Hulu jumped on the streaming scene in 2007. Today, they are one of the most popular streaming services with over 39 million subscribers. Customers can choose from multiple plans as well as feature and network add-ons.
Whether you’ve just cut the cable cord or haven’t quite decided yet, Hulu Plus is a great option. But, is it worth the extra cost?
What is Hulu Plus?
Hulu Plus is a significant upgrade to the basic Hulu plan. Hulu Plus comes in two forms: Hulu Plus Live TV with ads and Hulu Plus Live TV without ads.
Cost: Hulu vs. Hulu Plus
Many are deterred from Hulu Plus packages because they come at a heftier cost. While the cost is much more than the basic Hulu plan or Netflix plan, it’s still a significant chunk of savings from a cable TV plan. So, if you want to keep some of the perks of cable for a third of the cost, Hulu Plus Live TV may be for you.
Let’s compare some costs here.
- Hulu Plus Live TV with ads is $64.99 a month
- Hulu Plus Live TV without ads is $70.99 a month
- Hulu with ads is $5.99 a month
- Hulu without ads is $11.99 a month
>>READ MORE: Hulu vs. Netflix
As far as content goes, Hulu Plus Live TV offers a large selection and variety. Plus, it offers channels and shows you normally would only get with a cable TV subscription.
Hulu Plus packages offer everything from live sports and award-winning shows and movies to daytime soap opera, local news and primetime dramas.
Of course, you also get access to Hulu Originals along with thousands of other TV shows and films available in the Hulu content library.
On-demand shows. There are over 65 on-demand channels available on Hulu Plus. Bravo, E!, Food Network, Freeform, Lifetime, TNT, USA, and TBS are some of the popular entertainment channels available. They also feature Educational channels available like the History channel, Discovery, National Geographic, and NASA.
Family content. There is also a selection of family-oriented channels. These include Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Universal Kids, and Boomerang. If you want to stick with the perks of accessing cable channels and don’t want to pay for Disney Plus or Netflix just for your kids, Hulu Plus has got you covered.
Sports channels. For all you sports lovers out there, there’s every sports channel you might want to watch available. Starting with ESPN, Hulu Plus also offers FS1, SEC, BTN, and ACCN. Both college and professional teams are streamed on-demand on Hulu Plus from the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, and MLB just to name a few.
News. If you love watching the news, there’s a channel for you, too. With CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and ABC News available, you can watch whatever coverage you want. There are also local news channels available for most cities, so you can stream your local news to stay in the loop.
There are many channels and additional features included with Hulu Plus Live TV that normally cost a few bucks extra.
The Live Guide is a great way to see what shows and movies are airing within the next two weeks. If you want to plan ahead and record your favorite shows, you can see what’s playing ahead of time. You can also use this to filter how you view channels and organize by genre, by your favorite shows, and more. Live Guide also lets you prepare for blackouts by looking ahead to see if you can watch.
This transports us back to the days when we could record our favorite TV shows. Remember, we said Hulu Plus is just like cable, so if you miss recording your favorite stuff, Hulu Plus may be right for you. Whether you’re going to miss a sports game or your favorite show, you can record up to 50 hours of your favorite shows and watch them later.
Cloud DVR is what allows Hulu Plus users to record their favorite shows. An important thing to note is that there will be ad breaks in the recording.
One ad-on feature is the Enhanced Cloud DVR Add-on. This lets you fast forward and rewind through shows, while upgrading the 50 hours of recorded film to 200 hours. This is an extra $9.99 a month. You can also add unlimited screens and simultaneous streams on different devices for only $9.99 a month, or you can add both unlimited screens and enhanced DVR for $14.99 a month instead.
There are also some specific networks you can add to your Hulu Plus plan that do cost a little extra each month. Here are some additional channels you can subscribe to:
- HBO Max for an additional $14.99 a month
- CINEMAX for an additional $9.99 a month
- Showtime for an additional $10.99 a month
- Starz for an additional $8.99 a month
Here are some of the other features included with Hulu Plus Live TV:
- Stream different channels on up to two screens simultaneously.
- Use the Autoplay feature to binge watch your favorite shows without asking if you want to move on to the next one.
- Hulu Plus allows a maximum of six profiles, each customizable to a different user.
- You can watch Hulu Plus Live TV in 1080p and listen in 2.0 stereo or 5.1 surround sound.
Discounts and deals
There are some discounts and deals to be aware of if you’re looking to get the most out of your subscription. You can bundle your subscription with Disney Plus. If you have Hulu's basic plan, you can upgrade and keep the Disney Plus bundling discount.
Cons of Hulu Plus
Before you determine if Hulu Plus is worth the extra cost, here are some other factors to consider.
- Hulu Plus is a live form of TV, so if the local channels have put blackout restrictions on your location, you may not be able to access certain live shows, events, or sports games. Hulu Plus has tools where you can enter your ZIP code to find out, so you won’t be caught off guard, but if traveling and watching the news or your favorite sports is important to you, this is important to keep in mind.
- Hulu Plus doesn’t include all of the features of Hulu in the plan price. The cost of add-ons can add up quickly.
Is Hulu Plus a good deal?
When considering whether Hulu Plus is worth it for you, there are a few questions to ask yourself.
Does it fit into my budget?
If Hulu Plus doesn’t fit into your budget at $64.99 or $70.99, you should stop your search here. Having a household budget and following it is key to taking control of your finances. Depending on how important access to sports and news channels is, you can certainly make room for Hulu Plus in your budget. However, if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit.
Will I get the most out of the content available?
Take a look at the content library Hulu Plus offers. You want to make sure the shows and channels are ones you enjoy. If you prefer shows on another streaming platform such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, or on the Hulu basic plan, then it’s important to pay for what you want to watch.
Is cutting the cord right for me?
We’re big fans of cutting out cable, and more and more Americans are becoming fans, too. If you haven’t already, there are tons of benefits to doing so. One of the biggest benefits is the savings. The average cable bill is close to $200, which means subscribing to a streaming service could save you hundreds each month.
Hulu Plus offers a wide selection of channels and TV shows similar to a cable subscription. It does this at nearly a third of the cost, with additional features and add-ons available for everyone. However, it still comes at a hefty price compared to another streaming platform.
Whether you’re shopping for home insurance, car insurance, internet, or a cell phone plan, you want to get the best deal possible. In order to fit everything into your budget and still have room for entertainment and fun, you need every extra dollar possible. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you have the right streaming service.
The right streaming service is different for everyone, but it looks a little bit like this. If it’s right for you, it will have a price that fits easily into your budget, shows and movies you prefer, devices you can use with it, and extra features that benefit you too.
By reviewing the benefits and features of Hulu Plus Live TV and asking yourself these questions, you can decide whether it’s worth the extra cost to you!
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