Sunday, May 1, 2011
How Hulu Helped Me Cut the Cable
For the first time, we decided to cut off all the cable in my apartment. As I am getting older, I have way less time to watch television. Between that and all the online streaming services, I don't really need to pay $80 every month. Thanks to Netflix and Hulu, I don't even crouch over my laptop, rather sit back and enjoy on my television. But is Hulu Plus worth the money ?
I have been using the Hulu.com website for about a year. Its super useful for someone like me who never seems to be home when the shows I love actually air. They began as a basic service. There is no charge and you don't even have to register if you don't want to. The site carries shows from broadcast networks and some other channels like USA, Comedy Central, and more. For each series the site hosts, they usually keep a back log of around 5 of the most recent episodes so there is plenty of time to catch up.
While this free portion of the service is still available, there is now an additional, paid service called Hulu Plus. With this, there are more shows and they keep huge back logs, sometimes the entire series. Hulu Plus is also really cheap. The newly extended service is only $7.99 per month. And unlike Netflix, when a new episode airs on tv, there isn't a wait time. The newest shows are usually available the very next morning.
So why are we covering this on our gaming blog ? Hulu Plus is now available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 ! I was pretty psyched when the Plus service launched on consoles. It seems like such a natural fit, just how Netflix was such an obviously good choice for the same release.
But the Hulu Plus service has some noticeable hiccups with its appearance on the gaming systems. There are a significant number of popular shows that are only viewable on their website. I absolutely love the show Fringe, but it is "web-only". So that was a huge disappointment. And even though the service is paid, there are still regular commercials. The amount of commercials are not as long as those on regular, live television, but its still annoying.
So it's up to you if this service is worth it. I would much rather pay the $8/month and suffer through some commercials than pay literally ten times that amount for cable. And I extra love that I can access this through my gaming console. The question I have is, "What next?" I would love to see CNN or MSNBC come to these platforms. What new services would like see ?