∞ Netflix is awesome, Hulu sucks

I could probably just leave you with that headline and be done with the story, but I’ll give you a little bit on context.

[ad#Google Adsense 300x250 in story]I purchase and rent shows on iTunes all the time. I’ve been doing that for years and it’s been working just fine. Like many people, I have also added Netflix streaming to my list of services that I use to watch movies and TV shows.

With Netflix bundled into the Apple TV, it was a no-brainier for me to use Netflix. The service is great, the streaming is fast, and the selection for both TV shows and movies is really good.

Basically, I love Netflix combined with iTunes.

Last week I decided to try out Hulu Plus. I figured if I can get access to more TV series, I might be able to cut down on my cable bill.

Hulu didn’t even last 24 hours. I activated it on my Roku (love that device) and was immediately amazed with how bad it sucked. It’s like they took all of the series that couldn’t make it in primetime TV and put them on Hulu. The selection was terrible.

Interspersed with the shows that nobody ever heard of or doesn’t care about, were some primetime hits. Unfortunately, there are not nearly enough of them to make paying for Hulu Plus a consideration.

Somebody needs to tell Hulu that it’s about the content. People aren’t going to pay for the crap they are offering right now.



  • Adam

    That’s how cable/media companies want it, then they can keep charging for cable and justify, to themselves, keeping good content off of Netflix.

  • Adam

    That’s how cable/media companies want it, then they can keep charging for cable and justify, to themselves, keeping good content off of Netflix.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Gregory/100002241884002 Ann Gregory

      I hope Hulu remains as it is.  They offer great programming. This along with services like the TVDevo website offer just about everything you want for getting TV online. Netflix is great for movies.  

      • Adcrb

        No, Hulu sucks. Unless you like Petticoat Junction reruns.

        • PCZero

          The problem actually isn’t so much the content, it’s that it’s bloody impossible to find content on Hulu Plus because the interface is sooooooo bad. I love a lot of the shows and content available on hulu, I use it all the time. On my PC.

          The website works great, looks great, is easy to use, etc etc etc. The service on mobile devices, smart tvs and smart players, etc. has the clunkiest, most cumbersome, horrifically ugly interface I have ever seen in my entire life. What the hell were they thinking? Why is it so hard to find the content I’m looking for or browse through real quick?

          They NEED an organization system based on likely user preferences, like Netflix has. As it is, Hulu Plus is a bad joke. When this is combined with the licensing issues and being able to view some Hulu Plus content on TV and some on the internet, serious concerns begin to arise. If they’d just do something about the god damn HORRIBLE interface so I can actually GET to the content that is there, it wouldn’t be so bad.

          A big part of the problem is that Hulu has sooooo much stuff, a big hunk of which is stuff I don’t care for, that is impossible to wade through with the cumbersome interface with a difficult to use or access search function with to context functions. Why can’t I search WITHIN a genre or other category? Why is it that when I look under movies I get several hundered (thousand?) tv series mixed in? Where’s the organization? What the hell….

  • http://www.facebook.com/superrob Rob Stevens

    Jim, You don’t even cover the most aggravating part. Just because Hulu has a show, doesn’t mean you can watch it on a device like Apple TV or Roku (or iPhone/iPad). They have some strange licensing arrangement that differentiates between web, tv, and mobile viewing. Yes, I can hook my laptop or desktop up to my TV and watch a show, but not necessarily with XBOX or iPad. It’s ridiculous.

    I’m sticking with it because I’m hoping the new buyer will fix some of those issues, and honestly, they’re selection is far better than you give them credit for. But I’m tired of putting shows in my queue to watch and finding out I can’t watch them because I’m on the wrong device.

    • silencets

      The selection depends on what you like to watch.  Lots of what is on Hulu is also on Netflix InstaStreaming.  Some of what’s nice on Hulu are things like Laurel and Hardy episodes.  I’m talking the early 1920′s stuff.

      Otherwise, I love Netflix more then I love Hulu and if I had to choose I would pick Netflix hands down.

      Hulu does despretely need more content.  Why is Castle Season 3 on there but not seasons 1 or 2?  Situations like that drive me nuts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/superrob Rob Stevens

    Jim, You don’t even cover the most aggravating part. Just because Hulu has a show, doesn’t mean you can watch it on a device like Apple TV or Roku (or iPhone/iPad). They have some strange licensing arrangement that differentiates between web, tv, and mobile viewing. Yes, I can hook my laptop or desktop up to my TV and watch a show, but not necessarily with XBOX or iPad. It’s ridiculous.

    I’m sticking with it because I’m hoping the new buyer will fix some of those issues, and honestly, they’re selection is far better than you give them credit for. But I’m tired of putting shows in my queue to watch and finding out I can’t watch them because I’m on the wrong device.

  • tom b

    It was known Hulu would suck before it launched. The company management told the whole story; bad attitude. Not customer-focussed AT ALL.

  • Kordan

    Sounds like the same situation as Netflix here in Canada. The selection is absolute shit. The past month maybe a handful of movies have come up under Recently Added and the ones that are there have amazing titles like Moby Dick:2010 or Mega Python vs Gatoroid. Terrible. The companies that produce this content just don’t get it.

    • silencets

      You didn’t like Monster Alligator vs. Mega Shark?  It was great!

  • Brandon

    I love hulu. There selection is a whole lot better than you say. They have shows that are popular with many different groups of people. From sci-fi, anime, comedy, dramas and reality tv. We recommend hulu to everyone. Plus they have added many new shows to thier list and grows every month.

    • Steven Fisher

      Is your last name Boone by chance?

    • John Doe

      Do you work for Hulu or are you really that sheltered? Ever hear of NetFlix or Project TV – they manage to do the same thing without shoving adds in your face. Hulu+ – The “+” stands for advertisements.

  • http://twitter.com/feralchimp feralchimp

    Netflix’s only incentive, costs permitting, is to give you more of what you want.  The “costs permitting” part carries some real limitations with it, but you are the customer they care about.  Moreover, it’s been that way since day 1.

    The ‘+’ in Hulu+ is supposed to mean you’re their customer, but the ‘Hulu’ in Hulu+ means the studios and the advertisers are their customers.

  • Anonymous

    Hulu has one thing going for it Total Recall 2070…..  Awesome!

  • http://twitter.com/Stephanie_Maks Stephanie Maks

    I agree with Kordan – Neflix here in Canada is terrible, the selection is crap. 

  • Anonymous

    I actually had problems with Netflix on AppleTV. It would stream, and the interface is lovely, but video would stop often to rebuffer. This isn’t a problem on my Roku box, which has worked very smoothly now for a couple of years.

    Looking up the issue on the interwebs, it appears this is a common problem that neither Apple nor Netflix officially acknowledges. I’ve seen many complaints that these issues apply only to AppleTV; i.e. users were experiencing problems with Neftlix on ATV but did not experience the same problems using the same internet connection with other devices.

    Some people have had success fixing the problem by manually changing the DNS server in the AppleTV settings (commonly folks use Google’s entry), but the solution doesn’t work for everyone (it doesn’t for me). I’ve been very disappointed, and quite irked that due to this issue I have to have an extra box plugged into my TV (the Roku) which I feel I shouldn’t need. I’d run out of HDMI ports; I had to purchase an HDMI switcher to accommodate the extra device.

    I don’t experience this kind of lag when I use any other service on ATV. I can stream movies from the iTunes Store just fine, I can view content from my local iTunes library and I can view movie trailers. Only Netflix is affected. According to internet comments (see if this sounds familiar), Apple says it’s a Netflix or ISP problem, and Netflix says it’s an Apple problem.

    This is one of those rare instances for me where an Apple device has underperformed its functions.

  • Anonymous

    Netflix has been rubbish for the past month or so. I can see the menus and all but get a “Can’t access Net….. If you try later or go to the website crappolla. Sometimes if I unplug the power from the ATV it will magically work…. groan. Maybe ATV is still a hobbie and will get off its training wheels with iso5, at least I hope so. 

  • http://dealzon.com Dealzon

    Personally Hulu (web version) itself isn’t too shabby IMO.  They try their best to get the content people want in, anytime I don’t see the shows I expect to be here is usually because they never work out those wacky license issues with their network owners.

    Hulu plus on the other hand is pretty crappy.  In all honesty its crippled by Hulu’s network owners for a reason. Its the same reason why some latest seasons of certain shows aren’t on Netflix yet.  The networks dreams are for you to order each package/shows straight from their distribution source vs a third party company for each type of devices you want to use it on.  Pay for the same show 50 times just to watch it on different devices?  Sure, why not.

  • Joe

    Jim, I think your making a mistake here by looking at one, very limited implementation of HuluPlus and extrapolating to the entire service. Because you’re accessing HuluPlus thru a TV device (A TV with attached Roku is treated just like a web-enabled TV for show licensing purposes, apparently) you had a very limited view of what all is actually available on HuluPlus. If you are accessing the service thru a computer, the selection is an order-of-magnitude better. I agree that HuluPlus selection for TVs sucks, but on a computer (which is where my household watches all our TV these days) it is MUCH, MUCH better than the selection on Netflix. Especially if you are looking to replace your cable, since HuluPlus has a huge number of current seasons (many episodes show up as early as 24 hours after broadcast). Netflix (from what I could find out) has very few if any current seasons of the series I want to watch, and even some past seasons are only available on DVD in a lot of cases, but not streaming. So, obviously it depends on your use case, but for me, HuluPlus is the only service that gives me the ability to cut the cable cord at this time (other than iTunes, of course, but I’m still not quite ready to pay for each individual episode I want to watch — now if only iTunes offered more TV shows as rentals rather than purchases…)

    • Joey

      who wants to watch tv on a puter screen. i want to watch on my couch with DD surround sound

  • sumflow

    Hulu is free..

    • Yoscoyotec

      Not it’s not, you pay by watching stupid adds. Recently you watch more and more of these.

    • http://www.facebook.com/superrob Rob Stevens

      Hulu on the web, in “standard” definition, for SOME programming, is free. To get any HD, to access some shows, or to watch on a mobile device or other set-top box, requires a subscription.

    • Mihoshi

      not anymore..

  • http://www.informationworkshop.org Mark Hernandez

    Isn’t anyone going to complain about the oppressive ads are handled on Hulu, even when you are a paying subscriber? How you can’t even try a few seconds of any show to see if you even like it at all without FIRST having to watch the SAME ad repeatedly.  And when you scrub backwards in a show to rewatch it because you were interrupted you have to watch the ads again?  No one minds that?

  • Anonymous

    The comments on this post are far more useful than the post itself. The comments contain specific details that inform, which would have been helpful in the post as well as providing it more weight as a considered review. Quick snark works better on Twitter (not a value judgement, I like snark too, provided it works in the forum and context). If you want to make a blog post, you might as well add a couple of specific details that make your complaints more concrete, informative, and therefore persuasive.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZO7Q5F2VDG465R2ZRZIR3EZYH4 Snowcone

    There are other problems with hulu that netflix does not have 1) Half the content on their site can’t be streamed on TV.

    2) Hulu will list a bunch of names of tv shows when they only have minute clips from the show or just a couple of episodes.

    3) Commercials

    4) A lot of times when watching videos with hulu the sound and the picture will not sync up.

    5) I would get “connection lost” messages all the time when watching hulu on my roku, but when I switched to netflix on my roku the quality was fine. My roku’s connection was always fine but hulu would just stop playing

    6)  When I would get “connection lost” on my computer I would have to re-watch all the commercials that I had already watched to get back to where I was in the show. I have high speed internet and my roku is sitting next to my router

    Netflix is so much better because they do not have any of these problems. I also like that netflix emails surveys to ask customers what the video quality was of recently viewed streaming video. I also like that they give refunds on the rare occasions when service is unreliable.

  • Rob Kampen

    Just a real shame that their bandwidth or servers are under-powered. Constantly have buffering problems – nothing else on the internet is affected. Mainly occurs in the evenings (when I have time to watch). I guess I will have to find a program that can download the stream and store it for me at other times of the day and then watch it off my hard drive. Seems a lot of work to get something remotely usable.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AA3YVDX7656I42QTJCVXAH2I2Q Ryan A

    HuluPlus is great. I dont know what your talking about it sucking. They play mostly everything that is currently out on TV….House, Bones, Glee, Family Guy, etc. How can that suck? Sure they have a lot of other stuff I’ve never heard of but Netflix has stuff I’ve never heard of either. And I dont see why you waste your money on iTunes. Paying for every single individual TV show and movie you watch is stupid and a waste. I use both Netflix and HuluPlus. I pay one flat rate and thats it. Unlimited everything. I dont have cable  since my rent is so high I cant afford it. I just have internet so Netflix and HuluPlus works just fine for me and anything else Netlfix or Hulu does not have you can just download off the internet from a Torrent. Hulu is Great dude.

  • 2814

    When they required Silverlight to run Netflix on my PC is all went to crap right there, it just stopped working altogether. Leave it to Gatesware to screw up a good thing!

    • Blr

      I Just Fired Comcast / Xfinity Because my last bill was $178.95 for one month of TV (Basic) Internet & Phone. Now I Have AT&T for $14.95 a month A Roku for NetFlix ($8.00per Month) & a Magic Jack for Phone($39.95). So I can take my Laptop and a Phone With Me  Any Place. A Big Cell Phone & a Small TV. Hulu would not and will not Stream on my Roku or PC.     

  • Cookiemonster

    Ironically enough, none of those things are the problem with Hulu…

    I have Hulu+ on a two month trial, and I can tell you I will not pay for it when it goes live, and it’s for one very simple reason.

    THE ADS.

    Netflix charges the same 7.99/month, and you know what there aren’t ANY OF?

    ADS.

    On Hulu, I can’t even watch an episode of Highlander without seeing 2 commercials every 7 minutes, waiting for the janky connection to load up in between every interval…it’s unacceptable.

  • Orrin

    I signed up for Hulu Plus for exactly 27 minutes.  After the Mrs. and I scanned through what was available, I cancelled immediately.  It was supposed to be a 2 wk free trial defaulting to monthly payments.  Based on my initial assessment, no need.  I didn’t want to forget in 2 wks and end up paying for the weak content. 

    Conceptually I like the idea.  It is WAY better than when I last looked at it ~2 years ago.  Who knows, if I check back in another 2-3 years perhaps it will have matured.

    As it stands, without sports, news, or extensive cable content, why bother?  Who watch network TV anyway?  (Zombies)

  • Ultracarelasvegas@gmail.com

    Just got Hulu. They have commercials and odd tv shows. Not wroth the money

  • Don Page

    UNBELIEVABLE To Sum it up with hulu you pay for 1. Commercials (ridiculously more than cable) 2. Crappy shows OR good shows but only last 4 or 5 episodes 3. partial good shows with all episodes that you can’t watch on xbox, roku, or other streaming devices (Only computer) I wish I could get rid of it but I still can’t convince the wife.

  • Kran

    bottom line who the hell wants to watch commercials when you’re PAYING to watch tv shows. I mean at least give people the option 7.99 pm with cable 9.99 withought it or something like that.

  • John Doe

    Had NetFlix for 4 years and thought I’d try Hulu as a supplement for TV programming. 1 month at Hulu and I can’t stand all the advertisements. If you want to rewind or fast forward your stuck watching ads over and over. Hulu’s advertisements work flawlessly while the programming suffers…no Discovery channel, no full seasons of shows that are popular like Survivor, only hit and miss programming. To sum it up – I just cancelled – they suck.

  • Netto Cash

    Agreed. Hulu Plus Sucks. selection is terrible, still have to watch ads even if you pay for membership, cannot save hulu login details to chrome, most of their content is free to watch. I would only pay for internet tv if it was commercial-free.

    • Netto Cash

      Rabbit TV is only $10 @ wal-mart, looks to be like the magicjack of internet tv service

      • Netto Cash

        never tried it, dunno how great it is, but claims to make internet tv easier to use (like magicjack is for internet phone)

  • S.

    Hulu used to be great, now they just stink bad.

  • wtf

    Hulu sucks bag

  • S.

    Plus there are way too many ads that take forever to load. Hulu is a mess and joke.

  • hulusucks

    FUCK YOU

  • hulucansuckmydick

    have you considered killing yourself?

  • Blr

    I Just Fired Comcast / Xfinity Because my last bill was $178.95 for one month of TV (Basic) Internet & Phone. Now I Have AT&T for $14.95 a month A Roku for NetFlix ($8.00per Month)  & a Magic Jack for Phone($39.95). So I can take my Laptop and a Phone With Me Any Place. A Big Cell Phone & a Small TV. Hulu would not and will not Stream on my Roku or PC.

  • Desertmail

    yeppers.. ive had netflix and magic jack for a couple years, just hooked up the roku and did a free trial of hulu.. not searched all their listings yet .. but i cant watch it..every two mins is a buffer, plus .. the biggest gripe.. they have commercials for hulu on it!