Netflix vs. Hulu Plus

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Netflix vs. Hulu Plus

Overall: Netflix Wins

If you have to pick one, Netflix is probably the better choice. Keep in mind, Netflix does not have the newest episodes of TV shows. You can always download these on iTunes, Amazon, or Google Play. I find it useful to have both Netflix and Hulu Plus. The services are complimentary, with some overlap in programming. The extra $7.99 for Hulu Plus is much less expensive than buying programs a la carte from iTunes or others. It is well worth subscribing to both, particularly if you are cutting the cord and cancelling cable. Sometimes I will put Hulu Plus on hold during the summer and resume when new TV episodes debut in the fall. I think they’re both great services and amazing values, especially considering the high cost of cable or satellite TV.

You can watch a lot of TV episodes and movies on the free Hulu website, without paying for Hulu Plus. This will only work on your computer, with limited access to content. If you want to watch it on your Apple TV, you can use AirPlay screen mirroring in Mountain Lion, or AirParrot, an app for Mac or Windows. I have written a how-to article on setting up a Mac based media system with AirParrot, using Splashtop for a remote. It will work, but the Hulu Plus app on Apple TV is better. Of course, for the Hulu content you can’t watch on Apple TV, this kludge might come in handy.

Is cutting the cord right for you? It is increasingly easy for most people to cut the cord. Even sports fans can subscribe to services and watch live sporting events on Apple TV (or other media streamers), their smart phone, tablet, or computer. I only watch a few hours of TV, usually in the late evening. By that time, cable is mostly junk. It was a big waste of money for me. Cable and satellite on-demand is weak compared to online offerings.

Habits are hard to break, however. Some people love to channel surf and are very attached to the experience of “live” TV. Before you cut the cord, you can try Netflix and Hulu Plus, and see if they are enough to entertain you. Both services offer trial memberships. You can also keep these services and keep your cable/satellite. That’s how I started, but I ended up rarely watching cable TV. Cable just ended up being a huge waste of money. With the money I save, I can buy a new Mac every year!

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