Ryan Michael Downey
When searching for the best apps with which to view television you can’t miss Hulu. Hulu.com was one of the first websites to offer a legal way to view television content online. Hulu has one name but offers two different services.
The services are Hulu and Hulu Plus. While the two are similar there are key differences between the two add supported services.
Mobile Access on the Go
Hulu Plus can be accessed from mobile devices on any steady Wifi Network at home or on the go. The free version of Hulu cannot be accessed on mobile devices. If a user attempts to visit the Hulu web address they are shuttled to an invitation to download the app for Hulu Plus.
Both Hulu and Hulu Plus offer users the ability to watch television shows online. The difference when it comes to the television selections is that Hulu typically only allows the last five aired episodes of any given series to be viewed online. Hulu Plus subscribers in many cases get access to full seasons of many shows and in some cases full series runs of shows like the Cosby Show and 3rd Rock from the sun. Hulu plus customers also have access to numerous Hulu exclusive shows from outside the US market. Customers can even watch numerous shows that had limited runs before getting cancelled.
Hulu has a diverse but limited selection of movies from multiple studios and genres. Hulu Plus has a large selection of movies from multiple studios. The movie selection from Hulu Plus is a different mix then typically found on Netflix and includes a number of art house films, independent films and international fare that cannot be seen on any other service.
Is There a way to watch Hulu on TV Without Hulu Plus?
Yes. One very simple way of course is to connect a computer to a TV and go to the Hulu website. HDTV owners can connect a computer with an HDMI port to their television with an HDMI cable that can be purchased for as little as 3-4 dollars online at Amazon and other retailers. Electronics stores like Radio Shack and Best Buy tend to charge more for HDMI cords sometimes 10 times the prices online. Another way to watch Hulu on TV for free is with the Google Chromecast. The Chromecast can mirror Google Chrome tabs from a PC on a television screen. This is typically dependable but has been known to be buggy. The Apple TV also allows users to mirror compatible Apple laptops and is known for its ease of use and dependability. Last but not least is PlayOn. PlayOn is a server based program that can run on multiple devices including tablets and phones, game consoles, numerous set top devices including the Roku line of products. PlayOn requires users run a separate program on a computer and either a monthly fee or one time charge for access.
Should I make the investment in Hulu Plus?
For the average consumer the difference between Hulu and Hulu Plus comes down to ease of use and convenience. Hulu Plus is a one click solution that is available on multiple platforms for a monthly subscription fee and is the only way to watch Hulu on the go. If that is the most important factor in a decision than it is most likely worth $7.99. If you access Hulu primarily from home are willing to employ other methods and hardware it may be worth the savings. If users are keeping up with their favorite shows weekly the difference between Hulu and Hulu Plus is hardly noticeable.