Hulu Plus is one of the larger streaming services that competes with Netflix. While Netflix early on was geared more towards film and physical media, Hulu has always been about television. Granted, Hulu’s film collection is nothing to sneeze at, given the additions of the Criterion collection and recent gains in more mainstream films. But television is why most come to them.
Hulu Plus has agreements with many major networks including ABC, NBC, CW and Fox in order to begin streaming episodes of current shows as early as the day after they air. If you’re the type that tends to lose interest and then need to catch up frantically before the season finale, Hulu is for you. They also are a cord-cutter’s resource as well, offering shows from cable networks such as Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon for the kiddies. Partnerships with major anime providers such as Funimation, Viz, and Aniplex have also made it a viable alternative to Crunchyroll for many otakus.
Hulu Plus may not seem the most up-to-date in the design department, but their player and their playback experience are top-notch. Finding and browsing content is much easier here than on Netflix, as categories and suggestions seem more accurate. The kids section on Hulu Plus is ad-free, exceedingly well organized, and offers a ‘lock for kids’ function to keep them from getting into more adult content if you let them pick their own videos.
When selecting a title, you’re shown the synopsis before playing it, unless you choose a video from the homepage’s carousel. Chromecast integration is wonderful, and in this case something of a necessity, as the only way to otherwise get Hulu on that wonderful little dongle is with the Chrome tab casting beta feature. The notification for Hulu while casting is nice, allowing you to use the wonderful ten second rewind without re-entering the app. The lock screen controls lack this, but still offer the pause button at least.