To get or not to get: Hulu versus Hulu Plus?
Do you even need it?
Well strictly speaking you don’t necessarily “need” TV but it sure is nice to be able to enjoy some good entertainment from our homes.
Hulu is an online television service that has been around for just under a decade.
When Hulu started out, it was called Fancast and you could watch replays of your favorite television shows online if you happened to miss the actual broadcast.
This service was available completely free until the middle of 2016 when Hulu switched to a paid subscription only service.
Their repertoire of programming has been expanded since then to include not just replays of your favorite TV shows but Hulu-bred originals and hit movies.
If all you are interested in is the ability to watch replays of your favorite shows or stay in on Friday nights to watch last year’s Oscar winning movies, you can get Hulu for $5.99 per month streaming on your phone, tablet or computer.
Not a bad deal at all.
More recently Hulu has come up with Hulu Plus - now called Hulu with Live TV.
This Hulu Live plan is priced at $54.99 per month. Get Hulu here >>
- Hulu Basic starts are $5.99 per month and Hulu Plus Live TV starts at $54.99 per month
- Lot's of shows, live streaming, and more
- No contracts
What Makes The Two Packages So Different?
1. For starters, Hulu promises that their Live with TV version allows you to watch content with limited commercials. This language is a little confusing as the regular Hulu plan is supposed to come with limited commercials as well. From what we can tell, it appears there are fewer commercials with this version as compared to the $5.99 version.
2. With Hulu Live with TV, you can stream over 50 live and on-demand channels. These channels include of the the premier news, entertainment and sports channels like ESPN, MSNBC and National Geographic - a feature absent on regular Hulu.
3. Something that is pretty cool about this particular package is that you can also stream live and on-demand content on your phone or other mobile devices while you are on the go. Even though you can watch regular Hulu on your phone, the difference is that live and on-demand content will not be available to you.
4. With Hulu Live with TV, you can stream via any of the popular streaming devices - Roku, Chromecast, Apple, Android TV, Fire TV and XBox as well select Samsung models.
5. Streaming on unlimited devices is an add-on for Hulu Live with TV .Enhanced Cloud DVR is also an available add-on to this service where you can save live shows you missed and watch them later.
There is certainly a lot to love about Hulu Live with TV.
Should You Get It?
It all depends on your particular situation.
Cable TV is notoriously expensive these days with plans running hundreds of dollars if you want to watch premium channels like ESPN and National Geographic.
Secondly, regular cable television will require that a work technician from the company come to your home to do an installation.
Sometimes, owning the cable box is an additional cost that can add as much as $20 per month to your bill ($240 per year is a lot of money.)
Cable companies are also well known to start you out with an “introductory” price which shoots up significantly once you cross the one year mark with them.
All these costs add up and can make having cable TV a hassle.
Alternatively, Hulu Live with TV is $54.99 per month.
Plus, there are:
My recommendation here therefore is that if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to regular cable TV, Hulu Live with TV is worth the the investment and in the long run will save you a lot of money.
On the other hand, if all you want is to be able to watch binge watch seasons of currently-running shows on your phone, tablet or computer, the regular Hulu basic plan for $5.99 will more than suffice.
Hulu Student Pricing
A trick to find a student discount price on Hulu is to combine Hulu with Spotify. With Spotify Premium for Students, you get Hulu bundled in, so you’ll have both music and video streaming for $4.99 per month. That's a savings of $1 per month, but you get the best of both Hulu and Spotify.
Eligible students are those who are enrolled at a Title IV accredited college or university in the U.S. and are above the age of 18. To enroll, check out Spotify’s student page.
Hulu Live TV Review
- Pricing and Fees - 60
- Availability - 100
- Channels and Shows - 90
- Ease of Use - 90
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.