Consumer Electronics & Appliance News, Reviews & Information.

Mar 11

Netflix vs. Hulu Plus: Who deserves your hour’s worth of minimum wage?

So these things are dirt cheap, and actually, recalling what I paid for a bag of potting soil recently, cheaper than dirt. For like 8 dollars a month, you can get SO MUCH ENTERTAINMENT (watch out cable, you’re looking a little spendy these days), but which one is better? Here’s some things to consider when making your choice:

Originally only a DVD by mail company, Netflix has expanded its business into the world of instant entertainment with streaming abilities. With its far more extensive and ever expanding movie collection, (partly due to its massive head start on Hulu), Netflix is the obvious choice for movie buffs. Additionally, it focuses more on complete seasons of television shows, great for those who like to hold down the couch for the weekend surrounded by pints of Ben and Jerry’s and knock out season after season of Gossip Girl. Also, HD elitists would be wont to know that Netflix supports full 1080p, while Hulu does not.  Lastly, (again due to the head start) Netflix is currently supported on more devices, though Hulu is catching up quickly in this category.

I felt like my prayers were answered when Hulu launched. Finally, a reputable site that offers streaming television shows on the internet… for FREE. I was hooked. Then, after letting us sample the good life, Hulu cut the amount of content available for free and relocated the rest of it for Hulu Plus, a paid monthly subscription service. Hulu’s main attraction is that their content is newer, often posted the day of or shortly after (for the free service) the television air date. Also, its television library is far more extensive than Netflix’s, though it contains less complete seasons,  and some channels and their shows are noticeably absent, such as CBS and premium channels like Showtime and HBO. Furthermore, it has another advantage in that all of their content is streaming and therefore available immediately, whereas Netflix only has a certain amount of content on instant queue and some is only available through their DVD by mail program.  Hulu’s biggest downfall is that it runs commercials as a second source of income. Although the commercials aren’t as numerous as on traditional television, some are put off by having to sit through commercials (that cannot be skipped) on a service they are already paying for.

So which one is the best? COP OUT ALERT: it depends. I suggest first that you consider your needs and desires. Are you the movie/complete season type, or are you looking to stay current with the most recent episodes of House (or Glee)? Also, consider what shows you like and do some research on who carries them. It is doubtful that either service will carry everything you like, but one might carry significantly more. Again, make sure that the devices you want to use with these services support the one you want. Finally, it’s important to note that these aren’t the only options out there, although they are the current industry leaders. It might be worth your while to check out other streaming content providers such as Vudu or Amazon on demand.

Personally, for my wants and needs, my best fit would be using Netflix in addition to Hulu’s free service (which still offers most of the same new episodes, just a few days behind). This works great for me because I’m not too worried about catching things day-of-air, and if I’m too far behind on a season I can just catch the full season later on Netflix, giving me access to the best of both worlds without paying for both.

No matter what you choose, check out our video about streaming services and get your supporting devices from Vann’s.

Vann's, delighting customers since 1961
© Copyright 1996-2010,, Inc. Vann's is a registered trademark of Vann's Inc. All Rights Reserved. 08/30/2010 (147)
HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99.9% of hacker crime.
Click to verify BBB accreditation and to see a BBB report.
BizRate Customer Certified (GOLD) Site