The Complete Guide to Hulu

Why Hulu?

With so many content streaming services, what makes Hulu stand out? To start, Hulu has built strong relationships with many television networks and has more TV content available than any other streaming service. Look for past seasons of classic TV shows, favorites from your childhood, and recent series to catch up on before watching the current season.

Chances are, you’ll be able to watch your favorite primetime shows with a Hulu subscription. While other services make past seasons of shows available to stream, Hulu makes many shows available the day after they air.

Adding to Hulu’s content library is a good selection of original programming. The Handmaid’s Tale, The Mindy Project, Freakish, The Path, Difficult People, and Harlots are just a few of the shows you’ll find exclusively on Hulu.

Plans and Pricing

After a 7 day free trial, you’ll have three options to choose from – the basic plan, the same plan without commercials, and a plan with a live TV feature. Here’s what you’ll pay for each.

The basic Hulu plan is $7.99/month. With your monthly subscription, you’ll have access to Hulu’s on-demand content, including Hulu Originals. You’ll also have the option to add on Showtime, HBO, or Cinemax, each for an additional fee. With the basic plan, you’ll have regular commercial breaks while watching.

To watch without commercials, you’ll need to upgrade to the commercial-free plan at $11.99/month. Other than taking out ads, the plan is the same at the basic plan.

Hulu also has a live TV option. To add that to your plan it will cost $32/month. For the extra cost, you’ll get access to all of the on-demand content Hulu offers, along with about 50 live channels. You’ll also get cloud storage to record and store episodes to watch later. As with the basic and commercial-free plans, you’ll have to pay extra to watch Showtime, HBO, or Cinemax.

How to Watch

Hulu works with all the standard devices.

  • Macs, with Safari 5 or above
  • PCs wth Internet Explorer 10 or above, Firefox 15 or above, or Chrome
  • Game consoles, including XBox One, XBox 360, PS3, PS4, Wii, and WiiU
  • Mobile phones, through the Google Play Store or Apple App Store
  • Tablets
  • Streaming devices, including Apply TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Roku
  • Smart TVs

Recent Updates and What to Look Forward To

Recently, Hulu gave their mobile app a new look. The company says they’ve made an effort to make it easier for users to see their progress on the shows they’re currently watching, what they’ve already watched, what they want to watch next. The updates also make it easier to cast programming to your TV.

Following in the footsteps of other streaming services, Hulu is working on a download feature. On the mobile app, you’ll be able to download content and watch later, without an internet connection. The feature is ideal for travel.

Hulu is working hard to get the exclusive rights to more great content. In the past couple months, the company has signed deals to get the rights to Will & Grace, 30 Rock, Parenthood, and the entire TGIF lineup from the 90s, including Boy Meets World and Full House.

Look forward to new content being added soon as well. There are several new Hulu original series in the works, including one with Josh Hutcherson saving mankind and another based on Stephen King’s Castle Rock novels.

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  • Michyle

    I have the $11.99 plan and I love it. I can enjoy a show without seeing “FLO” or seeing about some Medication that does not relate to me, or some other totally asinine commercial. Also CBS Access, has the same option and I see paying Not To See Commercials is the future of streaming.

  • rosalyn221

    Are the commercials during the shows or after the shows end?

    • tommyr

      During but they are shorter breaks. I find them tolerable for now.

      • rosalyn221

        Thanks. I was hoping they would be at the end.

        • tommyr

          Well you’d just stop watching if that was the case! So they put them in DURING the show.

    • Michael Allbritton

      During the show. Usually 5 breaks that all play the same 3 commercials over and over. Subscribing to the no commercials level does NOT remove commercials from the live TV streams.

      • Phuq_Me

        of course it doesn’t. If they did you replace commercials with several minutes of blank screen. How is that better?

  • Michael Smith

    Does Hulu have the Discovery Network channels?

    • rosalyn221

      Good Question! I would like to know that too.

    • Michael Allbritton
      • Phuq_Me

        Just because they have a network doesn’t mean they have many shows. Comedy Central is a good example of that BS. Says they have AMC but can you watch the Walking Dead? Nope. Science channels has like 3 shows.

        • Michael Allbritton

          Which is why I included the link. So @MikeforChange:disqus can go see for themselves.

  • craig2web

    Normally, the basic plan is $7.99/month, but right now (and I think until January 9th?) it’s only $5.99/month, and if you sign up during this promotion period, that price is locked for a full year. 🙂

  • Robert Kramer

    The only thing that keeps me from going to the full package (I have the 11.99 without commercials) is the fact that we love Hallmark & AMC. If they ever add these I’ll be one of the first to sign up.

  • Phuq_Me

    took a advantage of the $5.99 thinking about cancelling after less than a month. hate the interface. Like the old one better. Don’t need everything HUGE make me have to scroll more. Actually trying to find something to watch is a pain. Then really not much to watch anyway. Doesn’t have many movies mostly old one that are on other platforms some of them free( legally free )Maybe I’m using it wrong but that’s how I feel. Seems I get more out of $15 HBO subscription than a $6 Hulu subscription.

  • Daniel Quillen

    Hulu is currently $5.99 a month for one year so your pricing is a little off.

  • NotMyCombOver

    Add one more stream to the measly 2 for Live TV and I might be tempted to leave Vue….

  • LSGH 71

    2nd day on Hulu TV. Happy that NFL games accessible as compare to Vue, however some favorite shows such as the Walking Dead are not on the AMC lineup.. now which to pick??

  • park mclean

    Hulu is now the streaming king, Replacing Netflix, which became a tv channel like HBO.

    • Phuq_Me

      What do you think Hulu is or will become? The are producing their own content too. like i said I can’t find crap on Hulu.

      • craig2web

        I think it comes down to how flexible or particular you are. What kinds of shows are you looking for? Personally, I’ve been very impressed and happy with their lineup. To me, they have great selections in classic TV shows, comedies, crime dramas and late night talk.

    • craig2web

      Of the “big 3”, Hulu’s $5.99/month offer is a terrific deal, and it’s nice to get access to some current shows. Amazon Prime is a little more expensive at about $8/month, but a terrific value as it gives you ad-free access to huge libraries of movies, TV shows and music. Have been a long-term subscriber to Prime, and trying out Hulu for now, but don’t know if I’ll stick with it long-term.

  • Mike Thaler

    I have seen conflicting comments about Hulu’s DVR. Some say that if all you need is 50 hours, it has all the normal DVR functions. Others say, to get a functional DVR, you have to pay $14.99/mo. for a pkg. that includes 200 hours.
    And others say, neither of the DVR packages are fully functional. No FF thru commercials, 30 second skips, 30 sec RW, etc. To be functional, a DVR should allow you to have these functions whether live or recorded. I can see some of these functions disabled when accessing “on demand” program streams.
    What is the true story?

    • Joe in Virginia

      Have tried both. We currently have the fully functional DVR for $14.99 more a month. It works just like a regular DVR. You can pause, rewind, and fast forward live tv on any channel. You can also fast forward through any commercials on any channel that you are recording. I am not sure if it is because I have the no commercial option too or the enhanced DVR that does this, but on demand also very rarely has any commercials either. It really is the exact setup that I would want. The only negative of Hulu Live as far as I can tell is that it doesn’t have AMC, but I only watch one show on that anyway, so I can just buy it a la carte.

      • Mike Thaler

        You said you tried both DVR options. Was the “free” option fully functional (the only diff. being the capacity – 50 v. 200 hrs.)?

        • Joe in Virginia

          The “free” option is not fully functional. You can pause, rewind, and fast forward all the channels; the catch is you can’t fast forward through the commercials once you get there. You can also DVR whatever you want, but you can’t fast forward through the commercials. I’m not sure if it is buying the no commercials or the enhanced DVR, but if we watch anything on demand, it usually doesn’t have commercials.

  • James Dandy

    Third time is not a charm. I was trying to watch F1 on my local NBC station (OTA) but was having some severe interference so I renewed my Hulu account with the live TV option. I was able to watch the race fine. But later I poked around to see what else was available and what had changed since I last used it. This is at least the third time I’ve given Hulu a try and I have to agree with Phug_Me, the interface is terrible. I also found that not all networks show up in their A-Z listing. We enjoy watching some British shows, mainly mysteries, but BBC and ITV aren’t even listed in their network list. They show up if you search for them but not in the list of networks. I don’t know if they, like Netflix, intentionally make it difficult to check ALL the content they offer so their competitors won’t know, but finding shows you might like is a nightmare and short or not I can’t stand the commercials. Needless to say when my free week is up I’ll be cancelling my subscription. It’s just not for me.

  • nimbyyg

    Maybe it’s just me, but it’s confusing to read articles like this without knowing which plan is being talked about — even though I know it would sometimes be hard to write it with more clarity.