Saturday, October 18, 2014

Netflix vs Hulu Plus

For quite a few years we have lived without cable television due to the fact that it's too expensive. However, to fulfill my television wants and needs without cable, we purchased an Apple TV and have Netflix.

Netflix or Hulu, Netflix or Hulu...which service is better?  Well, today I'm going to throw my opinion into this often debated topic.

When we first subscribed to Netflix, we had both the TV and DVD service.  I used the DVD service a lot during the summer, but once school started it wasn't being used, so we cancelled it.  Luckily I cancelled the service before the infamous price increase, so it never bothered me.

I've always been happy with both the TV and movie selection that Netflix has offered.  There are many choices for Brandon to pick from, no matter what his age is.  And I love that there are choices that we can watch together, without me wanting to poke my eyes out with a fork!  Shows like Phineas and Ferb, and Ninjago can often be seen on our television.

I've found that when I watch Netflix, I tend to watch TV shows more than movies.  With a TV show, you can watch one, stop, and then come back.  I don't like doing that with movies...I have no idea why.  If you know me, you know that I LOVE the TV show Burn Notice.  All 7 seasons are on Netflix, along with the stand alone TV movie The Fall of Sam Axe, which tells the back story of that character.

On the occasion that I watch a movie, Netflix has many Disney options that are always fun to watch. Old school Disney movies like Robin Hood, Dumbo, Cinderella,Winnie the Pooh and Sleeping Beauty are on my list.

When we had cable, we would often watch HGTV and The Food Network.  Just last week I noticed that both channels have added many of their shows to the Netflix line up.  I was even happier when I discovered that two of my favorites were among the titles:  Restaurant Impossible, and The Property Brothers.

Needless to say, this discovery has left me EXCITED.  Now all they need to do is add one of the MANY shows with Bobby Flay on it, and I will never need cable again!

Netflix is constantly attempting to update their selection, providing customers with more recent movies and television shows.  As a customer, I appreciate that.  More often than not, once the most recent season of a TV series is on DVD it will pop up on Netflix.

Recently Netflix added a feature making it easier to watch the next episode of the TV show you're watching.  When the episode is over, it will automatically go to the next episode for you, unless you tell it not to.  For a fan of episode TV like me, this is a great feature.

I also love that the TV shows on Netflix don't have commercials.  There are no ads that play where a commercial would be if it was on cable.  I hate commercials.  When we had cable, this was the job of the DVR; fast-forwarding commercials!

Netflix has also found productive, and effective ways to use technology.  If there is a TV show title on my list that will have another season coming soon, I will receive a notice on my phone from Netflix.  If you're adding selections to your Netflix list from the internet, I've found that their website is very user friendly.  It is very easy to find all the possible titles of both TV shows and movies, and add those that you want to your list.  And since I'm anal, and a little OCD, I have the selections on my list in a specific order.  Netflix makes it easy for me to put the new titles in the order that I would like them to be in.

Just this week a fabulous announcement was made.  January 1st, the greatest TV show EVER will be joining Netflix:

A few years ago I watched EVERYTHING on the internet through the station's website (,, etc).  The networks caught on that many people were doing this, and decided to play dirty by forcing you to provide your cable account information to be able to watch the episode online. Since I didn't have a cable provider, I was no longer able to watch many shows.  If I had cable, and access to a DVR, why would I want to watch the show in the internet when I could watch them over and over again on my DVR?  It makes no sense to me.

It's beginning to happen more and more.  The day CBS does this, I will have to purchase cable again. If I can't watch NCIS, NCIS: LA, and Survivor, I will die!  Ooo, it's beginning to feel like a conspiracy to force people back into purchasing cable!

Moving on...

Now on to Hulu Plus. Thanks to McDonald's and their annual Monopoly game, I won a free month-long trial of Hulu Plus. I had tried the 7 day free trial about a year ago, but wasn't very impressed.  I decided a month would give me a lot more time to investigate and learn more about this service.

Right off the bat I found one of my favorite shows that I no longer have access to due to the stupid cable account information fiasco:

I began watching the seasons that I've missed, and looked forward to discovering what other shows I could find.

I've always heard Hulu Plus advertise themselves as the service that provides current episodes of TV shows that are on right now.  I continued my search for said shows.  I'm 3 weeks into my free trial and I'm remembering why I wasn't impressed the first time around.  Unless you watch all the vampire TV shows, the shows about the Kardashians, all the prissy, rich housewife shows, America's Next Top Model, or most everything on Fox, there's not much of a selection for you.

I'm finding it difficult to find the shows that Hulu Plus offers.  Their website isn't nearly as user friendly as Netflix, and the actual channel isn't much more help.  I like when the service lists all the shows it has to offer, that way I don't have to try and remember what I would like to watch.

Hulu Plus has commercials.  Unlike Netflix, they will show 2 thirty seconds ads where a commercial would've been had it been playing on television.  The ads are promoting other shows available on Hulu Plus, which is how I know all the real housewife and Kardashian shows are available.  They are the same few ads replayed over and over again.  These ads are often inappropriate.  I don't like Brandon in the room when they come on because he's 7 and doesn't need to see women acting like sluts, women pole dancing, and women dressed like hookers.  I'm not kidding, these are "commercials" that are seen on Hulu Plus.  No thank you, disgusting.

The last thing I'm noticing about Hulu Plus is that it is constantly loosing its internet connection.  The show I'm watching will often freeze up, or even completely stop playing.  This rarely happens with Netflix, and I have no idea why.

It's obvious which service I prefer.  When the trial is over, I won't be continuing Hulu Plus.  For the needs of my family, Netflix has it all.

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