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I am a cord-cutter. I cancelled cable about two years ago. Thanks to both Netflix and Hulu Plus, this is easily accomplished. One can enjoy TV shows and movies on demand, without paying over $100 a month for cable or satellite. I have both services, however, if you only have a budget for one, this article will help you make that tough decision.
Netflix and Hulu Plus are more complimentary than competitive. Netflix tends to have older TV shows, but better movies. Hulu Plus has most of the new TV shows, except for ones offered by premium channels such as HBO or Showtime. Netflix has some of these (such as The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Weeds, United States of Tara), but not the newest seasons. You usually have to purchase premium channel shows on iTunes, Amazon or Google Play. They’re great shows so they can get away with charging more for them. HBO, in particular, has been known to keep shows exclusive to their cable and satellite subscribers. Many HBO shows cannot be purchased for download or streaming. Sometimes I miss cable because of this, but it’s not worth $1400 a year!
There is some overlap. Netflix has a lot of TV shows that are on Hulu Plus, but they are not recent episodes. Hulu Plus has some movies that are on Netflix, but movies are their weakness. One exception is that Hulu Plus recently obtained the Criterion Collection — some of the best classic movies of all time. Other than that, Hulu Plus has weak offerings when it comes to movies. It is difficult to compare the number of titles each offers, as both companies are elusive. It seems that Netflix has more titles. Since content preferences are personal choices, this will have to be a tie.
Advertising: Netflix Wins
Hulu Plus has advertising, but there are fewer ads than on regular TV. A 22 minute program on Hulu Plus, such as an episode of The Office, has about 3 minutes of commercials, although this can vary. When broadcast on TV, it has 8 minutes of commercials. Many people complain that Hulu Plus still has commercials, even though you are paying for it. To be fair, it is the only way they can offer new programming for less than $8 a month. Netflix, on the other hand, has no commercials, but also lacks the newest episodes of TV shows. (continue…)