What are Hulu and Hulu Plus?

Let's face it: life's busy, and you don't always have time to sit down in front of your TV and watch the latest episode of your favourite show.  But what do you do if that happens?  Do you record the episode?  Wait for a rerun to come on?  Watch the next episode and hope that there's a pre-show recap that can help you fill in the blanks?

If you've ever wished that you could watch the hottest shows on TV on your own time, then Hulu.com might be for you.

What is Hulu?

Hulu is a service that allows you to stream (i.e. watch as they load) TV shows and movies on your computer, mobile device, or other media player connected to your TV.  It often gets the latest must-see TV shows faster than its competitors, and you can watch the latest episodes whenever it's convenient for you.

Hulu is similar to Netflix in that you can watch as many movies and TV show episodes as you want with your subscription, as opposed to a service like Amazon Instant Video, where you have to pay per movie or episode that you rent or purchase.

What is Hulu Plus?

Hulu Plus is the paid subscription version of Hulu.  For about $8 per month, it affords you access to Hulu's full library of TV shows and movies.  In addition, you can watch full seasons of TV shows, instead of just a 5-episode sample.  Finally, you can watch Hulu on devices besides your desktop computer. 

You can get a free weeklong trial of Hulu Plus when you sign up for Hulu, and we'll show you how to do it!  See our How to Sign Up for a Hulu Free Trial tutorial.

How does Hulu work?  5 cool things about Hulu

1. Free samples available

You can use Hulu for free, and you don't even have to sign up for an account to watch movies and TV shows.  This gives you a small sample of what Hulu has to offer before you start using its paid subscription service.  And, as we mentioned, you can also start using Hulu Plus free for a week after you sign up.

2. The latest shows, all in one place

Hulu has many of the most popular shows on TV today, and usually gets new episodes much faster than its competitors (such as Vudu, M-Go, and Amazon Instant Video).  So while other video streaming sites may take a month or two to get new episodes of some shows, Hulu can get new episodes within a week, or maybe even the next day!

3. Not just for your desktop

You can watch Hulu on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers, too.  It even works with some specialized TVs, digital media players, and video game consoles!

For a list of devices that Hulu can be accessed on, click here.

4. Keep a "to-watch" list

You can add certain movies or TV episodes to a "Queue", so you can remember what you wanted to watch next and get back to it again quickly.  You can also add shows that you like to your "Favorites" list, and set Hulu up to add episodes from that show to your "Queue" as they become available.  You can even set Hulu up to send you email notifications when the newest episodes of your favourite shows are ready to watch!

5. Talk TV, your way

Feel like asking a question or getting something off your chest about a certain movie or TV show episode?  Link your Hulu account with your Facebook account and have your say.  You can also tell your friends about all of the great movies and shows that you're watching on Hulu over Facebook, Twitter, and email!

What can I watch on Hulu?

Hulu has over 150 television shows and 200 movies, from timeless classics to modern blockbusters.  Some of the more popular ones include:

For more popular movies and shows, see our What Shows are on Hulu? and What Movies are on Hulu? articles, or click here to see Hulu's full current lineup.

 

That's a brief primer on Hulu!  Next, we'll do an in-depth review of Hulu's pros and cons.

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