Friday, October 21, 2011

Hulu Plus: A resounding "meh"

Netflix has been my main source of TV for a few years now, but there are a handful of current network shows I watch. I've never been good at being home at just the right time, so the past year or two I've tended to rely on unsanctioned downloads to watch many of them at my leisure. But with a new baby, downloading a show and then either getting it to my iPad or finding time to sit in front of the computer is even more unlikely than getting to watch the show as it airs! Hulu+ seemed to be the perfect solution, so I signed up for a one-month trial to check it out.

- Brings House, New Girl, Bones, and Glee to my iPad with a minimum of fuss, right after the episodes air.
- Same reasonable $8/month as Netflix streaming.

- Ads in shows that you're already paying to watch.
- Doesn't have all the shows I watch (no How I Met Your Mother, for instance).
- If you leave the app for even a second, it doesn't just pause your show and let you pick it back up - you have to entirely reload the show. This has made some things completely unwatchable if I'm trying to, say, have a conversation over IM at the same time. Netflix does not have this problem.
- Even after paying $8/month for the privilege of watching shows that are free on a desktop on your iPad, some shows are still only available on a desktop computer!
- Many shows go back only a few episodes, so it's not great for picking up a new show and getting caught up. (Like I was hoping to do with Castle.)
- If you put a series in your queue, it only adds the current episodes. When a new ep comes out, it's not automatically added to the queue - in fact, once you've watched all current episodes, the show is removed from the queue entirely. If there is a way to "subscribe" to shows for automatic access to new eps, I haven't found it.
- No Wii support. Although I do watch Netflix on my iPad, when I'm home I mostly access it through my Wii so that I can use the nice big TV I paid $300 for. For some reason, Hulu+ works on Xbox and PS3, but not the most common gaming console in the country.

Overall, I think the annoyances outweigh the benefits for me. I won't be paying for this service. But I will be finding an easier way to get shows from Megaupload to my iPad.

No comments:

Post a Comment