Hulu Review 2022

Hulu offers next-day TV episodes and some great original content, but is it worth adding to your streaming lineup? CableTV.com’s expert screen spectators break it down.

Limited offer: returning customers pay $1/mo.

Price: $6.99–$12.99/mo.
Free trial: 30 days
On-demand library: 40,000+ movies and TV episodes

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Limited time offer

Returning Hulu customers can get the service for just $1 per month.

Is Hulu good?

For $6.99 a month (with ads) or $12.99 a month (ad-free), Hulu is still one of the least expensive streaming services and one of the most essential to have in your app lineup, in our opinion.

It doesn’t carry the same overwhelming volume of content as Netflix or Prime Video, but Hulu’s exclusive next-day streaming of broadcast and cable shows is a major advantage over the other services. Throw in its expanding collection of quality original content, and Hulu remains a good deal for the price (which tends to increase on the regular—watch this space).

Hulu’s on-demand streaming library includes over 40,000 movies and TV episodes, including next-day streaming of new episodes of series from FOX, ABC, NBC, FX, FXX, and more. Hulu also has its own slate of original shows, like Only Murders in the Building, The Dropout, Pam & Tommy, How I Met Your Father, and The Handmaid’s Tale.

You can also add live TV channels to Hulu, which we cover in our Hulu + Live TV review.

Hulu pros and cons

Pros

  • Next-day series streaming
  • Large library of TV shows and movies

Cons

  • Just 2 simultaneous streams
  • Offline downloads on No Ads plan only

Hulu free trials and deals

Hulu offers a 30-day free trial, as well as several money-saving deals. Read all about them in our Hulu Deals guide.

The most popular Hulu deal is the Disney+, Hulu (with ads), and ESPN+ bundle for $13.99 a month, an overall savings of $5.98 a month or $71.76 annually. With the ad-free version of Hulu, the bundle is $19.99 a month (which doesn’t offer the annual payment option).

Hulu plans and prices

Plan Price Editorial rating Video Streams Details
Hulu (Limited Ads) $6.99/mo. 4.4/5 1080p, 4K 2 View plan
Hulu (No Ads) $12.99/mo. 4.4/5 1080p, 4K 2 View plan

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

The basic, ad-supported Hulu plan is a bargain at $6.99 a month—but, if you can swing it, we recommend the ad-free Hulu plan at $12.99 a month. That’s still less expensive than most of the nearest competition, as you’ll see below), and that extra six bucks is worth your commercial-free sanity, in our opinion.

Hulu vs. the competition

Since it’s our favorite plan, we’ll use the $12.99-a-month ad-free Hulu tier for apples-to-apples (or oranges-to-oranges if you prefer) streaming comparison.

Service Price Editorial rating Streams Video Details
Hulu $6.99–$12.99/mo. 4.4/5 2 1080p, 4K View plans
Netflix $8.99–$17.99/mo. 4.3/5 1–4 1080p, 4K View plans
Prime Video $8.99–$12.99/mo. 4.2/5 3 1080p, 4K View plans
Peacock Free–$9.99/mo. 4.3/5 3 1080p, 4K View plans
HBO Max $9.99–$14.99/mo. 4.5/5 3 1080p, 4K View plans
Disney+ $7.99/mo. 4.6/5 4 1080p, 4K View plan
ESPN+ $6.99/mo. 4.2/5 5 1080p View plan
Paramount+ $4.99–$9.99/mo. 4.1/5 3 1080p, 4K View plans
Apple TV+ $4.99 4.2/5 6 1080p, 4K View plan
Discovery+ $4.99–$6.99/mo. 4.0/5 4 1080p, 4K View plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

We think Hulu’s combo of next-day content, original programming, and its catalog of TV shows and movies make it a strong contender against Netflix and HBO Max for a few dollars less. It probably won’t replace either in your streaming app collection, but it’s an excellent supplement.

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Hulu TV shows and movies

Hulu streams the latest episodes of shows from fellow Disney-owned networks (ABC, FOX, FX, FXX, Freeform, and others) 24 hours or sooner after their broadcast/cable premieres. Hulu currently does the same for some NBC series but, as corporate synergy demands, next-day streaming rights to those shows will move to NBCUniversal-owned Peacock in fall 2022.

We keep mentioning Hulu’s next-day streaming of broadcast and cable show episodes for a reason: no other on-demand service but Peacock does it, and it’s great for cord-cutters who have zero interest in paying for a live TV provider just to watch the latest Bob’s Burgers (gotta keep up on those “Burger of the Day” gags).

Hulu’s ever-growing collection of original series, movies, documentaries, and kids’ shows is nothing to overlook, either. The award-winning The Handmaid’s Tale is Hulu’s most well-known original, but recent hits like Only Murders in the Building, The Dropout, Pam & Tommy, How I Met Your Father, and Reservation Dogs have also put a shine on the in-house Hulu brand.

We’ve compiled a few lists of acquired shows and Hulu originals we think are worth checking out on our What to Watch on Hulu guide.

Hulu premium channel add-ons

Premium channel Hulu (Limited Ads), Hulu (No Ads)
HBO Max $14.99/mo.
CINEMAX $9.99/mo.
SHOWTIME $10.99/mo.
STARZ $8.99/mo.
EPIX

HBO Max, CINEMAX, SHOWTIME, and STARZ are available to add to Hulu plans; EPIX is not. Of course, Disney+ and ESPN+ are available to bundle with Hulu.

Hulu specs and features

Hulu allows you to create up to six profiles on a single account, including a kids’ profile that restricts the young ones from adult content. That’s a decent number of profiles, but Hulu is still a bit stingy with multiple streams, as you’ll see in a couple of scrolls.

Hulu on-demand

Plan Movies and TV shows Offline downloads
Hulu (Limited Ads), Hulu (No Ads) 40,000+ Yes (No Ads plan only)

Hulu offers over 40,000 hours of on-demand content, including next-day TV episodes from Disney-owned channels, recent and classic movies, and 100+ Hulu originals from 2013 to the present. Offline downloads for mobile viewing are available only through the no-ads Hulu tier.

Hulu simultaneous streams

Plan Simultaneous streams Upgrades
Hulu (Limited Ads), Hulu (No Ads) 2 None

Most streaming services give you at least three simultaneous streams within your home network; Hulu still offers only two. We know it’s only one less than the norm, but it still bugs us to no end—just give up that third stream, Hulu.

Hulu compatible devices

Hulu is available on almost every streaming device on the market, as well as some smart TVs and gaming consoles. Get all the deets in our Hulu Supported Devices guide.

Hulu video and audio quality

Hulu’s on-demand streaming video quality for most content ranges from 1080p HD to 4K UHD. So, if you’re binge-watching the first season of ER and George Clooney looks a little fuzzy, it’s only because it was filmed in 1994.

Hulu home screen viewed on smart TV
Hulu home screen

On the audio side, most Hulu content hits your ears in standard 2.0 stereo, and many of Hulu’s original shows and movies support 5.0 surround sound (if your device does, that is). Hulu doesn’t yet do Dolby Atmos, however.

Hulu My Stuff menu viewed on smart TV
Hulu My Stuff menu

Final take: Is Hulu worth it?

We think Hulu is an essential subscription for your on-demand app lineup, whether you go with the $6.99 version with ads or the $12.99 ad-free plan (our pick). You can even try it out for a whole month at no cost—we’re big fans of free trials.

Hulu offers unique value as a streaming service in that it curates next-day content from outside broadcast and cable channels, carries recent movies, produces its own original content, and offers the option to add live TV channels with Hulu + Live TV. Even with recent price hikes, we still think Hulu is a great value.

But, as much as we like Hulu’s features, originals, and pricing (not to mention the availability of the Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ bundle), we’re still hung up on those measly two streams. We’d call this a Mickey Mouse deal from parent company Disney, but it would be a little too on-the-nose.

Methodology

Our TV experts spent hundreds of hours testing and evaluating Hulu, rating the service on value, reliability, features, and customer satisfaction. Then we matched Hulu up against other premium streaming TV services head-to-head to give a clearer picture of its strengths and weaknesses. For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

Hulu FAQ

How do I watch Hulu for free?

Hulu offers a 30-day free trial period where you can use the service for free, but you’ll still have to enter your payment information. If you don’t cancel Hulu before the 30 days are up, you’ll be charged at whichever plan rate you signed up for.

How much is Hulu a month?

Hulu’s ad-supported (or Limited Ads, as Hulu calls it) plan costs $6.99 a month, while its commercial-free plan (appropriately called No Ads) goes for $12.99 a month. You can also subscribe to ad-supported Hulu for $69.99 a year, a 16% savings over the cumulative monthly rate ($83.88).

Can I watch live TV on Hulu?

Hulu + Live TV, which is Hulu supplemented with over 70 live TV channels (including sports and local channels), is available for $69.99 a month (with Limited Ads Hulu) or $74.99 a month (No Ads Hulu). Once subscribed, Hulu + Live TV channels can be accessed through the “Live” tab on the Hulu home screen.

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