you are still not sure if you want to commit to a monthly subscription, you can try Hulu for free for 30 days.
FREE HULU TEST FOR 30 DAYS
WHAT IS HULU?
Hulu is a video streaming service that allows users to broadcast popular television programs, movies or series, in addition to having their own original productions. It is jointly owned by The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox (which has also been acquired by Disney), Comcast and, to a lesser extent, Time Warner (now owned by AT&T). Hulu focuses primarily on the transmission of the newest television programs, and its own original content on movies or documentaries, and offers different levels of monthly subscription (more on this below) to personalize your visual experience.
The platform differs from other sites such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in that it allows users to access popular series and programs from several traditional networks, almost immediately after their broadcast on open television. Usually you only have to wait a week, and in some cases, only one day. Unlike cable, you should not worry about extra fees, equipment rentals, or installation appointments associated with the subscription. You can watch Hulu at home or anywhere through many of your favorite streaming devices.
As mentioned, Hulu also has a growing line of exclusive original content such as Runaways from Marvel, and the series The Handmaid’s Tale, which received a series of awards and excellent reviews of critics and public in general.
WHAT IS HULU + LIVE TV?
The company's last venture is Hulu + Live TV. This streaming service costs $ 45 per month (after a price increase in January 2019), and allows subscribers to watch live and on-demand TV programming of more than 60 channels, including local news and sports, along with everything offered by the regular channels of the basic Hulu package. More recent additions include Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Motor Trend (formerly Velocity) and Animal Planet.Hulu with Live TV can be compared to other services such as Sling TV, DirecTV Now or Playstation Vue, all of which allow access to live programming without the need for a cable or satellite subscription. Like those other services, Hulu with Live TV is not without problems. The transmission quality for live programs is often not as good as cable, especially with slower internet speeds or during periods of heavy traffic.
To watch Hulu with Live TV on a computer go to the Hulu website, where you see your options for content as you would with a traditional subscription, but on that page you can also see a “Live TV” button at the top of the screen.
WHAT DEVICES CAN I USE?
Hulu is available on a wide range of devices, including Android and iOS phones and tablets, as well as streaming platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV. If you prefer to use your computer, you will find it in all browsers for Mac and PC. Also, on LG and Samsung smart TVs, in addition to Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Switch.
PlayStation 3 and PS4 consoles support basic Hulu but, probably due to its rivalry with Sony's live TV streaming service (PlayStation Vue), Hulu with Live TV is not supported. In addition, the Hulu Classic application (which does not allow some features, including the option of live TV) is available on certain Vizio and Sony TVs, Android TV, Wii U, TiVo and select Blu-ray players from Sony, Samsung and LG.
How much does HULU really cost?
The traditional Hulu broadcast service has two subscription options: a level of $ 6 dollars per month (after a price each of $ 2 per month), where you see advertising cuts in a manner similar to open television, and another option without advertising for $ 12 dollars per month. For its part, Hulu with Live TV costs $ 45 dollars per month with limited ads or $ 51 dollars per month for content without advertising.
If you want extra services, things can be much more expensive. You have the option of adding monthly subscriptions like HBO ($ 15), Cinemax ($ 10) or Showtime ($ 9) over your existing Hulu subscription.
Although Hulu alone offers a free (though limited) version of its content library, that is no longer the case. The platform moved to a fully subscription-based model in 2016. However, in a recent partnership with Yahoo, Hulu moved some of its free content to Yahoo View. The website will make available the most recent episodes of selected series, and the new episodes will be added eight days after its broadcast.
Things can be much more expensive, too. Hulu subscribers have the option of adding monthly subscriptions such as HBO ($ 15 dollars), Cinemax ($ 10 dollars) or Showtime ($ 9 dollars) in addition to their existing Hulu subscription.
As for Hulu plus Live TV, while the service includes 50 hours of online cloud storage, users can purchase 200 hours of online DVR storage space for an extra $ 15 per month.
The service comes with a limit of two screens that can be used to view the service at the same time, but this can be updated to unlimited screens at home or three on the move for another $ 15 dollars. Fortunately, if you want both of these updates, Hulu subtracts $ 10 dollars from the price, which means that both services come out in $ 20 dollars a month in addition to your subscription of course.
For those without cable, any of these subscriptions could be a valuable addition. They offer access to countless hours of content, including unique series that cannot be found elsewhere. While subscriptions can be a bit expensive, putting up with ads and fewer available screens can make both services quite affordable. But remember that to all this, you have to add the cost you pay online monthly.
Is good speed necessary?
Hulu and Hulu plus Live TV can be transmitted at different quality levels, which will be automatically adjusted according to the speed of the Internet. For smooth and uninterrupted playback, Hulu recommends a minimum download speed of 6 Mbps for Hulu in HD and 8 Mbps for Hulu Plus Live TV.
If you plan to stream on multiple devices, more bandwidth will be required for a quality experience. Currently, 4K transmission is not supported, and Hulu has not made any indication about when (or if) to allow 4K transmission.
The Internet connection speed requirements for Hulu are as follows:
- Standard definition: 1.5Mbps
- 720p HD: 3Mbps
- 1080p HD: 6Mbps
- Hulu plus live TV: 8Mbps
HOW CAN I GET HULU?
Registering in Hulu is easy: you can do it in just a few minutes from your smart phone or computer. Simply visit hulu.com/welcome and follow the instructions on the screen. You can also link your Hulu account with your Apple or Android account to simplify payments.
Unlike traditional television, Hulu does not require any long-term contract or commitment. You can try it for free and cancel without charges (although you do have to enter your credit card information when you sign up). If you decide to cancel your subscription, you can easily do it online or through customer service. And if you ever decide to recover the service again, your account information will remain accessible.
FREE HULU TEST FOR 30 DAYS
* Updated by Mara Teresa Lopes on July 12, 2019.