Are you still watching your TV shows on your television? Hopefully not.
Today there are more than enough online TV streaming services which are revolutionizing TV watching. Let’s face it, it is more convenient to watch your TV shows when you want, rather than having to clear up your schedule to watch that one-hour episode at 8:00 pm.
But which TV streaming service are you going to pick? Right now the market is dominated by Hulu and Netflix, two very well known name to all of us. But which one is better? Which model can be easily picked up by startups?
Let’s find out with a quick comparison.
Netflix Vs Hulu- The Ultimate Battle
You definitely have been judged by someone for preferring one service over the other. The market is divided when it comes to a comparison between Netflix and Hulu.
Now take a look at this comparison, so that next time someone bashes your favorite streaming service, you can defend your choice.
Device Compatibility: How Users Want Their Favorite Shows?
There is probably not a lot of time for you to sit in front of the TV and watch your shows. Which is why it is important that you can watch the new episodes on the go, wherever you are.
But is your device supported by the giants of the online streaming services?
In this case, Netflix is pretty much everywhere. Whether it is Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox or PlayStation, and all the smartphone platforms- Android, iOS and Windows phones. It is easy to access all your shows no matter what device you are using, and that is what makes Netflix popular.
Hulu is also available on all the above-mentioned devices. The streaming service promises to support more devices in the future so if your device is not compatible with Hulu services right now, don’t worry. You’ll be able to watch Hulu on your phone soon enough.
The comparison between Netflix and Hulu in terms of device compatibility shows that they are pretty similar. So let’s see how different they are in the User interface section.
UI Design: Which Service Is Stressing You Out?
Watching TV is supposed to be relaxing. But only if you can find what to watch easily.
Netflix UI has always been more user-friendly. It is universal no matter what device you are using. So you don’t have to learn to use another new interface. With a simple black background, it is easy on the eyes and the easy carousel visual design makes easy to browse through the shows.
Recently though, Netflix has changed the 5-star rating system into a thumbs up to the rating system. They are also shifting towards promoting their own original content. The Netflix UI gives you an easy experience to watch your shows in a stress-free way.
Hulu, on the other hand, has been experimenting quite a lot with its UI. the recent updates may have made it easier to access what you are watching with categories like ‘Keep watching’ ‘TV’ ‘movies’ and ‘kids’, but its Interface design has provoked some mixed reviews from its user base.
In case you had a long day, and just want to get home and watch a movie, without having to struggle with a hard to use app interface, then Netflix is your best bet at online entertainment. Netflix’s case this time is a win-win.
Content Availability: Have You Watched The New Episodes Yet?
This part is simple- if you want a great TV experience, choose Hulu, if you want great movie experience, choose Netflix.
The Netflix library has a huge collection of movies and TV shows, and on top of that, they have their original content. With all this, they are the ultimate winner in the content category. Netflix actually spent around $13 billion on content in 2018.
With a content library this huge, Netflix should be the obvious choice for your entertainment, right?
The problem, however, is that Netflix rarely has any of the new seasons or episodes of the current TV shows. Sure you’ll find your old favorites here. But there is a good enough chance that you won’t find your recent favorite. And this is where Hulu wins!
Hulu is basically an online TV streaming service. With its live TV, you can watch new episodes. If you don’t have the live subscriptions, then it’s okay. Hulu mostly has the new episodes available within a few days of its release. So you can still catch up on the story while it’s relevant. Streaming app startups can take a cue while they develop an app like this.
So once again, the bottom line is this- if you want a large selection of movies, then go for Netflix, but if you want to watch your favorite TV shows, then Hulu is your best bet.
Technical Aspects: The Nitty Gritties Of Video / Audio Quality
On Netflix, you can watch shows on both 1080p and 4k ultra HD quality. Netflix will charge you extra for the 4k quality. However, the subscription price for Netflix 4k is $16.
Hulu, however, does not have 4k available. Which is a problem, for viewers because, let’s face it, we all love watching our movies in high quality.
Netflix will offer you some selected titles in Dolby Atmos. You can also get 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound on selected content.
Netflix initially only streamed content with WMA format for audio. But the versatile number of devices now supporting Netflix has made it important to make more audio format and encodings available.
Hulu still streams their content on stereo sound, even though many movies now offer 5.1 surround sound.
Both streaming services have subtitles for all their shows. But based on the audio and video quality comparison alone it can be said that Netflix is the best choice between the two.
Subscription Price: What Are You Paying For?
Netflix has a three-tiered subscription plan, fit for all your needs.
The Basic streaming plan for Netflix is priced at $9 per month. You will get access to standard definition streaming services and access to all of Netflix’s library. The number of screens is limited to one screen on the basic plan. You can also download shows for offline viewing on one device.
The basic streaming plan, priced at $13 per month, will give you all the above benefits, in addition to HD streaming, and simultaneous streaming on two devices. You can also download videos for offline viewing on two devices.
The coveted premium plan, priced at a hefty $16 per month, gives you the ability to stream 4k quality video. You can stream and download offline shows on four devices simultaneously
Hulu has kept its subscription plans pretty simple. For $6 every month you get access to the ad-based service, while for $12 it offers the ad-free version. But some shows on the ad-free service still feature ads.
Hulu Live TV subscription costs around $45 per month. The price was raised from $40 after Hulu’s recent price drop for on-demand services. With Hulu Live TV you get access to 50 additional channels along with the on-demand service.
For an ad-free 4k experience, Netflix is your choice.; but if you are fine with SD quality and ads in the middle of your shows, the Hulu on-demand plans would be more to your favor.
The End Note
So let’s look at this entire comparison in brief.
- Both services support almost all devices, so you will have no problem watching shows through any of them with your device
- For the UI and UX design, Netflix is the better choice than Hulu for having a better user interface.
- If you want more recent episodes of a TV series, its Hulu for you. But if you want to watch a show that aired years ago as well as original contents, go for Netflix. The difference between the contents offered has the user base divided, and you can choose to be on either side.
- Netflix is going to offer you better audio and video quality, hands down. Hulu can’t even compete with Netflix on this category. Though both services have subtitles.
- While Hulu offers a more affordable plan, Netflix offers more features in their plans. Hulu’s ad-free service is not even ad-free, as some of the shows still have ads. Netflix, on the other hand, is completely free of ads. So if you don’t mind paying a bit extra, then Netflix is the perfect choice for you.
With all the comparison done, we can safely say that Netflix is by far the best option between the two. Hulu needs to adjust some aspects of its services if it wants to catch up to Netflix. So where are you tuning today?