Hulu Plus vs Netflix on Apple TV

“Now that Apple has quietly added Hulu Plus to Apple TV,” Terry White blogs, “you have a choice in streaming TV/Movie content providers.”

“I wasn’t interested in Hulu Plus at all! I didn’t see any advantage over Netflix, but I decided that since it was now built-in to my Apple TV I’d give it a shot,” White writes. “Hulu Plus is $7.99/month for unlimited watching and Netflix is $9.99/month for unlimited watching. The different is Hulu Plus still has commercials that you are forced to play before the program starts and usually in the middle of your show. There is no way to skip these ads. Right off the bat I have a problem paying for streaming AND seeing ads too!”

More comparisons in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Which, if any, do you prefer on your Apple TV, Hulu Plus or Netflix and why?


    1. Why do they both suck. I have NetFlix and Hulu Plus. Netflix is definitely better. Hulu has certain shows (such as the “outer limits”) that you are only allowed to watch on a computer! I think that is really stupid. When will they realize that it is 2012 and they gain nothing by forcing me to ignore my big screen and watch TV on my laptop. All they will accomplish is to get me to quit. — plus they have commercials.

      Probably the only think I am using Hulu for right now is for RT TV. Netflix wins hands down !

      1. There will always be a limit to what you can do with someone else’s intellectual property. You pay the standard rate ( somewhere below $10 ) to access their library.

        Hulu and Netflix signed contracts agreeing to limitations imposed by the content providers. Hollywood and Comcast imposes policy on Netflix and Hulu just like any other distributor of their stuff. There aren’t supposed to be any analog holes that permit the repurposing of their content.

        These two distributors are doing everything within their power to give you a total experience. Cognitive dissonance is in play between what we are pay for and the level of service we expect, which can vary greatly.

        Hulu peddles Comcast properties, who has tremendous control over the content so they can pretty much pay their way. Netflix, not so much. If they had to pay the cable providers and carriers for their consumption of bandwidth, they’d fold overnight.

        If you think it sucks now, wait until the dumb pipes wake up to the fact that these distributors aren’t paying any tolls to use up their bandwidth. Cable companies can park your traffic at the curb if they perceive abuse, or theft, or a revenue stream that is slipping though its pipes with the Hulu and Netflix and Google traffic.

        The internet is going to be littered with toll booths when NFC communications is deployed by carriers and cable providers to charge you as you move through their network. Roaming, ever heard of it?

        Enjoy now what you believe to be the internet, because once the Supreme court decides with the dumb pipes and their need to build and innovate to support a network that grows by an order of magnitude every day, will ruin it all.

        Google alone accounts for 20+ petabytes each month. The German parliament has decided Google should pay for every headline and news summary it uses in Google Search. Consumers launch Google News and the page is populated with news from all over the world. Each item containing links back to the publisher.

        The journalists of AP and Rueters and a host of other newspapers and magazines feel they are entitled to a share of Google’s profits. If Google is going to use their intellectual property as bait, they need to be compensated.

        Once it becomes law in Germany, their internet infrastructure is going to change dramatically and it will impact the rest of the world. If this proves to be a successful way to monetize traffic, then the dump pipes will have succeeded in turning the internet into one big cell phone network.

        1. You got this all wrong and completely backwards. Hulu does not use any bandwidth at all. I do. It is like the phone system. The caller pays the price. If I didn’t request content, Hulu would use no bandwidth, and when I request content they ship it to me. I made “the call” and I already pay the company for the “unlimited calls”, just like I pay the phone company for unlimited phone service.

          By your reasoning, you are advocating the equivalent of internet 800 numbers where Apple and Hulu should pay for the internet for everyone to download from them. Should everyone who puts a website up, pay for the internet and all of us get it for free? Should the internet be the equivalent of one giant 800 number with the hosting sites paying the internet for everybody else?

          Once I pay the cable companies for unlimited “calling” I should be able to call “whoever” I want and download from anybody.

          If the cable companies want to charge for bandwidth (as cell companies do) that is their business decision, but even if they do, they should not limit “who” I call.

          Just like with the phone company, I can get an unlimited or a pay for minutes plan, but either way, I can call who I want.

          What you are indirectly saying is that when I pay for “unlimited” use, it is ok to use my bandwidth to watch Comcast TV shows, yet is is not OK to choose Hulu.

          If Comcast offers a metered plan, they should also subject their own content to the same usage.

          Complaining that we “hog” the network when we watch Hulu or Netflix, but we are not “hogs” when we consume bandwidth from Comcast is hypocritical.

          ….and no, the content is not stored in my local Comcast office so it uses the same bandwidth as everyone else.

          Net neutrality means I pay for my bandwidth and “call” who I want. That model has worked for a hundred years with the phone company, why all of a sudden is this not a workable model now ?

          1. I’m not going to read what you wrote after you tell me I’m wrong and backwards.

            I’m trying to reverse the system to where I don’t have to pay for access to the internet anymore. The internet should be freely accessible no matter where you are.

            I’ll pay my way when I get there. I’ll spend my money where I want and not a moment sooner. If I have to go through page after page to get to what I want, then by god someone is going to pay me to work that hard.

            I want to watch a movie and I don’t need a theater to get in my way.

          2. All of the conclusions you have arrived at come from inside your own head.

            You can’t read my words and regurgitate back to the forum what you THINK you read? Who does that? That leaves you open to unwarranted scrutiny.

            All I’m suggesting is I shouldn’t have to pay for internet and I’m the one who is wrong and backwards.

          3. Another thing, you said that if they continued to act the way they do with regard to your big screen and laptop, you’d quit.

            How’s that cell phone analogy working out for you? When the experience gets miserable enough you take your money and go elsewhere. Just like everybody else.

            Welcome back to capitalism in the 20th Century.

            If all business had to pick up the delivery charge when we order something from them, you can be assured we’ll enjoy the experience.

            I’m advocating instead of charging the consumer, the distributor absorbs the delivery charge, money paid to the cable and carrier operators, that’s used to improve the delivery system and keep it free.

            These bozos spend a fortune on advertising and Madison Avenue is getting rich off the spam they create in the form of commercials and magazine ad campaigns.

            All of the big money is going to the few.

            Make it law. The distributor pays. It works that way over power lunches, so it should be good enough for the board rooms of the world. No more free lunch!

            Yeah, I’ve got it wrong and backwards. Mark Zuckerberg and Eric Schmidt got filthy rich being distributors and what did they do with all their money? The slavishly smother all their employees with riches every time we download a YouTube video and send one of our comments over to FB.

            The way these bastards spend their money should make you feel sick inside, because we the consumers are the enablers.

            Consumer rights. Long time over due for an overhaul.

            We should be living with much nicer accommodations and we would if not for that giant sucking sound that is our money going south.

      2. You may have noticed, I never mentioned Apple. The biggest distributor of them all.

        The largest crack dealer in history should pay a little more back into the system.

        A measly tenth of one-percent of profits could be used towards innovating and developing Web 3.0.

        A layered technology that will blanket the existing Web 2 infrastructure perhaps, until such time as they flip the switch to 3.0, and open up a supermax infrastructure.

        Don’t expect any more help from the government. They’ll be there in spirit only.

        I don’t want to pay for Web 3.0. I’ll pay for movies and music but I want a portion of that money to be earmarked for upgrades that make my internet experience better.

  1. I prefer to not have commercials but I subscribe to and watch Hulu+ because the shows feature newer episodes of network and cable shows that I would watch if their schedules did not conflict. I watch NetFlix for mailed movie DVDs and old streaming films that I don’t rent on iTunes or Vudu when they are first available. I will occasionally watch the entire series of a show I never watched before on one long marathon. But I watch Hulu more frequently despite the commercials.

    1. The vast majority of shows on network and cable are available on-demand for several weeks after airing if you have decent cable service. I can’t imagine paying extra just to watch shows I can see for free, whenever I want, as part of my cable package.


    2. Commercials consume unnecessary bandwidth and should be omitted by law. After that, the corporations can pay their way back into the game.

      Think about myriad means to connect with us each day and all those messages are coming through the pipes for free and that has to change.

      Make it a law that only original, uncut, commercial-free media is available for consumption and that those delivering the content must pay all delivery charges.

      If these mega-corporations were paying their fair share to use the internet for deliveries, the internet would bloom.

      I pay may way, those providing content pay for all delivery charges. Whatever the dumb pipe owners, the distributors, and the content providers work out between themselves will be enough to cover the cost of all their advertising.

      Think about it. I think its a meme worth investigating.

      You want me to watch your stuff? Then pick up 75-dollar cable bill each month and I will, with passion.

  2. I prefer Netflix because Hulu still hasn’t gone beyond their borders into Canada. If Netflix can do it, so can Hulu. I don’t even care if their library isn’t the same as the US (like Netflix), but additional stuff or the availability to choose would be nice.

    1. I prefer watching shows that have been bit torrented because they’re free, have no commercials, are available immediately after broadcast, and because I can see UK-only, Ireland-only, Canada-only, New Zealand-only, and Australia-only shows that wouldn’t otherwise be broadcast in the States. I like the pirate sites that stream NFL games because I can see anything and not just the three games I’m forced to watch here in podunkia.

        1. I disagree.

          The one’s who need to be punished are those running the repositories, not the consumers. The largest majority of “thieves” aren’t in this for money, its pure consumption.

          The Asians sell Microsoft Office on the black market, complete with holography and keys and they’re siphoning billions off Microsoft.

          Most people downloading videos, toss them as soon as they’ve watched them. The loss may be felt at the box office, but not in the living room, where advertisers continue making out like raped apes peddling boner pills and hair replacement derivatives.

          Pirate said not one word about capitalizing on his new found venture and you wish the worse for him. You sound dangerous.

            1. Yeah see, even after all I said, you couldn’t find any middle ground with me on the subject of piracy and consumerism gone south?

              And I know a threat when I read it.

              Why don’t you ask yourself who is paying for the 75-petabytes of YouTube videos downloaded each quarter, Google sure isn’t. That group of thieves is using everyone’s bandwidth so they can bring us kittens!

              Wrap your mind around these numbers.

              A gigabyte is about 7-minutes of HD TV.
              A petabyte is 13-years of HD television.

              Google’s YouTube consumes 75-petabytes of bandwidth every ninety-days, or the equivalent of 1000-years of HDTV.

              How much does that cost Google? Not one penny because everyone loves free stuff, don’t they?

              I don’t where the garbage comes from but could you do us all favor and take yourself out with the trash.

            2. A community of thieves cannot support itself without someone to make the things they steal. Thieves are parasites and THEY SHOULD BE TAKEN OUT WITH THE TRASH. There is no middle ground. Think it through.

            3. I don’t have to think anything through. You’re an idiot.

              Are we to infer, you’re talking about convicting minors and passing out life sentences or even death, for illegal downloads?

              So let me get this straight, your kids download a movie illegally from the torrents and you would have us believe your kids deserve to be taken out with the trash?

            4. My children have learned from a very young age that they must always pay for what they want. There are no freebees in life. They have Netflix and iTunes for movies, TV shows and music and have to pay me for any rentals they purchase on their own. I sure hope I am not raising thieves like you advocate.

            5. But of course, in this thread, your children are model kids because your such a great dad, huh?

              But the fact is, you would lock up children and ignorant people for downloading illegal content.

              No middle ground for you. It’s the death penalty for every crime.

            6. It is interesting that you go to such a place as death for a penalty for theft. The cost of all of the thefts to be paid plus a reasonable deterrent is enough here.

              By the way you defend these thieves, one would be likely to conclude that you may have taken other’s property and want forgiveness or even permission.

            7. I think you already know the answer. If you were in a court case brought about by someone you ‘downloaded’ their material, you would know better than to download again right there in front of the judge. You know what you are doing is wrong and are labeling yourself here on this site.

            8. I have been talking all week about massive consumption of bandwidth by the world’s corporations and how they’re not paying their way.

              Google and Apple are among the worst offenders. Together they consume the equivalent of what they release and those who operate the internet aren’t getting a dime for the toll their traffic takes on the internet.

              The one’s responsible for maintaining the infrastructure, to innovate beyond our needs, and above all, to keep the price right, is getting zip from these mega-corporations who are making a living off the backs of those providing them the service.

              And here you are, bringing us back to the scope of your problem which seems to be morals, and nothing more. I won’t waste any more of your time.

              Good day.

            9. “A community of thieves cannot support itself without someone to make the things they steal.”

              My second sentence in my counter-argument stated, The one’s who need to be punished are those running the repositories, not the consumers.

              We could have agreed at that point, but you made this into something else. You gave added emphasis on what you would do to those consumers who have no idea what their doing is wrong. They believe the internet is free.

            10. The word you were looking for was ‘they’re rather then ‘their’.

              The store who sell the widgets you might make is not a thief when they take a 30% cut of the sale to cover their costs to house, advertise, distribute, transport and sell your widget. No one can justify taking goods from the store because the store is a giant corporation.

      1. Apple’s argument to the content owners has always been people WILL pirate if they have no legal means to watch what they want to watch. If content owners would get their butts into the 21st century, and offer true a la carte pricing, instead of forcing us to get 50 channels we don’t want to get the 1 or 2 channels we do, there would be no piracy.

        It’s like alcohol prohibition in the 1920s and the drug wars of today: you wouldn’t have people stealing to buy drugs if they were priced appropriately. No one is killing people on the streets of Chicago to control the speakeasy trade anymore, but dozens are being shot up in the current street war over drug turf and gangs.


    2. For a couple of extra bucks a month you can get the US content on Netflix (more movie choices). They give you a set of coordinates to make your Netflix account looks like an American account.

    1. Yup. I looked into Hulu and Hulu plus before it was on my AppleTV, I to see no reason to be paying for something and getting commercials. Especially when Netflix is commercial free. That’s what I want no commercials.

    2. If they’re ad-free, how does Hulu or Netflix keep the operation running? Memberships? That’s a good one.

      In this country everything is tiered pricing, so that the elite’s feet never have to touch the ground.

      They can come and go as they please. No body or cavity searches. Get out of Jail Free cards are a birthright, as is not having to serve in the Armed Forces.

      If these video outfits could afford to stream ad-free, don’t you think they’d do that? Unfortunately, that is un-American, to give value away for free.

  3. Been using Netflix for years. Tried Hulu just last week and was kind of shocked when a commercial popped up. Cancelled the trial account within a couple of days.
    If I’m paying, I don’t watch commercials. That’s the deal.

      1. I remember when I first got TWC cable back in 2000 or so. I figured I’d never see another commercial since I was paying to watch unlike OTA channels. Although there were more channels there was also more commercials. That was a definite shock. Fortunately, I don’t have a problem with commercials because I either do something else or zone out when they appear. However, I do think Hulu should be ad-free and I’d pay $1 more to skip the ads.

        As one of the other commenters said, using torrents (and newsservers) are about the best way to watch commercial-free TV.

      2. Except that I don’t. I haven’t had either of those for years.
        Just about every show is recycled crap anyway, and if it’s not- hey, it’ll be on DVD or Netflix pretty soon.

  4. I still go “old school” and watch on TV via DVR’d shows or renting physical DVDs from Netflix. My hearing isn’t what it used to be (after 18 years in Army aviation) and I have little ones in the house that are in bed by time I get to watch TV. Streamed shows/movies don’t have subtitles for me to read.

    1. Not just you, I I like to watch with subtitles as well. I find that the volume in many movies goes from very loud to very quiet and I either wake up the house with the chase scene or can’t hear the talking. It’s annoying, so I turn on the subtitles to prevent me from having to go back and listen again.

    2. That’s, not quite true, Apple TV can do CC but the content providers dont put it on iTunes tha way. All Brit shows have CC but they’re North American ripoff distributors don’t often put the CC version up. There is a place for government of the people, they should be made to ensure all content is accessible.

      1. Before I bought the new Apple TV I was using my PS3 for Netflix streaming and it does have subtitles available. They’re ugly bold yellow but they’re there. Kind of miss that. Maybe there’s an option somewhere in Apple TV setup but I remember I could just hit the subtitle button on my PS3 remote and they’d start popping up.

  5. i have both. better movie selection on netflix, at least…better mainstream movies. better tv shows on hulu, at least…current ones. anime is good on both but they both don’t update very often.

  6. Netflix, I had Hulu on my PS3 and just wasn’t impressed with the offerings, and since allot of Hulu’s content is free and not offered with the paid Hulu plan due unfortunately to copyrights, that keep’s allot of content on the free side, so it’s just not worth it.

    I found allot more content with the free offering of Hulu then what was offered with the paid service, it just depends on what you like to watch.

    Getting Hulu’s free content by using XBMC on my Mac Mini Server (2011) that is hooked to my Plasma through HDMI, allows me access, to bad Hulu for Apple TV doesn’t offer the option to also get the free content.

    Looking forward to seeing what other options Apple brings to the Apple TV.

  7. Hulu Plus has far far fewer commercials than cable TV. And cable TV (Verizon FIOS in my case) also cost money. You can’t skip Hulu commercials but you can always mute them, and you can pause the show anytime you wish.

    The BIG question when deciding what to get is, do they have what you want to watch?

    1. Strange, I just checked my credit card statement, I pay $7.99 for Netflix and I just looked at the Netflix site, it says $7.99 in bold letters. It is not $9.99. Am I missing something? Hulu certainly looks like it is worth trying, but at the same price with ads, I am not so sure.

  8. The Apple TV does a much better job of organizing and displaying content on both Hulu+ and Netflix than any of my other devices (computers, web enabled DVD player, smart TV or Roku.)

    I like Hulu’s selection of TV shows better than Netflix. They’re more current and there seem to be more of them. I don’t like the commercials. I understand that Fox is negotiating to add more adds. Great. I’ll probably cancel eventually. There are just so many other outlets for content.

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