Get Free TV With Hulu?

Category: Television

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.

Hulu Free TV

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...

 
How Else Can I Help You?   (Enter your question in the box above.)
 

Sign up now for AskBob Updates!

Boost your Internet IQ, keep up with the latest online trends... get your FREE subscription now!


Email:


Posted by on 20 Dec 2013


For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.

Prev Article:
HOWTO: Detect and Defeat Keyloggers

The Top Twenty
Next Article:
Cheap Phone Calls - MagicJack and Alternatives

Link to this article from your site or blog. Just copy and paste from this box:


Most recent comments on "Get Free TV With Hulu?"

(See all 21 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Coover
20 Dec 2013

And local Sports channels like Fox Sports, YES, or NESN (to watch local sports teams)? Sorry. The cable can not be cut.


Posted by:

Dave S
20 Dec 2013

I use the Roku and find most of my TV watching is either Hulu or Netflix. What bothers me about Hulu is that even with the subscription, some shows like my daughter's favorite ABC Family "pretty Little Liars" is ONLY available on the web which means watching on my computer. If we're paying for the subscription, it should ALL be available on streaming TV or tablet.


Posted by:

Steve
20 Dec 2013

Bob:

Have you had a chance to research Clear TV http://www.cleartv.com/

Steve


Posted by:

john
20 Dec 2013

For me it's all hullaboohulu. I join the family in the family room for T.V. and sit in my lazyboy for computer time. But that's just me. Best regards, john.


Posted by:

Jim
20 Dec 2013

Bob,

We cut the cable line six months ago and haven't looked back since. However, I did find a third party cable internet provider that gives us unlimited @24M for $50/mo. We use Netflix and Hulu Free (not sure that paid is worth it)By searching around, ie: google "watch (insert show name)" you can find many shows and movies. We watch about 75% of our liking for free and found some new shows as well.


Posted by:

Doc
20 Dec 2013

Steve,

The Clear TV you posted looks like it's only for LOCAL TV, (i.e. your home town) and that 'Antenna' looks kinda 'weak' in the way it's designed. AND it looks like you'd need a TV tuner (or a digital box) in your home computer as well.

Bob has written on this before, here's a place to start looking:
http://askbobrankin.com/free_tv_on_pc.html

There are link-outs to other articles he's written on SIMILAR subjects.

Good luck!! -- Doc --


Posted by:

Nascar68117
20 Dec 2013

Justin tv covers all kinds of cable channels for us people to watch on our computers ,for free or $10.00 per month. They did get unplugged from FoxSP and NBCSp ,because those 2 networks wonted a higher monthly fee to broadcast off of their networks ,so now I don't have free car racing steaming live on my computer.


Posted by:

Loren
20 Dec 2013

Thanks Bob. I have not paid for TV for years. I have an over the air antenna with a digital converter. We get all the networks free on the antenna.
We have broadband & Roku for downloads of movies. Not the newest ones but more than we can watch.
We do pay for Netflix to get movies. I have tried to watch Hulu and others but the ads are totally objectionable. The $8 for Netflix is worth it.


Posted by:

Tom
20 Dec 2013

I use Hulu Plus a lot, and really like it. Now, if only I could get HBO and Showtime somewhere, I could really drop my cable provider.


Posted by:

Carole
20 Dec 2013

The problem with Hulu and Netflix, there are very few shows I would like to watch. The only reason why I keep cable is so I can watch old shows from the 50's and 60's. Also old movies.


Posted by:

Robert Hall
21 Dec 2013

Yes BUT... Paying for Hulu AND not being able to fast forward through commercials? No thanks.


Posted by:

k.gijsbertha
21 Dec 2013

Bob is free hulu also available in Curacao Neth. Ant.?


Posted by:

Dave White
21 Dec 2013

Hulu Plus costs the same as Netflix--but you have to endure commercials on Hulu. In addition, it seems that Hulu is much less functional on Roku. I constantly get a message that there is an error playing the video and must retry to get it to continue. Network is stable with a good signal, but Hulu servers seem to take a long time to stream video so that when buffer runs out, the error appears.


Posted by:

SharonH
21 Dec 2013

For those who love old shows (as I do) you might be surprised how many are on YouTube. Also there are DVD sets available.

So glad I am not a sports fan. Having to carry sports is one reason why cable TV is so expensive. We cut it almost to the bone because for one thing, we got tired of paying the tab for sports that we never watch. So glad we are not addicted; it does open up more opportunities to cut the cord. This article on Hulu is extremely helpful and will help us come to a decision.


Posted by:

Charles Eldredge
21 Dec 2013

I dropped cable a couple years ago. I have digital rabbit ears in a south facing window(the cheapest digital rabbit ears are the best...$10.89). I get all the local channels...over 40 channels total. I have my computer tower connected to my 50" tv with one hdmi cable (the tower sits behind the tv) and it has a usb wifi dongle. My internet is from virgin mobile at $35/mo for truly unlimited 4G broadband wifi which streams everything with no problem. I also stream directly from websites for archived shows and I have Netflix for $8/mo. I also have an Android phone with truly unlimited internet with tmobile for $70/mo where I watch a lot of Netflix, YouTube, and stream from websites. Effective streaming from websites varies depending on the website. If I was a big sports fan I would probably have a hard time giving up cable. And I personally miss hgtv....that's very hard, if not impossible, to get without cable.


Posted by:

nana
21 Dec 2013

Disconnected from cable TV almost a year ago. I have a Roku setup and subscribed to Netflix and am able to watch a variety of shows that actually interest me. Many of my friends can't believe I don't know who "survived" or who "danced" or who lost the most weight. Alas, that form of entertainment is not my cup of tea. I've considered Hulu but haven't made the plunge yet. I really haven't missed cable TV one bit. Oh, and ....the local eating/drinking establishments have lots of TV's where I can watch the games.


Posted by:

chris chilson
21 Dec 2013

Agree with Robert Hall, and Dave White, paying for premium service and forced to watch commercials is wrong.
Thumbs down for hulu plus.
their content is all FTA anyway, if you live within 50 miles of a city record it thru an antenna and edit the commercials.


Posted by:

charles
22 Dec 2013

Cut DirecTV when they continued to go up and wouldn't bargain the last time. Bought Roku and had Netflix and Hulu Plus. Found Hulu Plus didn't carry many CBS shows, which I watched more than the others. Dropped Hulu Plus and bought a TIVO, $15 month service and I record shows, mostly CBS, I want and fast forward though the commericals.

I also came to the realization that I won't live long enough to watch everything on Netflix, Youtube, and the various other sites available.

Bob, thanks for all the great subjects you cover.


Posted by:

Bill Higgins
27 Dec 2013

Cut the cable some months ago and very happy. 1= we do not watch sports -- that is a LARGE amount of your cable bill, whether you ever watch sports or not, you pay. Roku, Hulu, AmPrime, Netflix, and the ubiquitous Red Box kiosk (now getting internet available, but too pricey for cheep-cheep me) serve us fine. Heartache missing only, the Game shows, Family Feud and Millionaire, but not missing bad enough to re-cable. We love and appreciate your good, work, Bob. Thank you.


Posted by:

harry
29 Apr 2014

how can i rcv miami dolphins nfl games when they are not broadcast on local tv-this is not a blackout area-jax jaguars are on local channel?


There's more reader feedback... See all 21 comments for this article.

Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions

*     *     (* = Required field)

    (Your email address will not be published)
(you may use HTML tags for style)

YES... spelling, punctuation, grammar and proper use of UPPER/lower case are important! And please limit your remarks to 3-4 paragraphs. If you want to see your comment posted, pay attention to these items.

All comments are previewed, and may be edited before posting.

NOTE: Please, post comments on this article ONLY.
If you want to ask a question click here.


Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
RSS   Add to My Yahoo!   Feedburner Feed
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy -- See my profile on Google.


Article information: AskBobRankin -- Get Free TV With Hulu? (Posted: 20 Dec 2013)
Source: http://askbobrankin.com/get_free_tv_with_hulu.html
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved