In today's fast paced society, people don't have time to sit in front of the TV to watch their favorite programs. Yes, there are DVR's to make this a bit easier, but in today's economy, a lot of people are ditching their cable or satellite service altogether and paying the ridiculously lower cost of an internet service designed specifically to make it simple to watch your favorite TV shows and movies no matter where you are.
Because let's face it, going out to the movies isn't cheap either. Two services stand out above the rest, but each one is a little different than the other. Read on to see the different features of each service, and which is right for you.
Catch the Latest TV Programs with Hulu Plus
If you're more of a TV person, Hulu Plus is the service for you. Netflix does offer complete seasons of certain shows, but they are often last season's episodes, and a lot of popular shows aren't available with the “Watch Instantly” feature on their website. Hulu Plus gives fans what they want: access to the most recent episodes in the newest season as soon as the newest show is aired along with past seasons, making it easy to find a new favorite. Now you can catch up on past seasons of Desperate Housewives, preparing yourself for the current season.
What's more, Hulu Plus offers exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from networks like FOX, NBC, and ABC, and also provides shows from a host of other networks like A&E, PBS, Comedy Central, and MTV to name a few. It gives you access to over 16,000 episodes of over 400 TV shows, both present day and classic. That means not only can you catch the latest episode of House or Glee, you can also watch full seasons of 21 Jumpstreet, Abbott and Costello and 3rd Rock From the Sun.
Netflix for Movies
If it's movies you're after, Netflix is the choice for you. Hands down, it contains the most movies for your money. You make your selections (queue) and receive a DVD or Blu-Ray from your list in the mail. As soon as they receive it back, they send another one. In the time it takes to receive the next one, you can watch movies in your queue instantly. Doing both gives you access to over 20,000 titles. If you choose to strictly stream your movies, your options are just as open, you just don't receive the movies in the mail.
Hulu Plus offers movies from The Criterion Collection, which is an exclusive selection of roughly 800 titles, both classic and contemporary, and includes documentaries on topics in current events. You'll find titles like The Little Rascals Collection, Reservoir Dogs, and Clerks. Check out documentaries like American Grindhouse and Rethink Afganistan as well. Their selection may not be as mammoth as Netflix, but with more titles added each month, they're on their way. If it's the latest blockbuster you are itching to see, you should probably sign up for Netflix.
Both services allow you to watch at home and on the go with multiple viewing options, such as iPhone/Android app on your phone or tablet, Smart TV's, internet-enabled Blu-Ray player, Wii, Xbox 360, or Playstation 3. Netflix offers the option to suspend charges in the event you will be going out of town and don't plan on utilizing the service. If you're gone for a week, you don't pay for that week.
The Bottomline: Price
After deciding which service is right for you, it all comes down to what you are willing to pay to ditch your cable subscription. Both options are most certainly a fraction of the price you are already paying for cable television or satellite, but they differ between each other.
Hulu Plus goes for a mere $7.99/month with the first month free by simply pinning a Hulu button to your Windows 7 taskbar. Instructions to claim this free month can be found by visiting hulu.com/plus/ie9. Current subscribers can cash in on this deal as well and receive a credit for a free month. Despite a paid subscription, there will be few ads in some of the content you watch on Hulu Plus. They place this advertising as a way to keep the subscription costs at that low $7.99 rate.
Netflix asks $16/month for one DVD at a time and unlimited streaming, and if you opt to receive Blu-Ray instead, it jumps to $18/month. Want to strictly stream? The cost drops to $7.99/month. For new subscribers, there is a free one month trial period.