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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Look at Hulu Plus...

I've had Netflix since 2010 and it's been a love-hate relationship since. I can't stand lots of the things they do, but they have just what I need at an unbeatable price.

For some time now, I've known about Hulu and have used them from time to time. Then they came around with their premium subscription being Hulu Plus. I wanted to see what it was about but was uncertain if I should try it so soon. While visiting a family member, we sat down to watch Dragon Ball Z on his Xbox 360 over Hulu Plus. I was enjoying watching the episode until it suddenly stopped and a commercial popped up. At that point, I said, "When did you switch the episode to the cable?" My cousin looked at me and said, "This is still Hulu Plus." I asked him why they had commercials and pretty soon saw a bunch more commercials appear. I asked him how much he paid and it was the standard fee that everyone else pays.

That experience made me dislike Hulu Plus from the start. I could understand having commercials over the standard web Hulu or on a cheaper subscription, but with Netflix as a competitor at the same rate, why pay the same and have commercials? Commercials have been one of the top reasons why I stopped watching network television altogether (I don't have cable and haven't since the early 2000's when my family got a free one year subscription to DirecTv and never renewed our subscription).

That was back in 2011 when I first saw Hulu Plus and it left a negative impression on me ever since. But lately, Netflix hasn't been doing its job. I love shows like Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Workaholic, and The Walking Dead yet Netflix has not updated any in over a year. Other shows and movies suddenly go missing like Toy Story 3 or all of those Starz shows often times without any warning. So I decided that I'd try looking for a better service that could meet my entertainment needs. Hulu Plus seems to be the only worthy candidate as it too provides its customers with unlimited movie and television streaming on all of my favorite devices for around the same fee. Plus, I understand that Hulu has its shows updated the day after the episode airs on television, some shows even being aired a day before it appears on television.

I decided to swallow my pride and learn to tolerate the few commercials for, what I hope, to be a better experience.

I was a bit disappointed. While I'm not paying anything yet, I was disappointed to learn that many of my shows are not available on my favorite devices except my computer. I was even more disappointed when I actually got to my computer and found out that they were lying. Sons of Anarchy, Storage Wars, and Wilfred were said to be on the computer version, but when I pulled these up, I found out that these were just small clips of episodes and not the real deal.

Seeing the same ad for God of War: Ascension really got to me after a while too. The service was already getting to me.

What little good that I did find in Hulu were such shows like The Yard, Whites, Wilfred the Australian version I'd been looking for, and lots of anime shows. But even then, shows like Whites didn't do much for me. Very dry humor and didn't seem to be going anywhere. Plus, I only saw one season and the episodes were from a long time ago. I wasn't ready to get into another show only to be disappointed that it didn't end as intended but just leaves with a cliffhanger...*ahem*...Terra Nova. Hulu Plus also has a wide selection of anime shows that I never even knew existed. The interface was nice and it was nice to see something different than my typical reddish colored experience.

But is it worth the money per month? Sure, it's only $7.99 just like Netflix which I hardly ever noticed is taken from my account...but will I even use it?

Hulu Plus has lots of old movies including classics from Charlie Chaplin, gay & lesbian movies/television, and seems to be reliable when it comes to counting on them for my anime needs. And, the commercials aren't as bad as I had envisioned. They can be tolerable, but I would prefer they weren't there in the first place. Then again, I suppose they help in keeping the costs low and allowing me to have some of the things that Netflix has failed to offer me such as up to date episodes. But is the content worth it?

Well, that depends on your personal preference. For me, I'm not sure if the few television and movies I like will be worth it. For you? Check out the listings for yourself. If Hulu's free trial is still going on, give it a shot too. Also, ask your friends and family. See if you can even check theirs out before wasting your free chance.

I have officially until Friday night to decide. Who knows? I may end up keeping it.

If you came here for a Hulu Plus vs. Netflix article, sorry I couldn't offer anything in depth. I just wanted to discuss Hulu Plus and my personal experience with it more than compare it.

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