Hulu Review

Do you want to see what Hulu can do for you?  Before you get started, have a look at the strong and weak points of the service that we've picked out for you.

Pros

  • Free version available -- You can use Hulu for free, although doing so limits you to a small number of movies and television shows, and usually only five episodes of a show.

  • Check out TV's latest hits -- Hulu has a small selection of movies that you can watch, but its main focus is television shows.  Hulu has many of the latest small-screen gems, and a few classics as well.  Hulu also gets episodes of these shows faster than competing services; in some cases, you can set your Hulu account up to watch a new episode of your favourite show the day after it airs live!

  • Queue up a "to-watch" list -- If you don't have time to watch an episode of your favourite show right now, you can add it to your queue.  Then, you can go back and pick up where you left off.  You can even add shows to your "Favourites" list and have it add new episodes to your queue automatically!

  • Be a critic on any size screen -- In addition to watching movies and TV shows on Hulu, you can also rate them and comment on them (including individual episode).  Discuss every performance, plot twist, music selection, and more with Hulu's community of viewers!  You will need to connect your Hulu account to your Facebook account to do so, though.

  • Hulu on the go -- In addition to watching Hulu on your desktop computer, you can also watch it on your mobile device, smart TV, specialized media player (such as Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV), or even your video game console!  You may need to purchase a subscription to Hulu Plus to do so, though.

Cons

  • Diamonds are forever; shows aren't -- Some movies and television episodes may only stay on Hulu for a limited amount of time, due to various business and legal reasons.  Fortunately, you can set Hulu up to alert you when these shows are going to disappear soon, so you can watch them before they're gone.

  • It's an ad, ad world -- Hulu often puts advertisements between some segments of a television episode or movie on Hulu, even if you have a Hulu Plus subscription.  Hulu says that they do this to keep their subscription price low, but it's still annoying.  Deal with the ads as best as you can.

  • Only in America -- Due to licensing restrictions, Hulu can only be accessed by Internet addresses in the United States (though there are some exceptions for military personnel abroad).  There are some countermeasures to this policy (most of which are perfectly legal, and are how we were able to write this course from Canada!), but not all of them work all of the time.

The bottom line: 7.5/10

If you're a fan of TV, you'll likely be a fan of Hulu, too.  Hulu has over 150 television shows in its library, from full seasons of old favourites to the latest episodes of current must-see TV.  You can watch Hulu from your desktop computer, or on your mobile device, smart TV, digital media player, or video game console.  Add shows to your "Favourites" list and episodes (or even full seasons!) to your queue so you know what to watch next.  Or, check out your viewing history to remember what you were watching last.  You can even hold discussions with fellow Hulu users on your favourite shows and episodes.  Best of all, you can try the full version of Hulu for free for a week when you sign up!

Hulu has some serious strikes against it, though.  For one thing, the free version of Hulu is very limited, in terms of both content and accessibility.  Often having to watch commercials in-between movie or show segments on Hulu, even if you have a premium account, is also irritating (why not just watch regular TV, then?).  And the fact that you can only watch Hulu while on American soil means that you're usually out of luck if you want to watch Hulu while on vacation in Europe or elsewhere.

Overall, we'd recommend Hulu if you're a television buff looking to re-watch your favourite classics, or catch up and/or stay up-to-date with the must-watch shows on the air today.  It's also good for those who are into "hidden gem" classic or foreign movies; you might want to use it together with a service like Netflix (which specializes more in movies than in TV shows) for that.

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