Among the video streaming options online there are two big daddy's—Hulu and Netflix. They share similarities in some respects with their service and the entertainment they present, but they also differ in some very important ways. Video streamers can pay for both, but for the more frugal they only want to pick one. The one that is right for them. So it is time to compare and contrast Netflix and Hulu.
Both services cost $7.99 for video streaming on your computer and television. However, Netflix offers DVD delivery services for an extra $7.99 and Blu-Ray delivery for another $2.99. If you want all those services, the price really hikes itself up.
Who wins? Netflix if you only want video streaming. They have much more content to offer and Hulu makes you pay to watch most of their show, but still shows you advertisements. So in "more bang for your buck" situation, it is Netflix.
Netflix has no ads, but Hulu does. Of course, with Netflix you have to pay before you can watch anything but with Hulu you can watch some things for free. This would be great if buying Hulu Plus would make the advertisements go away. However, it does not. Hulu Plus still has the advertisement breaks a minimum of three times per episode.
Who wins? Netflix, obviously. Advertisements are never fun. With Hulu you end up seeing the same advertisement over and over again based on your gender and choices, it is really quite irritating. There is not even an option to pay more to remove advertisements.
Both services offer free trails for their paid services. Both services makes you enter your payment information and will charge you if you forget to cancel before the trail period ends. Netflix has a trial period of one month and Hulu has a trial period of one week.
Who wins? The winner is obvious on this one. It is Netflix. One month free trial compared to one week, there is no contest.
Netflix has a content library of over 100,000 television shows and movies, though only probably half of that is available for streaming the rest are only available on DVDs. Hulu has only around 5,000 television shows and movies.
In sheer number of stuff to watch, Netflix wins. however, let us split it into television versus movies.
Everyone knows the Netflix is for movies. They have a huge selection of them. Hulu has a ton of documentaries if that is what you are into, but as for big name movies it is extremely lacking in those. Hulu does have a lot of independent and foreign films though.
Hulu is more aimed for television shows. Netflix has some good classic television shows, but Hulu will provide you with an episode of the current season the day after it airs. Netflix makes you wait until the current season is over before it uploads the season previous to that. So if season 9 ended, Netflix would just be uploading season 8.
Hulu is also the king of anime, if that is what you are into. Netflix has some good series, but it is severely lacking. Hulu has some dealings with the anime streaming site Crunchyroll, so it has a lot of the hot anime shows in the mix, which is nice. It also puts up shows that are popular in the current season, so it is a nice way to keep up with the hottest new anime without having to watch everything in the season.
For both services, the speed of your internet connection determines what sort of video quality you get. The maximum for Netflix is 1080p and the maximum for Hulu is 720p. Having to have a decent internet speed to get the best quality video is kind of crappy, but it makes sense for streaming.
Who wins? Netflix, obviously. The higher the number wins.
Both services are good on being available on every object you could possible ever want to stream videos on. Both support iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Windows RT play though both make you start off the service on their web service through registering. If your television has wifi, you can connect it to either account. Both companies also allow for service on the Xbox 360, Play Station 3, and Wii U.
Who wins? It's a tie! Both services are very good with connectability.
Ease of Use
Netflix allows users to sign up and watch things instantly from their web player. They make up put in a little code to connect your account to other devices, but otherwise it is very simple to use. Hulu allows for more options but it also has more hoops to leap through. Some of the content on hulu is only available if you connect your account to your cable provider. So if you do not buy cable, you cannot watch The Simpsons. Hulu will also let you see what your friends are watching, but only if you connect to your Facebook account. Netflix does not have any social media integration really, so if that is something that interests you Hulu is the way to go.
However, Hulu shines over Netflix if you have a lot of people using one account. Netflix only allows to devices to be watching simultaneously while with Hulu it is unlimited, so that is nice. Netflix allows you to play two episodes before stopping on both the web player and the Xbox, however Hulu automatically plays the next episode continuously on the web player, something I really love. Howver, on the Xbox it stops after every episode.
Who wins? Netflix is the easiest to watch, but only because Hulu offers more things. However the major downfall of Hulu is that if you do not have a cable provider you cannot watch some of the newer seasons of the shows.
The Break Down
|Ease of Use||Slight nudge to Hulu|