Hulu Review

7.8

Good

Price 9 out of 10

Interface 7.5 out of 10

Compatibility 9.2 out of 10

New Shows 8 out of 10

Hulu is an on-demand video streaming subscription service which is controlled by The Walt Disney Company. It was initially branded as Hulu Plus in 2010, and featured programs from the partners involved – which included NBC Universal, Providence Equity Partners and News Corporation. When Disney acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019, it gained a majority stake, and AT&T sold back its stake. Comcast, the other shareholder, gave control to Disney.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros

Purchase a bundle deal. Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ are available to purchase as a bundle, giving subscribers savings of over 25%.

Watch Hulu Originals. Top content such as The Handmaid’s Tale is available exclusively on the platform, providing appeal for many.

Purchase add-ons. There is the option to add further services, such as HBO, Cinemax, Showtime or STARZ, to your subscription.

Cons

Ad-supported plan still costs money. Some streaming services don’t require a paid plan for an ad supported service.

Add-ons are expensive. For example, adding HBO costs an additional $15 per month, which adds up quickly.

Ad-free plan is quite expensive. Compared to other platforms, such as Disney Plus, the ad-free plan costs more per month.

Genres and channels

To browse the available content, go to the ‘Browse’ button in the top left hand corner and select the filter. For example, if you want to watch TV shows, this is a filter, with genre sub categories including action, drama, family, game shows and comedy. Further filters are available as you scroll, so you can view content that it’s been predicted you will enjoy based on your preferences or viewing history. Furthermore, you can view which content is popular at the moment, which series have new episodes available, Hulu Originals and newly added shows.

Available TV shows on Hulu include The Handmaid’s Tale, America’s Got Talent, Life of Kylie and King of the Hill. There are bite-sized episodes available for those who don’t have a lot of time on their hands, and you can catch up on missed episodes from both current and returning network shows. Many top comedies and dramas such as American Dad and Archer are available to binge from the very first episode. Further filters include Staff Picks, International, Teen Shows and Anime Favourites.

When it comes to movies on Hulu, there is a similar selection of genre sub categories to use as filters, such as classics, history, horror and science fiction. Personalised recommendations are available at the top of the movies page, and there are also popular movies shown for users to browse. For example, people may be watching Deadwood The Movie, Jumanji and Night School. Certain movies are exclusive to Hulu, such as Ben is Back, Destroyer and Backtrace.

Hulu Originals are also showcased, with titles including All That We Destroy, Ask Dr Ruth and Treehouse. If you want an 80s movie binge, to watch a critically acclaimed film or to browse staff picks, this is also possible. If you have an addon, such as HBO, Showtime or Starz, you can watch titles such as The Meg, Crazy Rich Asians, Den of Thieves, I Feel Pretty and Dr Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who.

Top Hulu shows and movies

The Handmaid’s Tale – A dystopian tragedy TV series which is based on the novel by Margaret Atwood. Sees a totalitarian society where fertile women are forced into child-bearing slavery.

America’s Got Talent – An American talent show competition which sees participants perform acts including singing, comedy, dancing, stunts, magic and more.

Life of Kylie – A series which looks at how reality star Kylie Jenner lives her life. Also features behind the scenes footage of her makeup line.

King of the Hill – An animated series which started in 1997 and has 13 seasons. Focuses on salesman Hank Hill and his life with substitute teacher wife Peggy, son Bobby and niece Luanne.

American Dad – Focuses on Stan Smith, who is a CIA agent focused on homeland security. His family comprises housewife Francine, daughter Hayley and son Steve. Some unconventional family members also reside in his house.

Archer – An animated sitcom which focuses on a dysfunctional intelligence agency. Sterling Archer is at the helm, and a number of colleagues also feature.

12 Monkeys – A science fiction film which came out in 1995. The premise begins with a deadly virus wiping out most of humanity, with those left behind forced to live underground.

Ben is Back – A movie which sees a mom surprised to find her son Ben returned home early from rehab. He stays for 24 hours but soon gets involved in the world of drugs again.

The Meg – A science fiction action film which focuses on an unidentified creature which attacks a submarine. However, the survivor’s story is dismissed.

Den of Thieves – An American heist action thriller film which starts with a team of robbers comprising former Marines hijacking an armoured truck.

Streaming library

Hulu is regularly updating its user interface and navigation to make it more convenient for its users. For example, as of May 2020, the collections of content available can be viewed vertically, then titles within a collection can be explored by moving horizontally. The navigation pattern update is identical to that found with Disney+ and ESPN+, so those who subscribe to the bundle deal will be able to experience a smooth and slick browsing experience.

Content categories such as TV, Sport and Movies are located in the master navigation menu, making it easy to switch between the main content types. The library of content at Hulu is vast, so dividing up titles in this way makes it easier to browse through more of the collection.

Tiles will be different sizes depending on what Hulu wants to promote to its customers. For example, new shows and movies which are highlighted as must-watches will feature larger tiles. The keep-watching tiles are smaller, so that more of them can be seen at once to browse through.

Recommendations are important with any streaming service, so Hulu works closely with the content team to ensure collections are curated in such a way that they are highly personalised for individual viewers.

Streaming quality

Hulu supports 4K resolution for streaming subscribers who are watching a limited number of videos in the content library. Most Hulu Originals support 4K Ultra HD, and supported devices include Apple TV, Chromecast Ultra, Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, LG TVs, Roku, Roku Stick, Vizio SmartCast TVs and Xbox One.

Standard definition streaming requires an internet connection of 1.5Mbps or above. High definition of 720p requires minimum 3Mbps, high definition of 1080p requires minimum 6Mbps and 4K Ultra HD requires minimum 16Mbps.

Customer support

There is a phone number available for Hulu subscribers to get in touch with issues and talk through a resolution. Alternatively, there is a Support account on Twitter which is available between 5am and 10pm ET. Chat and phone support is available 24/7.

The help center on offer with Hulu is a searchable database, along with sections underneath divided into headings such as Account & Billing, Using Hulu and What’s On Hulu.

Free trial

Hulu offers a free trial for new and eligible returning subscribers. The two on-demand plans offer a free first month, which is generous compared to many other streaming services. Another option available when users click on ‘Start your free trial’ is Hulu + Live TV, which offers a 7 day free trial. The Disney bundle, including Hulu, Disney Plus and ESPN+, does not have a free trial available at this time.

Those who want to continue with their subscription after the trial period don’t need to take any further action. The payment information they submitted during the sign up process will be charged on the first day after the trial period has expired. Alternatively, to cancel your subscription without being charged, go through the cancellation process before the trial period has expired.

Plans and pricing

There are two main plans with Hulu – ad-supported or no ads.

  • Hulu (No ads) (First month free then $11.99 a month): This ad-free plan gives users unlimited access to the Hulu streaming library. You can watch TV series, movies, Hulu Originals, kids programs and more. Some shows will play with an ad break before and after the video. Specifically, due to streaming rights, Grey’s Anatomy, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and How To Get Away With Murder cannot be included in the No Ads plan and play without interruption along with a short ad break before and after each episode.
  • Hulu (First month free then $5.99 a month): The ad-supported plan gives users access to the streaming library, complete with TV shows, movies, original content and family friendly content.

You can customise your Hulu subscription by adding content to your package.

  • Showtime on Hulu ($10.99 a month): Watch award-winning television, movies and championship boxing. Stream new episodes and movies as they begin to air on Showtime. Watch live feeds from a number of different devices, and use your Hulu login on the Showtime Anytime app.
  • Starz on Hulu ($8.99 a month): Watch original shows plus a range of theatrical releases. Stream various live feeds on supported devices and use your Hulu login to watch on demand and live content with the Starz app.
  • HBO on Hulu ($14.99 a month): Gain access to the most popular shows on the planet, such as Game of Thrones and Westworld. Watch top-rated movies, sports, family programs and documentaries. Stream live feeds from various compatible devices. Create an HBO account using your Hulu login.
  • Cinemax on Hulu ($9.99 a month): One for the movie fans, make the most of feature films and clips from behind the scenes. Stream movies and original series such as Banshee and Outcast. Track your watch history with the rest of your TV in one app.

Competitors

Cord cutters and video on demand fans will be aware of the competitors in the streaming service industry. Some companies, such as Showtime, Starz, HBO and Cinemax will partner with Hulu in order to create an expanded package and have both businesses gain revenue from customers. However, some of the main competitors include Netflix and Amazon Prime TV. Hulu has an edge over other similar providers due to the fact it’s been around for so long and offers live TV as a separate package for those who want to watch content on popular networks.

Is Hulu worth it?

Hulu is one of the most popular subscriptions for streaming video on demand in the United States, alongside top dogs such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. As Disney owns a majority stake in Hulu, its bundle with ESPN+ and Disney Plus will be a no brainer for many as they will know the quality of service will be consistently high across the board.

The Hulu pricing is competitive compared to other streaming services, so many will prefer to have this service either on its own or in addition to some competitors in the industry. The original series, such as The Handmaid’s Tale, have solidified Hulu’s position as a top player. Furthermore, by adding Hulu’s live TV service to the on-demand plan, subscribers get a full catalog of content, no matter the occasion.

The user interface with Hulu is intuitive and smooth, showcasing the variety of content on offer. For sports, movies or TV fans, the master menu can easily be clicked through to filter just content which falls into this category. With algorithms that predict the titles viewers will enjoy based on their existing viewing activity, there’s no need to spend too long searching for a show or movie.

Overall, Hulu is clearly a strong player in the streaming wars, and there is only growth to come from here.

FAQ

How to cancel my Hulu subscription
  1. Navigate to your Account page on a computer or mobile browser.
  2. Select the Cancel option under Your Account.
  3. Follow the instructions which appear on the screen.
  4. You will receive a confirmation email once the cancellation is complete.

If you are billed for Hulu through a third party, there may be different steps involved if you want to cancel your subscription. This may apply if you pay for Hulu through Amazon, Roku, iTunes, Spotify or Sprint.

How to login to my Hulu account

  1. Navigate to the Hulu website or app.
  2. Enter your email address.
  3. Enter your password.
  4. Click on Log In.
  5. Start watching!
How to delete my watch history on Hulu
  1. Navigate to the Hulu website on a desktop device.
  2. Hover over your name, which is located on the top right hand corner of the screen.
  3. Choose the option History on the drop down menu.
  4. Click on the bin icon located on the right hand side of each title to remove it from your viewing history.
  5. Alternatively, click on ‘Remove all videos’ in the top left hand corner to erase all history.
How to restart my Hulu subscription later


Hulu accounts can have their subscriptions paused for up to 12 weeks under the Your Subscription section. Alternatively, accounts can be logged back into at any time to reactivate subscriptions.

How to get a refund on Hulu?

Subscriptions to Hulu can be cancelled by logging into your Hulu account and following the instructions located in account settings. Once payment has been taken for a billing cycle, it is non-refundable. If an account is cancelled after payment has been made, it will expire when the next billing cycle is due.

Are there any good alternatives to Hulu?

Many other streaming services are available. There is Disney Plus, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and many more smaller services such as Shudder and Starz.

Can I use my Hulu account in another country?

Hulu is not available outside of the US. Those who try to log in to their account when in another country will be notified that they cannot browse content until they return to America.

How to sign up to Hulu
  1. Navigate to the Hulu website.
  2. Click on ‘Start your free trial’.
  3. Choose your plan.
  4. Create your account. You can either continue with Facebook, or enter an email and create a password. If you use the manual method, you will also need to enter your date of birth and gender, and be aware that once you click Continue, you are agreeing to the Hulu Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  5. Enter your payment details. You have the ability to change your plan if you wish at this window, and the available payment methods are Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Amex Express Checkout and PayPal Checkout.
  6. Submit this information, and your trial will begin. After the trial period has expired, you will be charged the cost of your selected subscription plus any applicable taxes every month. You can cancel your subscription before your trial period has expired and pay nothing as a result. By selecting the Submit button, you are confirming your agreement to the recurring Hulu subscription charge.

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