Get Free TV With Hulu?
We'd all love to cancel our expensive cable TV service, if only we could watch our favorite shows for free. Hulu is an online video service that just might deliver on the promise of free TV. But it depends on what, where, and how you want to watch your television. Read on to learn more about Hulu...
What is Hulu?
Hulu is an on-demand, Internet-delivered streaming video service. It delivers thousands of TV shows, movies, and other video content produced by NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, Nickelodeon, and many other networks and studios. Founded in 2007, Hulu is a joint venture of NBCUniversal Television Group, Fox Broadcasting Co., Disney-ABC Television Group, and Providence Equity Partners.
Hulu comes in free and subscription forms. The free version of Hulu is available only on desktop browsers, while the $7.99 per month Hulu Plus version runs on desktops (Windows, Mac, and Linux), tablets and smartphones (Android and iOS), many game consoles, so-called WebTVs, and other platforms. The latest Internet-connected TVs from Sony, Samsung, VIZIO, LG, Panasonic can connect directly to Hulu through your existing Internet service. Other popular devices that can be used to bring Hulu content to your living room television screen are the Roku Streaming Player, Apple TV, Microsoft's Xbox 360, and the Sony Playstation 3.
With the free Hulu service, you can watch the five most recent episodes of popular TV shows such as The Daily Show, Family Guy, and Saturday Night Live. The late night lineup of Leno, Kimmel and Fallon are there, as well as popular news, talk, entertainment, cartoon, food, sports and reality shows. The paid Hulu Plus usually has all current-season episodes from popular shows, and full series runs (all episodes from every season) of many other shows not currently airing.
So why shell out eight bucks a month for Hulu Plus? In addition to not being chained to your computer for television viewing, there are some other benefits to consider:
What Does Hulu Plus Offer?
- The free Hulu provides only the five most recent episodes of a series, while Hulu Plus has on-demand access to full seasons of current shows. Plus also offers past seasons of selected classic shows, and Hulu Originals.
- Hulu Plus makes the latest content available the day after it airs, while the same shows may be delayed in showing up on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other competitors.
- Hulu Plus content is available in HD, while free Hulu videos are standard TV definition.
- You can maintain a video queue for future viewing
- Add shows to your Favorites and have new videos added to your queue automatically
- Connect with Facebook friends, and see their favorite shows
- Participate in Hulu's discussion boards
What About Stuff That's NOT on Hulu?
It's true that Hulu doesn't cover the full spectrum of networks, shows, movies, news and sports that you can get with a subscription to a cable TV service. For some people, the free version of Hulu might be enough. For others, the $7.99/month Hulu Plus service might look a lot cheaper than the $30 to $80 they're currently paying for cable. But if you miss your local news and movie channels, there are ways to supplement what Hulu offers, and still remain cable-free.
Of course, if you have an antenna and you live fairly close to a city, much of what Hulu offers, and the things they don't, are available for free. Many local newspaper and TV news stations offer free streaming video that will keep you up to date on current events in your area. Just Google the name of the paper or TV station, and chances are, you'll find them online. Crackle offers lots of free movies. If you can't find the movie you want there, get a Roku box and check out Netflix or Amazon Prime.
For the hardcore TV junkie, Hulu Plus is probably the best fix available, if you want to cut your cable. For most people, adding Netflix or Amazon Prime to a Hulu Plus subscription would bring in pretty much everything they can get on cable TV, for around $15 a month. Sports fan might have to spend a bit extra to find MLB, NFL, NBA or NHL games via the Roku box.
On the downside, both Hulu and Hulu Plus still have short commerials during the shows. And unfortunately, Hulu is only available in the U.S. and Japan at this time. I've heard that it's possible to use US-based proxies to get around this in other countries, but I'll leave that as an exercise for the motivated reader. Also, only one stream per subscriber is permitted, so two people cannot watch different shows simultaneously via the same Hulu account.
Have you ditched your cable subscription in favor of Hulu or other free online TV services? Tell me about your experience! Post your comment or question on this topic below...
Posted by Bob Rankin on 20 Dec 2013
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Get Free TV With Hulu? (Posted: 20 Dec 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved